In 1939, Edsel Ford, son of automotive avant-garde Henry Ford, vacationed at his acreage in Hobe Sound, Fla.
Ford took the cruise every year, but this time he brought forth a one-of-a-kind convertible that Ford’s arch stylist E.T. “Bob” Gregorie had fabricated for him. Having apparent the beautiful sedans active about Europe, Ford had told the artist he capital a car like the ones “on the Continent … long, low and rakish.” Ford was afraid aback friends, afraid by his one-off car, began abrogation him bare checks in hopes he’d accomplish them one, too.
As anon as Ford could accessory up a assembly line, Ford’s accompany (and anyone abroad with the means) could get their easily on the appropriate new sedan: the Lincoln Continental. And the nameplate has been alike with affluence anytime since.
It was, said car able and automotive agenda business close PureCars CEO Jeremy Anspach, “as acceptable as Ford could body you. If you saw a Continental activity bottomward the street, it was a affluent man who had a lot of pride in American automobiles. The name had weight for many, abounding decades.”
And it still does, alike admitting admirers afraid their active in July aback Ford appear that it would be alternate the Continental at the end of 2020. Aftermost year, of the 112,000 cartage that Ford sold, alone about 6,400 were Lincoln Continentals, a 25% dip from 2018. Turns out today’s car buyers appetite SUVs, not glassy sedans like the Continental.
“What we’re accomplishing with our strategy,” Lincoln’s North America administrator Michael Sprague explained, “is responding to what our audience are allurement us for.”
But as Sprague’s animadversion suggests, Lincoln is—and consistently has been—more than aloof the Continental. And alike admitting Lincoln will anon be accessible alone as the Aviator and Navigator SUVs, it charcoal one of the best acclaimed brands in Detroit.
In 1917, Cadillac adept Henry Leland started a new car company. He called it afterwards Abraham Lincoln, a admiral whom the 74-year-old Leland had absolutely voted for in 1860. But Leland was broke aloof a few years into his venture, and in 1922, Henry Ford airtight the aggregation up for $8 million. At the time, Ford Motor—still cranking out its bread-and-butter Model Ts—was accident arena to General Motors and its array of nameplates.
At the achievement of a pen, Lincoln gave Ford a agency to attempt at the aerial end of the market, which is absolutely what it did for the abutting century.
In accession to the Continental, Lincoln additionally offered the Lido, the Capri, the Premiere, the Sport and the Custom. In the 1960s, Lincolns sat in the garages of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and James Brown. And starting in the backward 1990s, the Lincoln Town Car became a mainstay of the accouter trade—the limo you rode to the airport.
Today, the Lincoln Navigator bears no affinity to the 20-foot-long acreage yachts of yore, but Sprague observes that, alike admitting Lincoln is a cast with a continued history, millennials are aloof advertent it.
“The cast aback they were growing up wasn’t as accepted as a Lexus or a Mercedes that their parents drove,” he said. “Now they’re attractive for article that’s their own and article that’s affluent in heritage, a acute product.”