Lincoln Continental Cabriolet

In 1938, Edsel Ford expressed his interest in a “special convertible coupe that was long, low and rakish,” incorporating many European-inspired design elements. In response, Bob Gregorie quickly sketched the outline of the new car’s two-door, four-seat body based on the groundbreaking Lincoln-Zephyr. This distinctive design featured a lowered hood line and cowl with extended front fenders, while at the rear, extended skirted fenders matched the bustle-style trunk, and the folding top featured formal, Victoria-style blind quarters.

Edsel’s approval was enthusiastic and swift. Work began to complete the car in time for his winter vacation in Florida, but it was soon clear there was insufficient room for a trunk-mounted spare tire, leading to the car’s signature feature, the “Continental” spare tire kit. The prototype was completed in less than six months, and it was the unqualified hit of the season when it first appeared in Florida. Initially called the Lincoln-Zephyr Continental, the car entered production as a 1940 model. Only 404 examples were built in total that year – 350 cabriolets and 54 coupes – and each car was mostly hand-built.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in June of 2012 at the Dingman Collection, Hampton, New Hampshire.

120 bhp V12 engine with two-barrel downdraft carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and ¾-floating rear axle with transverse leaf springs, and four-wheel, internal-expanding hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 125"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Doug Mitchel

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