Lincoln Continental Convertible

The new 1961 Lincoln started out as a Thunderbird concept. Ford Styling Vice President George Walker had Chief Stylist Elwood Engel round up a team that eventually included John Najjar, Bob Thomas, Joe Oros, John Orff and Colin Neale. Engel told his stylists, “I want a clean car – no garbage.”

A clean car is what he got, created around a Thunderbird cowl. Robert McNamara, Ford’s General Manager who soon became company President, suggested it become a four-door Lincoln Continental. It went into production in November 1960.

The Industrial Design Institute awarded it a coveted Bronze Medal, rare for an automobile. The new Continental was designed for ease of passenger entry: the lack of a wrap-around windshield and use of aft-hinged “suicide” rear doors facilitated this. Novel for the time was a four-door convertible body style, the first since the Frazer Manhattan of 1951.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida and will be auctioned off by RM Auctions in June of 2012 at the Dingman Collection, Hampton, New Hampshire.

300 bhp, 430 cu. in. overhead valve V8 engine, three-speed automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

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