Ford Motor Co. purchased Lincoln Motor Co. out of debt a century ago and established a luxury brand that would forever impact automotive design and pop culture.
Henry Ford, with a nudge from his wife, Clara, and son, Edsel, acquired the company from engineer Henry Leland for $8 million on Feb. 4, 1922.
“Lincoln is really a chance for us to stop and think about Edsel Ford, who, too often, is overshadowed by his father,” said Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn.
“Edsel Ford had free rein at Lincoln, where he could spread his wings and leave a legacy apart from his father,” Anderson said. “Edsel gave the cars a sense of design and style, and built the company into one of America’s leading luxury automakers.”
Ford introduced the Lincoln Zephyr in 1936, pairing style and aerodynamics
“Its flowing teardrop shape suggests motion. Its V-shaped grille slices the air,” says thehenryford.org museum site. “Headlights blend smoothly into the front fenders. Rear fenders hug the body and fender skirts hide the rear wheels. Even the tail lights are streamlined.”
Then came the Continental in 1939, a car so gorgeous that the Museum of Modern Art in New York City selected it to display as one of eight cars that epitomized design excellence, according to the 1951 MOMA catalogue.
“Henry Ford’s only son played a key role in the creation of what many feel was the most beautiful automobile ever designed,” Ad Age said in 2003.
Lincoln’s first attempt at a luxury pickup didn’t go so well. The Blackwood was basically a cross between the Lincoln Navigator and Ford F-150, sporting fancy trim in the cargo bed with a power tonneau cover. The 2002 production version was a follow up to a warm reception for the 1999 concept, but things cooled off considerably on dealer lots. Parent company Ford planned to build 10,000 of them, but only a few more than 3,330 actually sold. There was no 2003 model in the U.S. market.
It’s hard to say exactly why the Blackwood flopped. In 2002, at least in terms of marketing, trucks and SUVs still had to pretend they could do truck and SUV stuff (regardless of whether or not the owners used them that way). Maybe nobody really wanted a giant trunk instead of a cargo bed. Maybe the rear-wheel-drive-only configuration wasn’t in keeping with the give-me-everything idea of a luxury truck. Or maybe Lincoln buyers who wanted lots of interior space and a giant trunk were already happy with the Town Car.
Whatever the case, the Blackwood was unintentionally rare and now, nearly 20 years later when luxury trucks are part of the standard lineup, could be considered an idea before its time. And yeah, we’ll go out on a limb and say the Blackwood is now cool. This one, up for bids on Hemmings Auctions, has been both enjoyed and preserved well. From the auction listing:
The selling dealer says it was taken on trade, but he became so enamored with it that he drove it for the next three years, racking up 13,000 “trouble-free” miles on the distinctive and rare Lincoln truck. It’s one of only 3,356 produced and the seller notes it “runs and drives like new.”
In its latest video celebrating million-dollar cars, the Petersen Automotive Museum takes an in-depth look at President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s armored 1942 Lincoln, just in time for Presidents’ Day
Petersen’s chief historian Leslie Kendall gives this tour from the museum’s Vault, where this Lincoln can usually be found surrounded by other cars that were used by various international heads of state.
This armored limousine is significant because it’s the first presidential car delivered to the White House with armoring from the factory. Commissioned from Ford, the hulking V-12 sedan arrived with a number of safety measures installed, including steel plating on the floorboards, roof, and transmission tunnel. Even the flathead V-12 under the hood got an extra layer of protection. The glass—which, strangely, occupants could still roll down—is nine sheets thick
No wonder America’s luxury car companies did so well (and offered so much choice) in the ’60s. Far from the Sturm und Drang of the muscle car scene playing out on America’s streets, the complexity of a war being fought half a world away, and inevitable strife at home, America’s luxury cars provided a beautiful, silent, torquey buffer between you and all else that society was throwing at you. What better way to isolate yourself from the outside world – in all of its hideous, insidious forms – than in a two-plus ton luxury car stuffed with leather and sound deadening?We picked three American luxury barges here for you to consider.
All of them are from the second half of the ’60s, all are coupes, all are plucked from the Hemmings classifieds, and all are between $20,000 and $30,000. Which of these would you restore? Which would you preserve? And which would you modify? Tell us in the comments.
Two historically important Lincoln limousines that carried President John F. Kennedy – one of which he rode in on day that he was assassinated – will be offered during Bonhams’ live/online American Presidential Experience Auction in New York on October 14, just three weeks ahead of the presidential election.
Auction also includes a display replica of the first Air Force One jet and a full-scale mockup of the White House Oval Office
The white 1963 Lincoln Continental convertible that was designated “Limo One,” and which carried the President and first lady on the morning of November 22, 1963, in Fort Worth with Texas Governor John Connally, has a pre-auction estimated value of $300,000 to $500,000.
The other Lincoln is a 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V Executive Limousine used by President Kennedy for personal trips in Washington, DC. The Mark V was specially outfitted by Hess and Eisenhardt for presidential use with bulletproof doors, divider window, passenger air controls and a two-way telephone in the back seat, which was an uncommon luxury for the period.
Pick of the Day is a former presidential limousine
Harry Truman’s 1950 Lincoln Limo
The White House ordered up nine specially built 1950 Lincoln limousines and one of them, a 7-passenger Cosmopolitan with coachwork by Henney, is being offered for sale by a private owner on ClassicCars.com.
“Leased to the Government by Ford Motor Co., the 1950 Lincoln Presidential Limousines replaced the aging pre-World War II White House fleet Truman inherited when he ascended to the presidency after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1944,” the seller notes in the car’s advertisement.
“Truman chose Lincoln over Cadillac after GM had snubbed his requests for vehicles during his presidential campaign, which he had been expected to lose. The 1950 Lincolns remained in Presidential use well into the Eisenhower administration.”
Vintage Lincoln/Ford Dealer’s Transmission Workbench/tool storagecabinet. All steel. From Lumpkin Ford dealership,Waynoka, OK. 11’6” long x 5′ tall x 2′ 2” deep. I’ve had it about 38 years. All original. It’s not been cleaned—as I got it. Always stored inside. Looks like a ’50s model to me. Center and left cabinet are lighted by a working switch. Right cabinet has steel shelving. Left cabinet uses pegboard. Missing a simple door knob on the right center door as shown in the last photo. Otherwise complete. Steel is good other than the center doors have been bent in a bit, the left long door has a small dent, and the curved metal on the lower left has a dented section about six inches long. All of this damage is shown in the photos. I have lots of storage so there is no hurry to pick it up. Will store for six months or longer at no charge if needed. There are people that come through the country and pick up vintage items like this and deliver. I can help you find someone.
Crafted with expansive center-opening doors in homage to the 1939 original, entering the Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition means going the way of presidents, royalty and superstars. It’s an extraordinary vehicle with an ownership experience to match.
Reblog from David Greenlees excellent The Old Motor on the launch of one of my all time favourites The Lincoln Zephyr.
The all new and modern-looking 1936 Lincoln Zephyr designed by Eugene Gregorie was introduced early in November of 1935. Powered by a new 276 c.i. V-12 L-head engine that produces 110 h.p. the Zephyr featuring streamlined unibody construction bridged the gap between the Ford and the Lincoln Model K. Earlier design studies by John Tjaarda influenced…