Name: Lincoln by Vignale
Debuted: 1987 Chicago Auto Show
Specs: Based on a Thunderbird / Cougar, V8 engine, all-wheel drive, front & rear independent suspension
Why We Remember It Now:
Developed to provide ‘a glimpse of what the high-performance, luxury touring car of the 1990's might be like,’ the Lincoln by Vignale had an elegantly simple design. The most interesting styling cue is noticeable at the back where there was a Continental spare wheel motif between the wide taillights. The special detail provided the two-seater convertible an interesting look that we believe has withstood the test of time.
Despite the ‘Vignale’ name, the car was actually designed by Ford’s North American Design Center and as you can see it looked pretty much production-ready. That’s because Lincoln wanted to have something that could hit the assembly line as soon as possible to go up against the Pininfarina-designed Cadillac Allanté. But rather than putting the car on sale, Lincoln decided to wait and see whether the Allanté would turn out be a hit. Ultimately, it remained purely a concept and showcar.
The Lincoln by Vignale was actually built by Ghia in Turin, Italy and was exhibited not only with a removable hard top, but also with a speedster tonneau cover and a fabric roof. It was allegedly based on a Cougar / Thunderbird and had a V8 Lincoln engine sending power to both axles which featured an independent suspension. The vehicle was engineered with multi-beam headlights that allowed the designers to create a sleeker appearance by lowering the front end.
It’s a shame that it did not go into production as it would have probably been a worthy adversary to the Allanté which remained in production until 1993.