Lincoln Continental Cabriolet

The Allied victory in 1945 signaled, in many respects, a return to normalcy for the American auto industry. For the Ford Motor Company in particular, this meant the reintroduction of its heralded super-luxurious Lincoln Continental. First introduced in 1939 to Edsel Ford’s fellow Floridian snowbirds, it was a bold statement that would clearly demonstrate to longtime rival Cadillac just how serious Lincoln was about competing for what was left of the American luxury car market. The Continental had a smooth and powerful V12 engine and all the amenities luxury car buyers were looking for.

The new Lincoln featured advanced European styling that left a powerful impression on the American public. The hood line and cowl were lowered and pushed back, with the front fenders extended to match. The rear fenders, with skirts over the wheels, were also extended to match the bustle-style trunk. The folding top had blind quarters. There was almost no bright trim, a concession to Edsel Ford’s preference for simplicity as well as the lack of time to make one-off trim pieces.

The Continental’s design withstood a five-year wartime hiatus and was revived from 1946 to 1948 with slightly revised grille and headlamp treatments. It was considered so exceptional, in fact, that in 1951 the Museum of Modern Art selected it as one of eight automotive “works of art.” As before, however, acquiring such a car required a sizeable pocketbook, exceptional taste and supposedly even the approval of its discerning dealers.

Part of the RM Auctions event at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in January, 2010; at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion in July, 2010; at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in January, 2011; for Charlie Thomas in October, 2012 and for the Hershey event in October, 2012.

130 hp, 292 cu. in. side valve V12 engine, three-speed transmission, leaf spring and solid axle front suspension, leaf spring and live axle rear suspension, four-wheel hydraulically actuated drum brakes. Wheelbase: 125"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel and Pawel Litwinski

Lincoln Continental Cabriolet