Lincoln Continental Cabriolet

In 1938, Edsel Ford expressed interest in a “special convertible coupe that was long, low and rakish”, incorporating European design elements. Based on the Lincoln-Zephyr, Bob Gregorie quickly sketched the outline of the new car’s two-door, four-seat body, distinctively featuring a lowered hood line, cowl and extended front fenders.

Edsel’s enthusiastic approval was swift, and the car was completed just in time for his winter vacation in Florida. Insufficient room for a trunk-mounted spare tire gave rise to the car’s signature feature, the “Continental” spare, and the car was the hit of the season when it was shown to Edsel’s fellow snowbirds. So much so, that it entered series production as the 1940 model Lincoln-Zephyr Continental. While 1941 Continentals received only detail changes, the 1942 models were lengthened, lowered and widened.

In 1941, as America’s involvement in the war deepened, precious resources were gradually shifted from automobile production to the growing requirements of national defense. Consequently, 1942 Lincoln models substituted zinc for the stainless steel used in the grille, and cast iron cylinder heads replaced their aluminum predecessors. Following the Pearl Harbor attack and America’s full-scale entry into the war, civilian automobile production was discontinued in February 1942, and was not resumed until after V-J Day.

Part of the RM Auctions event at The Ritz-Carlton in March, 2009 and for Charlie Thomas in October, 2012.

130bhp, 306 cu. in. V12 engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive and Columbia two-speed rear axle, solid front axle and ¾-floating rear axle with transverse leaf springs, and Bendix four-wheel, internal-expanding hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 125".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel

Gallery: Lincoln Continental Cabriolet