Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving From My Family To Yours!

Monday, November 5, 2012

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis

Sold for $1,375,000 at 2006 Gooding and Company. The coach building craft was in desperation after World War II. Many of the marques had brought the styling, designing and building of the vehicles in-house. The availability of suitable chassis also dwindled. At this time, many prominent coach builders worked hard to form alliances with marques, especially the American Companies who had deep pockets. Ghia created a relationship with Chrysler; Bertone with Packard; and Touring with Hudson. This companies looked to the coach builders for new designs that were bold and inspiring. Felice Mario Boano had acquaintances in the Ford Motor Company who were instrumental in aiding Boano in securing projects. Henry Ford II had just recently taken control of the company from his father, Edsel Ford. He was anxious to bring the Ford Company into a modern era and so, supplied Boano with a Lincoln chassis. Felice Mario gave the job to his son, Gian Paolo. Gian Paolo had gained knowledge of the family craft from Liceo Artistico and then apprenticed in his father's company. The wealth of knowledge and experience of the skilled artisans and the family business were nurtured from one generation to the next. One of his first series production vehicle designs was the Lancia Aurelia 2000 while working at Ghia. His designs had Italian style with influences of the contemporary American automobile. The project was intended for the 1955 Turin Motor Show. It was given the name 'Indianapolis', after the legendary race. The design was very futuristic, and probably inspired by airplanes and aviation. The result was a flamboyant and bold, but elegant concept. The design was graceful and full of detail. Little time had passed from when Ford commissioned the car to be built, to when it was on display at the Motor Show. The result was stunning, and led to Ford extending a contract to Boano. Felice Mario informed Fiat of the contract, which led Fiat to form the Centro Stile department. Boano was select at its leaders. Boano sold their coachworks to Ezio Ellena who was the husband of Gian Paolo's sister. After the Lincoln Indianapolis Concept was shown at Turin, it was sent to the United States where it was consigned to Henry Ford II. It is believed that it was later given to his friend, Errol Flynn. During the early 1960s the car was involved in a fire and it suffered much damage. The interior was completely ruined. The car passed through ownership throughout the years and remained in un-restored condition for many of those years. It was partially restored in the 1970s before being put into storage for approximately 20 years. A very thorough restoration was performed during the early 2000s. Much care was taken to preserve the cars original appearance and to follow Gian Paolo Boano's original designs. The restoration took two years to complete. It is finished in its original bright orange with a black-and-white checkered interior The vehicle has three chromed faux exhaust pipes on the sides of the vehicle. Sitting directly behind them are tall air intakes with five chromed air splitters. There is no visible cooling air intakes in the long, front nose of the vehicle. The headlights are stacked with two on each side. The wheels are nearly covered under the fenders. The windshield wraps around and gracefully flows into the side windows and continues to the rear where it is met by another, wrap around piece of glass. The interior is very clean with many of the instrumentation hidden away. A touch of a button reveals the drop down instrumentation. The car has made an appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, along with other prominent events and shows. The 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study with coachwork by Boano was offered for sale at the 2006 Gooding & Company Auction held in Pebble Beach, Ca. The car is powered by a V8 engine that produces over 200 horsepower. There is a four-speed automatic gearbox, independent front suspension, and a live rear axle. At auction, the car was one of the highlights of the event; a duty it has been performing rather well since it was created many years ago. It was flanked by many other impressive automobiles and was one of the top sellers of the day. At the conclusion of the auction, the car had been sold for $1,375,000. Source: Internet

1995 Lincoln Sentinel Concept

The luxury brand of Ford Motor Company, Lincoln was founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland and was acquired by Ford in 1922. Since the 1920's, Lincoln had manufactured vehicles, Leland named the brand after his longtime hero, Abraham Lincoln. The Sentinel Concept was a ‘startling expression of Ford's edge design ethos'; a high waistline, ultra-clean, flat shapes and elegant proportions. Huge in design, the Sentinel Concept featured wonderful sculpted lighting, and was even made into a runner on a lengthened Jaguar platform. The concept was created in 1995, and by 1996 it was debuted at the Detroit Auto Show. Looking like a 1961 Continental, reinvented, the concept caused quite a large stir on the circuit during the mid 1990's. America's automotive industry saw a major awakening during the 1990's in the direction of vehicle styling and conceptual cars. This was all tied to fuel economy and environmental concerns. The Lincoln Sentinel was a full-size four door sedan that was created to be powered by a modern engine up front with and drive to the rear wheels. The inside was also opulent enough to give the ultimate comfort to both driver and passengers. The Sentinel also merged several elements of earlier Lincoln design styles, like a new interpretation of E.T. 'Bob' Gregorie's fine-bar textured grille from the old school Continentals of the early 1940's and landmark designs of the 1960 from Elwood Engle's revolutionary designs with slab-side sharpness and not much use of chrome. The wheels were massively set at 20 inches, and were designed to be mounted flush to the body that were used and fitted so to ensure a minimum of body overhang, both front and rear. The flush mounted glass also surrounded the greenhouse to the vertically-stacked projector head lamps and tail lamps that only added to the Sentinel's sparse, beautiful look and design. The Sentinel had an overall length of 218 inches from bumper to bumper, which happened to be merely one inch shorter than the current Lincoln Town Car of the time. Just a ‘static showpiece', the Sentinel is constructed on a rolling chassis without either an engine or a proper interior with a half-interior beneath the smoked glass and simulated doors. The engine-less sedan would up in Hardeeville, SC where a dealer is now looking to sell it for $80,000. A fairly significant showcar for its time, the Sentinel was priced quite steeply, but it also featured the bodywork laid on top of a Panther chassis transforming into the ‘best looking Town Car' in years. The front end style was reminiscent of Renault's Vel Satis luxury model introduced in 2001. When it was first set on the auction block in April, the hefty pricetag of $80k wasn't touched, so the concept almost better suited for RoboCop was drastically reduced to the ‘buy-it-now' price of $31,500. Even though the Sentinel didn't actually work, its rolling shell does closely resemble a piece of modern art. The Sentinel was due to be auctioned on January 22, 2010 with an estimated U.S. price of $50,000 to $70,000. By Jessica Donaldson The Lincoln Sentinel, a new full-size, four-door, rear-wheel-drive luxury concept car that blends classic Lincoln styling themes wîth the Ford-inspired 'New Edge' approach to automotive design made its world debut at the 1996 North American International Auto Show. Lincoln has a long heritage of design elegance. From the first Continental to the Mark series and today's Town Car, Lincoln has throughout its history been identified as a symbol of refined and graceful design. The new Lincoln Sentinel luxury concept car retains many of the most recognizable elements of traditional Lincoln exterior styling, such as classic proportions, a crisp silhouette, simple, unadorned bodysides and high, linear beltlines. But it also fuses these design qualities wîth the 'New Edge' design idea of creating a series of shapes which overall produce an exterior wîth sharper corners and lines. The result is a fresh interpretation of established Lincoln design traits. First seen on the Ford GT90 concept sports car, 'New Edge' is the name Ford gave to its latest experimental approach to design. Though its origins can be traced back over many years, 'New Edge' design is now gaining increasing interest among auto designers who perceive it as being a possible alternative to the more rounded and fluid design shapes which have come to prominence over the past decade. 'Ford has always been at the vanguard of new directions in automotive design,' said Tom Scott, director, Advanced Design. 'We set the trend in the more rounded exterior shapes of the past ten years when Ford first introduced the original Taurus, so it's only right that we should now be setting the pace in this new design philosophy which we have called 'New Edge' design.' However, 'New Edge' design is still in its early stages and at this time it is purely experimental. It does not necessarily follow that cars and trucks will inevitably follow this new approach to design in the years ahead. But what the Lincoln Sentinel does show is that 'New Edge' can be applicable to other kinds of concept vehicles and not just advanced sports cars, such as the GT90,' commented Scott. Lincoln traditionalists will recognize set in the Sentinel's metallic black exterior a new interpretation of a 1940s-style Continental grille wîth its fine bar texture. The clean side profile, blade fenders and high belt line wîth minimal chrome trim are typical Lincoln design themes which are reminiscent of early 1960s Lincolns and are still clearly visible in today's Town Car. Flush glass all round and compact, vertically-stacked projector headlamps add to the uncluttered look of the exterior. The flush to the body, massive, 20-inch wheels, placed to ensure a minimum of body overhang both front and rear, add to the Sentinel's clean lines. The car's overall length of 218 inches is just one inch shorter than a 1996 Lincoln Town Car. 'The Lincoln Sentinel is an exploratory look at keeping Lincoln's traditional styling themes fresh for future generations,' said Scott. 'But the Sentinel is also helping us to identify important issues in auto design, such as whether an 'New Edge' approach has any other benefits other than aesthetic. Improved road holding and interior space are just two areas which may benefit from this kind of design approach in the future.' Source - Lincoln

2001 Lincoln MK9 Concept

In 1998, the Lincoln Mark VIII went out of production. The long-standing series would remain out of the market until the introduction of the MK9 at the 2001 New York International Auto Show. The MK9 had a 121.9-inch wheelbase, four-wheel power anti-lock disc brakes, an automatic transmission, and a DOHC V8 engine. There are brushed aluminum door hinges, and side air exhaust from the engine compartment. The tail theme is reminiscent of the 1961-67 four-door Continentals. The interior is a combination of Dark Cherry Red and Marlboro Red leathers with accents of polished metal. Dark Cherry saddle leather is used on the floor and white leather in the headliner. Foot room is improved in the front seats which are cantilevered off the center console. In 2010, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $75,000 - $100,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $101,750 inclusive of buyer's premium. Source: Internet

2003 Lincoln Navicross Concept

The Lincoln Navicross concept vehicle is a breakthrough all-conditions sport sedan that shatters the accepted car, crossover, and sport utility vehicle paradigms. Designed to be visually striking, dynamically engaging, and uniquely practical, Navicross creates an all new, yet unnamed industry niche. The Lincoln Navicross represents the next step in applying the Lincoln design DNA - a process that began wîth the Lincoln MK9 concept in 2001 and, a year later, the Lincoln Continental show car. By developing the design DNA through concepts, Lincoln is transforming its products, first by applying their influence in new Lincoln interior designs. Beginning wîth new 2002 and 2003 products, Lincoln has tripled its investment in interior design. Elements of the show cars are found in today's world-class interiors of the Lincoln Aviator and Navigator. 'Navicross demonstrates that the Lincoln vision can be both restrained and dramatic, providing an emotional and compelling outlook on the future of Lincoln's product range,' says Gerry McGovern, design director, Lincoln Mercury. 'We've shown how our interior designs translate into production. Through our concepts, our design DNA will continue to redefine the Lincoln brand inside and out.' The Navicross design exercise is intended to further develop the Lincoln design DNA and to explore what a uniquely Lincoln crossover vehicle could look like, while testing consumer reaction to a potentially groundbreaking new luxury market sector. Navicross is a modern product that suits the demands and desires of today's consumers and their active lifestyles. Lincoln has completely revamped its lineup wîth the all-new 2003 Navigator, redesigned 2003 Town Car sedan and LS sports sedan, and the all-new 2003 Aviator. Navicross is a signal of a near future vision for the brand. Lincoln will expand its lineup and further explore its design DNA as it introduces more new products later in the decade. Defining Navicross wîth traditional vehicle §egmènt descriptions is difficult because it is designed neither as a sport coupe, sport sedan, nor a sport utility, yet serves many of the purposes of all three. The Navicross is based on a modified Lincoln LS platform and deploys a full-time all-wheel-drive system wîth an adaptive traction control system. The sedan has coupe looks wîth center opening B-pillarless rear doors. 'We started wîth an advanced vehicle architecture that delivers the 'sport' that we were lòòking for in dynamics,' says McGovern. 'Then we sectioned to achieve the right proportions and gave it the stance that defines it as indefinable. We're not only testing the industry's definitions, we're stretching the luxury envelope.' Navicross has a similar size and shape to that of a sport sedan combined wîth a sport wagon wîth the ground clearance and breakover angles of a sport utility vehicle. It defies classification as a typical crossover vehicle because of sportier proportions and a unique 'three-box' silhouette shaped like none of the people-hauler-purposed crossovers currently on the market. Exterior The Navicross has a strong, solid, elegant, enduring exterior design that is unmistakably Lincoln. Dramatic proportions and overall architecture convey the strong stance and poise of the Navicross. Elegantly defined wheel arches balance subtle body side surface features. Large 20-inch wheels clad wîth all-terrain tires fill the wheel wells, giving Navicross increased ride height and functionality. Form and function coexist and complement each other throughout the design. While remaining all-terrain ready, the Navicross design is meant to be sensual and emotional in its surface language. Elegant and graceful upper bodylines make the Navicross look lively yet sophisticated. The pillarless center-opening doors provide exceptional ingress and egress to the interior, allowing the car to have a dramatic and sporting profile and still provide superior access. The horizontal indentation wîth inlay that runs through the front and rear fenders further defines the body side's strength and muscularity. The full-length body side brightwork frames the car's proportions and enhances its dynamic stance, as well as concealing the vehicle door handles. 'The brightwork is a modern interpretation of the near decadent levels of chrome that adorned the designs of the great luxury marques of the past,' says McGovern. 'This design pays homage to the sumptuous automobile art of another era in a distinctly contemporary fashion.' The Navicross further evolves Lincoln's signature front-end identity wîth its horizontal accent and the one-piece grille, incorporating a complex headlamp array using fiber optic ribbon and a remote 'light engine.' This innovation allows the package efficiency of the front end to be maximized, reducing overhangs to a minimum and keeping down the overall vehicle length. Lincoln has a heritage going back 85 years, wîth a distinct product DNA. 'For Lincoln, overall exterior DNA is optimized proportion and stance, combined wîth elements of restraint and formality,' says McGovern. 'The interior DNA provides optimization of space, while being inviting and indulgent. Intuitive functionality is another key element. All of these attributes can be seen in the Navicross.' Interior Like the exterior, the interior is a characteristic evolution of the Lincoln design DNA. Opening the doors reveals a ring frame made of high-strength composite materials, encircling the door opening to provide a visual cue to the integral strength and rigidity of the body structure. The door hinges are fully integrated into the frame, and move 90 degrees to provide maximum ease of vehicle ingress and egress. The interlocking center-opening doors provide integral side impact protection, and an integral rollover cage is designed into the vehicle supported by the door ring frame. 'Fully opening both doors provides a huge opening into the car's interior,' says McGovern. 'What one sees when lòòking into that opening is an interior that is both intriguing and inviting.' The interior theme is one of cleanliness and simplicity. A symmetrical instrument panel and doors are an important part of Lincoln's heritage. The overall form emphasizes the strength and power of the vehicle and its all-terrain capability. Its attitude is both sporty and rugged. 'A luxury interior must be comfortable, precisely executed, and sophisticated, ' says McGovern. 'The Navicross achieves this balance through sumptuous aniline leather seating, exquisite hair-on-hide door panels, and an exploration of the latest technologies in materials, screens, voice-activated systems, solar roof panels, and fiber optic lighting.' Navicross will deliver a superior sensory experience. Switchgear is kept to an absolute minimum in the cockpit. Two large interactive, organic light-emitting diode (LED) reconfigurable viewing screens are featured on the instrument panel, an evolution of the Continental concept car's high-tech organic LED approach seen in 2002. Both screens have delicate graphics and utilize jewel-like details for bezels and needles. The screen in front of the driver displays vehicle instrumentation including speedometer, tachometer and fuel level. The passenger side panel is designed to provide telematics and Internet access for such things as weather and stock exchange updates and concierge functions such as making hotel and restaurant reservations. The passenger-side panel doubles as the display for the vehicle navigation system. Functions are accessible by mouse or by voice. Other vehicle information, including settings of the THX-certified audio system and the climate control system, is easily accessed and viewed by a third, smaller screen on the center console. Source - Lincoln Sold for $23,100 at 2010 RM Auctions. The Lincoln Navicross Concept had a 114-inch wheelbase and a supercharged 32-valve 4.2-liter aluminum V8 engine and full-time all-wheel drive with adaptive traction control. The gearbox was a five-speed automatic with manual sequential function. The Navicross was part coupe, part sedan, and part crossover sport utility. The design was elegant with a strong stance and perfect poise. It rides on 20-inch wheels shod with all-terrain tires. It is based on the Lincoln LS platform and has center-opening pillarless doors. A horizontal one-piece grille incorporates a complex headlamp array using fiber optic ribbon and a remote 'light engine.' This innovation maximizes the packaging efficiency of the front end, minimizing overhang and reducing the overall vehicle length. Door hinges are fully integrated into a ring frame made of high-strength composite materials and rotate 90 degrees to provide maximum ease of ingress and egress. The interlocking doors provide integral side impact protection, and an integral rollover cage is designed into the vehicle, supported by the door ring frame. In 2010, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $40,000 - $60,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $23,100 inclusive of buyer's premium. Source: Internet

2004 Lincoln Mark X Concept

'The focus wîth Mark X was on pure, integrated design. Our holistic exterior and interior design approach instantly shows its rewards…' - Marek Reichman, Chief Designer • Mark X's sumptuous interior and integrated exterior design theme embody future Lincoln luxury. • Mark X is Lincoln's first convertible wîth a power-folding, retractable, glass-roofed hard top. The forward-lòòking design aspirations of Lincoln vehicles in the 21st century are expressed by the Mark X, Lincoln's first two-door convertible concept wîth a power-folding, retractable, glass-roofed hard top. Mark X, pronounced 'Mark Ten,' is a two-seat luxury convertible roadster that blends design elegance wîth driving athleticism. The use of rich materials, varying textures and contrasting colors represents an evolution of the current Lincoln design philosophy. Throughout its history, Lincoln has used the Mark name to signal a truly special vehicle. It began wîth Edsel Ford's first Continental, the Mark I. Next followed the 1956 Continental Mark II, which quickly became a classic because of its high quality, clean styling and consumate good taste. The 1969 Mark III went on to sell more than 30,000 units, making it at the time, Lincoln's most successful new model ever. Other Mark vehicles were introduced in the 1970s, '80's and '90's. The Mark X concept is designed to demonstrate the potential of the Lincoln brand by stretching its DNA to a sophisticated roadster. While a concept at this point, Mark X illustrates one possibility for expanding Lincoln into new luxury niches. 'The focus wîth Mark X was on pure, integrated design,' said Marek Reichman, chief designer. 'Our holistic exterior and interior design approach instantly shows its rewards, competing against the best personal luxury convertibles in the world.' Based on the rear-wheel-drive Ford Thunderbird architecture, Mark X features a 3.9-liter, 4-valve DOHC V-8 aluminum engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission delivering 280 horsepower and 286 foot-pounds of torque. Its athletic stance is accomplished through 19-inch, 12-spoke machined aluminum wheels wîth P245/40/R19 Michelin tires on the front and wider P275/35/R19 tires in the rear. Clean Surface Design Mark X's surface language is a model of precision engineering. Emphasis was placed on integrating design into the functional aspects of the car from the expansive grille to the innovative door handles to the sleek rear fascia. The result is an uncluttered exterior where essential details like the delicate contrast of Atlantic Pearl paint, chrome accents and well-placed Lincoln emblems are subtle, yet drape the vehicle in elegance. The focal point of Mark X's exterior is a new Lincoln grille. The polished aluminum egg-crate grille features a rhythmic pattern of solid horizontal and vertical chrome trim. Mark X's grille may appear on future Lincoln vehicles. Two High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps use an arc capsule to generate a faster response and produce double the amount of light compared to a conventional headlamp. Mark X's sleek 185-inch profile is accentuated through the refined use of a chrome finisher along the upper shoulder line that wraps the entire vehicle and a subtle shoulder break that runs front to rear. Únderstated breaks also appear on the rear deck and hood while heated exterior rear view mirrors wîth directional indicators are elongated for visual emphasis. Occupants access Mark X using slender polished aluminum door handles that are flush-mounted to the driver and passenger door surface. Thumb locators set in the door handles allow the handles to reveal themselves when pushed. Both doors can also be opened by remote keyless entry. To ease ingress and egress, one-piece hinges on the inside driver and passenger doors move the doors forward and out to give increased foot clearance at the front compared wîth conventional hinges. Mark X's boattail rear fascia offers pure and clean surfaces without typical bumper offsets. The wide, Light Emitting Diode (LED) tail lamps center the Lincoln emblem. The LEDs light up 200 milliseconds faster than traditional bulbs, consume less power and outlast more conventional lighting sources. Consistent wîth the vehicle's integrated design theme, the dual exhaust pipes are neatly placed into Mark X's sloping rear. At nearly 15 cubic feet, Mark X's leather-lined trunk is spacious. The fully powered two-piece glass roof is choreographed to stow smartly into the rear deck in less than 30 seconds without interfering wîth trunk space. Inviting and Indulgent Interior Mark X's high-quality interior showcases Ford Motor Company's tripling of investment in interior design. The interior workmanship of Mark X is flawlessly crafted. The right combination of contrasting colors and textured materials presents a modern and luxurious cabin. Mark X's Lime Sorbet interior is complemented wîth White Corian accents, polished aluminum, dark chrome, natural grain leather seating, plush sheepskin flooring and tailored tone-on-tone stitching throughout. The instrument panel integrates a softly illuminated, jewel-like instrument cluster that combines analog wîth digital technology. A solid flowing center console constructed of ribbed dark chrome separates driver and passenger, unites the interior wîth the exterior and conceals a storage unit in the rear bulk head. A laser-inscribed 'Lincoln Mark X' vanity plate above the glove box suggests an air of luxury. A four-spoke, power adjustable §teering wheel wrapped wîth leather and dark chrome features cruise, volume and navigation controls. Mark X's SelectShift transmission allows the driver to shift from manual drive to a five-speed automatic from the §teering wheel or shifter in the center console. A multi-functional, 7-inch LCD information panel is operated by a mouse located in the center console and displays satellite navigation, climate control status and vehicle dynamics like seat memory or tire pressure. Occupants further benefit from Mark X amenities like rain-sensing windshield wipers, an automatic dimming interior rear view mirror and Lincoln's exclusive THX®-certified audio system wîth six speakers, automatic mute control and automatic volume adjust. Dual zone climate control wîth pollen filtration allows a 30-degree F difference in temperature settings for the driver and passenger. Source - Lincoln Media Sold for $101,750 at 2010 RM Auctions. The Lincoln Mark X is the last of the 'Mark Lincolns', serving as the company's replacement to their MK9 Concept shown three years earlier. The Mark Ten was a direct take-off on the 2002-2005 two-seat Thunderbird but with a number of luxury touches. The Mark X had a new Lincoln grille. The polished aluminum egg-crate grille features a rhythmic pattern of solid horizontal and vertical chrome trim. Two High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps use an arc capsule to generate a faster response and produce double the amount of light compared to a conventional headlamp. The cars had polished aluminum door handles that are flush-mounted to the door surfaces. There are thumb locators set in the door handles which allow the handles to reveal themselves when pushed. There is a remote keyless entry system which can be used to open both doors. One-piece hinges move the doors forward and out to allow increased foot clearance at the front compared with conventional hinges. In the back are wide LED tail lamps that center the Lincoln emblem. There are dual exhaust pipes that are placed neatly into the sloping rear contour. Inside, there is a Lime Sorbet interior that is complemented with White Corian accents, polished aluminum, dark chrome, natural grain leather seating, plus sheepskin flooring and tailored tone-on-tone stitching throughout. There is a four-spoke, power adjustable steering wheel wrapped with leather and dark chrome features cruise, volume and navigation controls. The SelectShift transmission allows the driver to shift from manual drive to a five-speed automatic from the steering wheel or shifter in the center console. Power is from a 3.9-liter DOHC V8 engine delivering 280 horsepower. There are four-wheel power anti-lock disc brakes and a five-four-wheel independent coil spring suspension. In 2010, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $200,000 - $250,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $101,750 inclusive of buyer's premium. Source: Internet

2004 Lincoln Aviator Concept

Sold for $44,000 at 2010 RM Auctions. The Aviator Concept was Lincoln's first car-based 'crossover' sport utility vehicle. It made its public debut at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Perhaps one of its most prominent features was its new grille, which was soon to be seen on other Lincoln models. The polished egg-crate grille, reminiscent of Continental models of the past, had a rhythmic pattern of solid horizontal and vertical chrome trim. Also a cue from the 1961 Lincoln Continental were the grille surround which encompassed the headlamps. The face incorporates a nearly 2-inch by 4-inch Lincoln star and a bright horizontal blade by the lower air intake. The engine was a 4.6-liter DOHC V8 that delivered 302 horsepower. There was a six-speed automatic gearbox with overdrive and four-wheel hydraulic power anti-lock disc brakes. The Aviator Concept rode on 21-inch spoked wheels, made from a combination of polished and cast aluminum. In the center of the wheels were the Lincoln star. Additional polished brightwork was found running the length of the side windows, on the door handles, head-and tail lamps and vehicle badging. The glass lift-gate features a nearly 3-inch by 6-inch floating Lincoln star, integrating horizontal taillamps that stretch the full breadth of the rear and emphasizing the vehicle's width. The tailgate hinges flat, offering an unobstructed entry to an unexpected amount of interior cabin space. In 2010, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $40,000 - $60,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $44,000 inclusive of buyer's premium. Source: Internet

The 2002 Lincoln Continental Concept

Sold for $56,100 at 2010 RM Auctions. The Lincoln Continental Concept was a powerful executive car that had an understated appearance. There were center-opening power-operated doors that operated independently. They had pillarless aperture on each side stretching nearly six feel with both doors open. The articulating hinges allowed the doors to be opened 90 degrees and a right frame that added structural rigidity along the A-pillar, rear roof pillar, sill and roof rails. Under the hood was a 6.0-liter V12 engine that delivered 414 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. There were four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and a six-speed automatic transmission. The wheelbase measured 136.6-inches. Each door panel and in the headliner featured indirect fiber optic lighting. Headlamps also utilize fiber optic technology, using a single light generator ducted by fiber to each of the four round headlamps. This requires less power than conventional halogen bulbs but produces two-and-a-half times the illumination. The instrument panel makes use of Organic Light Emitting Diode technology, which uses a light-emitting polymer film. The deck lid is hydraulically-power operated and opens on a parallelogram linkage that keeps it horizontal at all times. When open, it provides easy access to three sliding storage draws fitted into the luggage compartment. A large luggage tray slides out by remote control to accept fitted Zero Halliburton luggage and golf club cases. In 2010, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $70,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $56,100 inclusive of buyer's premium. Source: Internet

1953 Lincoln Fifty-X

Source: Internet

1955 Lincoln Futura Concept

Some enthusiasts say that the Lincoln Futura was the most successful, and the most dramatic Lincoln concept vehicle that ever graced the circuit. The original Batmobile, the ultimate car that struck awe in countless fans for a decade was originally a concept dubbed the Lincoln Futura. Designed by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company, the Futura was constructed entirely by hand in Turin, Italy for an extreme $250,000. Ghia is famed for having the best pane beaters in the world, and at the time of the Futura, Ghia craftsmen were famous for their workmanship and preferred to work in metal over fiberglass. Much like many other concepts, the Futura was never actually put into production. The Lincoln Futura made its official debut on the auto show circuit in 1955. Even in comparison to other eccentric and exotic vehicles in the 1950's, the Futura's design style was considered extreme and even impractical. Unlike other concepts of the day though, the Futura was fully operable and featured a complete powertrain. The concept featured double, clear-plastic canopy top, huge outward-canted tailfins on both ends of the car and exaggerated hooded headlight pods. With a chassis that came directly from a Lincoln Mark II, the Futura was powered by a 368 cubic inch Lincoln engine and powertrain. As a show vehicle, the Futura was a tremendous success and was well received by an excited public that loved the futuristic machine. The Futura's headlights and tailfin motifs were used on production Lincolns for the 1956 and 1957 models, though in a much less ‘loud' way. This exciting car was also released as a model kit and a toy. Lincoln-Mercury's Division's chief stylist from 1945 until 1955, Bill Schmidt was the ultimate brains behind the design of the Futura. Schmidt was also responsible for updating the '50 and '51 Lincoln models and also the design of the 1952 Lincoln, the '53 Lincoln XL 500 concept vehicle and the '56 Lincoln. In 1940 Schmidt received his initial training at the old Ford Trade school before going to work in the Ford styling studio in 1942. Though he wasn't lead of the design team, Schmidt was an amazing stylist whose skill was apparent in the futuristic and prolific styling of the Futura. Responsible for the initial design behind it and the concept of the Futura, Schmidt had assistance from other engineers and stylists, but he had the distinct pleasure of seeing his project to completion. Schmidt's conceptual design of the Futura was inspired by a Bahamas vacation, a run-in with a shark, tropical sea life, and the shimmer of underwater fish. A mako shark and a mata ray get partial credit for the 1955 Lincoln Futura influences as well. Bill Mitchell, (Harley Earl's right hand man), also went with Schmidt and gained inspiration for the Corvette XP-755 Shark concept vehicle and the production 1963 Corvette Sting Ray. The vacation had a hermetic effect on Schmidt, Mitchell and on auto history in general. Schmidt sketched several renderings initially, since the Design Center Budget allocated 10 % of its finances for the design of this project. Schmidt put together a design team along with engineers to ensure that the design would actually be something that could be constructed. John Najjar carried out body development of the Futura while the engineering was taken care of by Martin Regitko. The 20 years following World War II were a craze of modern jet aircraft inspiration for vehicles, and the Futura was no exception. All of the futuristic innovations on the Futura; the air intakes at the front of the rear fins, the interior, the rear-end treatment, the front and rear fins, the ventilation system and the grille, were heavily based on America's love affair with aircrafts. Pearlescent, frost-blue white was the brand new color painted on the Futura, in Schmidt's attempts to capture the iridescence of the fish he had viewed in the Caribbean. This brilliant color was created by Ghia who ground and pulverized the scales of thousands of fish to mix into the paint color. Most concepts discreetly disappear following their debut, but not the Futura. A much more thrilling future was in store for the concept. One of the great Auto Customizers, George Barris purchased the Futura concept and since the car had never been titled and could not be insured, it remained parked behind its owners shop for several years. The Futura was allowed to fall into disrepair and many would have assumed that the story ended here. Not so for the Lincoln Futura. Barris was asked to design a theme vehicle in 1966 for what became the Batman TV series and he contracted styling Dean Jeffries to actually build the vehicle for the show. Starting with a 1959 Cadillac, Jeffries started on the design and the original fabrication for the Batmobile. The studio demanded something faster than that, and it was more than Jeffries could deliver, so he sent the project back to Barris. Barris used Jeffries initial vehicle, but he also had a feeling about the Futura due to its unique winged shape that made it a great beginning for the creation of the Batmobile. Bill Cushenberry was responsible for all metal modifications of the Batmobile. Five more corresponding models were constructed for the show circuit. The actual model used for the filming of the Batman series swapped out the Lincoln frame and engine with 1966 Ford Galaxie parts. The Futura concept lives on always as the Batmobile was the banal Sixties TV version of the Batman saga. The actual Batmobile is much better known in the history books than the Futura, which stings car enthusiasts. Source: Internet

1944 Lincoln Zephyr Ambulance

In 1936 Lincoln introduced the Zephyr, named and styled after the streamlined Burlington Zephyr express train. The train was an aerodynamic diesel powered streamliner that brought an end to the steam-engined trains and set many new speed-records. The Zephyr stayed in production until 1942 when it was discontinued to make way for the new Mercury line which was in a similar market segment. Since the Mercury's were derived from a Ford running gear and chassis they were cheaper to produce, Lincoln decided to cancel the Zephyr after only six years of production. The styling was courteous of the Dutch-Born designer John Tjaarda of the Briggs Body Corporation, however, prior to production Ford's stylist Bob Gregorie restyled the front end. Under the hood was a Ford-derived V-12 that produced 110 horsepower, not enough to do justice to the Zephyr name and what it represented, but a modest amount to carry the vehicle where it was tasked to travel. In 1936 around 15000 Zephyrs were constructed, nearly 80% of all Lincolns sold. Nearly 1500 were given coupe/sedan body-styles which were a two-door sedan configuration built on a chassis that could have accommodated four-doors. In the year 2005, Lincoln reintroduced the Zephyr. To help create excitement at auto shows, Lincoln purchased a 1936 Zerphyr serial number H-5739, to tour with the modern Lincoln Zephyr. Due to the onset of World War II, Lincoln switched to war-related production. Production resumed in 1946 and continued until 1948. Source: Internet

1956 Lincoln Custom Pioneere

Providing inspiration of the 1956 Premier, William M. Schmidt, Manager of Lincoln styling department, designed the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car basing his design on the Manta Ray and the Mako Shark, debuting January 8th of 1955 at the Chicago Auto Show at an estimated design cost of $250,000. The Futura is equally famous for its feature in the movie 'It Started With A Kiss' starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford and became the 'Batmobile' used in the famous 1960's TV show. Styled in the tradition of famous 1950's how cars is this custom built station wagon created in the likeness of the Hess & Eisenhart's station wagons produced for Cadillac in the 1950's. It features a 14-inch chassis stretch and a 52-inch roof stretch. Source: Internet

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lincoln Continental

1988-2002 This body Style The Lincoln Continental is an automobile that was produced by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company from 1939 to 1948 and again from 1956 to 2002. Despite often sharing underpinnings with less-expensive Fords in more recent years, the Lincoln Continental had usually been a distinctively platformed and styled, highly equipped luxury car in the course of its long history. The flagship Lincoln model during most of its run, the Continental name conveyed special cachet in the product line. During the 1980's, the Continental was downsized from a full-size to a mid-size Ford Taurus platform; this introduced the Continental to a wider range of competition from Europe and Japan. After the Continental was discontinued in 2002, it was largely replaced by the Lincoln LS and eventually the Lincoln MKS. First generation (1939–1948) Model years: 1940–1948 Body style: 2-door coupé 2-door convertible Layout: FR layout Engine: 292 cu in (4.8 L) Lincoln-Zephyr V12 Wheelbase: 125.0 in (3,175 mm) Length: 1940–41: 209.8 in (5,329 mm) 1942–48: 218.1 in (5,540 mm) Width: 1940–41: 75.0 in (1,905 mm) 1942–48: 77.8 in (1,976 mm) Height: 1940–41: 62.0 in (1,575 mm) 1942–48: 63.1 in (1,603 mm) Curb Weight: 4,000–4,300 lb (1,800–2,000 kg) Related: Lincoln-Zephyr (1940) Lincoln Zephyr (1941-42) Lincoln H-series (post-war) Designer(s): Eugene T. "Bob" Gregorie 1942 Lincoln Continental convertible front exterior view 1942 Lincoln Continental convertible interior The first Lincoln Continental was developed as Edsel Ford's one-off personal vehicle, though it is believed he planned all along to put the model into production if successful. In 1938, he commissioned a custom design from the chief stylist, Eugene T. "Bob" Gregorie, ready for Edsel's March 1939 vacation. The design, allegedly sketched out in an hour by Gregorie working from the Lincoln-Zephyr blueprints and making changes, was an elegant convertible with a long hood covering the Lincoln V12 and long front fenders, and a short trunk with what became the Continental series' trademark, the externally mounted, covered spare tire. They had front and rear transverse leaf springs and hydraulic drum brakes. 1948 Lincoln Continental coupé 1948 Convertible with view of "Continental" spare tire mount The result could be considered a channeled and sectioned Zephyr, with all traces of the running-boards removed. The decrease in height meant that the hood was much closer to fender-level, and the trim was minimal. When compared to other American cars of the period, it seemed long and low, with sleek "clean" lines. The first model Continental is often rated as one of the most beautiful automobile designs from the pre-world war II era. The customized one-off prototype was duly produced, on time, and Edsel had the vehicle delivered to Florida for his spring vacation. Interest from well-off friends was high, and Edsel sent a telegram back that he could sell a thousand of them. Lincoln craftsmen immediately began production on the Continental "Cabriolet" convertible, and even a rare few hardtop models. They were extensively hand-built; the two dozen 1939 models and 400 1940-built examples even had hand-hammered body panels, since dies for machine-pressing were not constructed until 1941. The limited number of 1939 models produced are commonly referred to as '1940 Continentals'. The 1939, 1940, and 1941 models were essentially the same design, with only slight modifications from year to year. For the 1942 model year, which was cut short by the beginning of direct American involvement in World War II, all Lincoln models were given squared up fenders, and a revised grill. The result was a boxier, somewhat heavier look in keeping with then-current design trends, but perhaps less graceful in retrospect. After the attack on Pearl Harbor US civilian-use automobile production was suspended, to be restarted in 1945-1946. Ford's Lincoln division would continue to produce the Continental for model years 1946 to 1948. Like all other post-war Lincolns it received updated trim, including a new grill, to refresh the design. Walnut interior trim was added in 1947. The 1939–1948 Continental is recognized as a "Full Classic" by the Classic Car Club of America, one of the last-built cars to be so recognized. To date, the 1948 lincolns were the last V-12 engined cars to be produced and sold by a major U.S. automaker. Second generation (1956–1957) Continental Mark II Model Years: 1956–1957 Assembly: Dearborn, Michigan, USA Body style: 2-door hardtop Layout: FR layout Engine: 368 cu in (6.0 L) Y-block V8 Wheelbase: 126.0 in (3,200 mm) Length: 218.4 in (5,547 mm) Width: 77.5 in (1,969 mm) Height: 56.3 in (1,430 mm) Curb weight: 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) Designer(s): Bill Schmidt Continental Mark II rear view, showing the "continental tire hump" The Continental name was revived in 1955 as a separate Ford brand, with its sole model being the Continental Mark II. This version was a unique design with the highest quality control ever seen in the automobile industry. High-class luxury abounded in the new Continental, and with very limited availability, it appeared even more exclusive than the original. Continental for 1956 was one of the most expensive cars in the world—with a cost of $10,000 at a time when a regular Ford could be had for less than $2000,[citation needed] it rivaled Rolls-Royce. But despite its astronomical price tag, Ford Motor Company actually lost money on each one sold. On a side note, Cadillac suffered a similar financial loss with its own Continental rival, the four-door Eldorado Brougham. Vehicles such as these were image builders for the two companies, as well as test beds for new ideas and concepts. The Continental Mark II was sold for just two model years. Between the tales of dealers turning potential buyers away because they were not deemed to be the right kind of people to own a Continental,[citation needed] and its sticker price found affordable by only the world's wealthiest, the Continental became almost mythical. Many celebrities drove them, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, the Shah of Iran, Nelson Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger among others. The 1956 film High Society includes several scenes with a Mark II. The 1957 film drama Sweet Smell of Success includes a brief glimpse of the Mark II; the car belongs to Burt Lancaster's Broadway-columnist character J.J. Hunsecker. Total production equaled 2,996 including two convertibles. As an aside; while on later models it was purely for decoration the Mark II did in fact carry the spare under the trunk lid's stamped-in tire cover. Third generation (1958–1960) Model years: 1958–1960 Assembly: United States: Wixom, Michigan (Wixom Assembly) Body style: 2-door hardtop 2-door convertible 4-door sedan 4-door Landau hardtop 4-door Town Car sedan 4-door Limousine Layout: FR layout Engine: 430 cu in (7.0 L) MEL V8 Transmission: 3-speed Turbo-Drive automatic Wheelbase: 131.0 in (3,327 mm) Length: 1958: 229.0 in (5,817 mm) 1959: 227.1 in (5,768 mm) 1960: 227.2 in (5,771 mm) Width: 1958–59: 80.1 in (2,035 mm) 1960: 80.3 in (2,040 mm) Height: 1958: 56.5 in (1,435 mm) 1959–60: 56.7 in (1,440 mm) Curb weight: 5,000–5,700 lb (2,300–2,600 kg) Related: Lincoln Mark series Lincoln Premiere Lincoln Capri Designer(s): John Najjar 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III Landau hardtop sedan with "breezeway" window - this particular car was owned by the Lao royal family 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Town Car 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V After the Continental Mark II was discontinued, a new generation of the brand appeared for 1958. These were the first Continentals produced at the new Wixom plant, and the first made on a unibody platform since the original Continental. Though this edition is known as the "Mark III," the first models bore the nameplate "Continental III" on the front fender. While advertising brochures made the case that Continental was still a separate make, the car shared its body with that year's Lincoln. They differed from the lower-model full-size Lincolns in trim level and in their roof treatment, featuring a reverse-angle power rear "breezeway" window that retracted down behind the back seat. Hand assembly was gone, allowing for lower prices. Even so, Lincoln lost over sixty million dollars over 1958–1960, partly reflecting the enormous expense of developing what is perhaps the largest unibody car ever made. In addition there was the fact that that year's full-size Lincoln sold poorly in all models; 1958 was a recession year in the U.S. But in spite of that, the Continental Mark III recorded much better sales than the Mark II. AM radio was standard. A rare option was an FM radio. The A/C vents were located on the ceiling. The new Lincoln was one of the largest cars ever made, larger than that year's Cadillac, and with their canted headlights and scalloped fenders had styling considered by many to be excessive even in that decade of styling excess. They are the longest Lincolns ever produced without federally mandated 5 mph (8.0 km/h) bumpers. The 63.1 inches (1,603 mm) front and 63.0 inches (1,600 mm) rear shoulder room they possessed set a record for Lincoln that still stands to this day; while the 44.0 inches (1,118 mm) front and 44.9 inches (1,140 mm) rear leg room make it one of the roomiest vehicles ever produced. Furthermore, the 1959–60 Continental Limousine and Town Car (which had the same wheelbase as other Continentals but the same rear seat legroom as Lincoln due to the absence of the "breezeway" window) are the heaviest American sedans without an extended wheelbase built since WW II, and the 1958 Continental convertible is the longest American convertible produced with the exception of the (extremely rare) 1934-37 Cadillac V-16 convertibles. The 1959's range contained the original Continental Mark IV, and the 1960, the original Continental Mark V, with more restrained styling than the 1958. Two new body styles were added for 1959 and 1960, both on the same wheelbase as other Continentals, but without the reverse-angle "breezeway" window: a formal Town Car and an even more formal Limousine. Both cars had dual air conditioning units, a distinctive padded roof and were available only in black. The Limousine added a driver's partition for additional rear seat privacy. The Town Car, costing $9,200, sold only 214 over both years, and the Limousine, costing $10,200, sold only 83 over both years. One feature of these cars was the "Auto Lube", that, as long as the owner kept the lube reservoir full, the car automatically lubed itself. However, the 1958–1960 Marks were technically Lincolns as the Continental division was dropped after the Mark II. And this marked the last time that a Continental would share no major chassis components with a model made by Ford or Mercury as the 1961 Continental would share major components with the contemporaneous Ford Thunderbird. Design Epilogue 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V convertible 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible The reputation for "excessive styling" is perhaps ironic given the enormous amount of styling talent that was connected with the development and modification of Continentals of this vintage (as well as given the elaborate marketing efforts at eliminating all memory of these Marks). George W. Walker, known for his contribution to the development of the original Ford Thunderbird, was Vice-President in charge of Styling at Ford during this time. Elwood Engel, famous for being lead designer of generation four of the Lincoln Continental and for his work as chief designer at Chrysler in the 1960's, was Staff Stylist (and consequently roamed all of the design studios) at Ford during this period and worked very closely with John Najjar in developing not only the 1958, but also the 1959 update. After John Najjar was relieved of his responsibilities as Chief Stylist of Lincoln in 1957 he became Engel's executive assistant, and the two worked closely together in the "stilleto studio" in developing the fourth generation Lincoln Continental, which of course won an award for its superlative styling. After Engel left Ford in 1961, Najjar became the lead designer of the Ford Mustang I concept car, which later gave birth to the Ford Mustang. Don Delarossa, who succeeded Najjar as Chief Stylist of Lincoln, was responsible for the 1960 update, and went on to become chief designer at Chrysler in the 1980's. Alex Tremulis, who was Chief Stylist at Auburn-Cord-Deusenberg in the mid to late 1930's and famous for his work on the 1948 Tucker Sedan, was head of Ford's Advanced Styling Studio during this period, and it was his Ford La Tosca concept car, with its oval overlaid with an "X" theme, that gave birth to the "slant eyed monster" nickname to the 1958 Continental front end. And, perhaps most ironic of all, L. David Ash was Lincoln's Executive Exterior Stylist when Najjar was in charge of Lincoln styling, the same L. David Ash who would later play such a prominent role as Chief Stylist of Ford in designing the 1969–1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III, which helped cause Continentals of this vintage (together with a marketing decision by then Ford Executive Vice-President Lee Iacocca) to be called the "forgotten Marks". Fourth generation (1961–1969) Model years: 1961–1969 Assembly: United States: Wixom, Michigan (Wixom Assembly) Body style: 2-door hardtop 4-door sedan 4-door convertible Layout: FR layout Engine: 430 cu in (7.0 L) MEL V8 460 cu in (7.5 L) 385-series V8 462 cu in (7.6 L) MEL V8 Transmission: 3-speed Turbo-Drive automatic 3-speed C6 automatic Wheelbase: 1961–63: 123.0 in (3,124 mm) 1964–1969: 126.0 in (3,200 mm) Length: 1961: 212.4 in (5,395 mm) 1962–63: 213.3 in (5,418 mm) 1964–65: 216.3 in (5,494 mm) 1966–68: 220.9 in (5,611 mm) 1969: 224.2 in (5,695 mm) Width: 1961–65: 78.6 in (1,996 mm) 1966–69: 79.7 in (2,024 mm) Height: 1961–1963: 53.6 in (1,361 mm) 1964–1965: 54.2 in (1,377 mm) 1966–1968: 55.0 in (1,397 mm) 1969: 54.2 in (1,377 mm) Curb weight: 5,000–5,700 lb (2,300–2,600 kg) Designer(s): Elwood Engel In 1961, the Continental was completely redesigned by Elwood Engel. For the first time, the names Lincoln and Continental would be paired together outside the Mark Series; along with replacing the Continental Mark V, the 1961 Continental replaced the Lincoln Capri and Premiere, consolidating Lincoln into a single product line. Originally intended to be the 1961 Ford Thunderbird, the design was enlarged and slightly altered before being switched to the Lincoln line by Robert McNamara. One of the most striking features of the new Continental was its size. It was 14.8 in (380 mm) shorter than its predecessor. So much smaller was this car, that advertising executives at Ford photographed a woman parallel parking a sedan for a magazine spread. The new Continental's most recognized trademark, front-opening rear "suicide doors", was a purely practical decision. The new Continental rode on a wheelbase of 123 inches (3,100 mm), and the doors were hinged from the rear to ease ingress and egress. When the Lincoln engineers were examining the back seats that styling had made up, the engineers kept hitting the rear doors with their feet. Hinging the doors from the rear solved the problem. The doors were to become the best-known feature of 1960s Lincolns. To simplify production (in the beginning, anyway), all cars were to be four-door models, and only two body styles were offered, sedan and convertible. The 1961 model was the first car manufactured in the U.S. to be sold with a 24,000 mi (39,000 km) or 2-year bumper-to-bumper warranty. It was also the first postwar four-door convertible from a major U.S. manufacturer. Walnut-paneling was on the doors. Despite the smaller exterior dimensions, at 4,927 lb (2,235 kg), the new sedan was only 85 lb (39 kg) lighter than the lightest 1960 Lincoln four-door sedan (2 lb less than a two-door); at 5,215 lb (2,365 kg), the convertible outweighed its 1960 predecessor by 39 lb (18 kg). As a result (save for their respective nine-passenger models) the new Lincoln was still heavier than anything from Cadillac. or Imperial. This solid construction led to a rather enviable reputation as "Corporate management was determined to make it the finest mass-produced domestic automobile of its time and did so." The 1961 Continental was Elwood Engel's Magnum Opus, as he was responsible for the complete design of the car. It was a sales success, with 25,160 sold during the first year of production. This generation of Continental is favored by collectors and has appeared in many motion pictures, such as The Matrix, The Last Action Hero, Kalifornia and the Inspector Gadget films. It has also appeared in the television series Pushing Daisies, and in the opening sequence of the television series Entourage. Ford produced several concept cars which recalled this design. In 2007, Lincoln's Navigator and MKX SUV lines adopted chrome grilles in the style of these Continentals. 1963 Lincoln Continental This so-called "slab-side" design ran from 1961 to 1969 with few changes from year to year. Lincoln dealers began to find that many people who bought 1961 and post-1961 models were keeping their cars longer. In 1962, a simpler front grille design with floating rectangles and a thin center bar was adopted. Sales climbed over 20% in 1962, to 31,061. Due to customer requests, for 1963 the front seat was redesigned to improve rear-seat legroom; the rear deck lid was also raised to provide more trunk space. The floating rectangles in the previous year's grille became a simple matrix of squares. The car's electrical system was updated this model year when Ford replaced the generator with an alternator. For 1963, another 31,233 were sold. 1965 Lincoln Continental The wheelbase was stretched 3 in (76 mm) in 1964 to improve the ride and add rear-seat legroom, while the roofline was squared off at the same time. The dash was also redesigned, doing away with the pod concept. Flat window glass was for additional interior space. The gas tank access door, which had been concealed at the rear of the car in the rear grille, was now placed on the driver's side rear quarter panel. The exterior "Continental" script was changed and the rear grille replaced by a simple horizontally elongated Continental star on the rear deck lid. 36,297 were sold that year. The convex 1962–1964 grille was replaced by a flatter, squared-off one for 1965. The car was given front disc brakes to improve stopping distances. For the first time, parking lamps and front turn signals were integrated into the front quarter panels instead of the bumper. Taillights were fitted with a ribbed chrome grille on each side. With the facelift, sales improved about 10%, to 40,180 units. An oil pressure gauge was added. Front seat belts with retractors were now standard. 1966 Lincoln Continental four-door convertible A two-door pillarless hardtop version was launched in 1966, the first two-door Lincoln since 1960, and the MEL engine was expanded from 430 cu in (7.0 L) to 462 cu in (7.6 L) cubic inches. The car was given all-new exterior sheet metal and a new interior. Parking lights and front turn signals went back into the front bumper, and taillights set in the rear bumper for the first time. The length was increased by 4.6 in (117 mm) to 220.9 in (5,611 mm), the width by 1.1 in (28 mm) to 79.7 in (2,024 mm), and the height (on the sedan) by 0.8 in (20 mm) to 55.0 in (1,397 mm) high. Curved side glass returned, however tumblehome was less severe than in earlier models. The convertible saw a few technical changes related to lowering and raising the top. Lincoln engineers separated the hydraulics for the top and rear deck lid (trunk) by adding a second pump and eliminating the hydraulic solenoids. A glass rear window replaced the plastic window used previously. To lure potential Cadillac buyers, 1966 Continental prices were reduced almost US$600 without reducing equipment levels. It succeeded, helping boost sales to 54,755 that year, an increase of 36%, all of it due to the new two-door; sales of both four-door models slipped slightly. Product breakdown for the year consisted of 65% sedans, 29% coupes, and just under 6% for the four-door convertible. 1966 was the first year a tape player was available and a new tilt steering wheel. The 1967 Continental was almost identical to the 1966. The most obvious external difference is that the 1966 model has the Lincoln logo on each front fender, ahead of the front wheel; this does not appear on the 1967 model. It was also the end for the four-door convertible, down to just 2,276 units, a drop of 28% over 1966. In addition to being the last production four-door convertible; at 5,505 pounds (2,497 kg) the 1967 convertible holds the distinction of being the heaviest Lincoln since the Model K, and was even 55 pounds heavier than the Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 Limousine of that year. Total production was 45,667. Warning lights on the dash included a cruise control on, truck open, and an oil pressure light. Safety came to the forefront in 1967–68 and resulted in energy-absorbing steering columns, "safety" padded interiors, and lap safety belts for all passengers. 1968 saw shoulder belts for outboard front passengers as well. 1968 brought some exterior changes. The parking lights, taillights, and front turn signals were once again in a wraparound design on the fenders to satisfy Federal standards for side marker lights, but looked very different from those of the 1965 model. The new 460 cu in (7.5 l) Ford 385 engine was to be available initially, but there were so many 462 cu in (7.57 l) Ford MEL engine engines still available, the 460 was phased in later that year. In April, the new Mark III made its debut, as a 1969 model. Total sales would be down to just 39,134. 1969 was the last production year with rear-opening "suicide doors", with few changes from 1968 (including the addition of federally-mandated head restraints). Sales held steady at 38,383 for the Continental, plus another 30,858 for the new Continental Mark III. In the CBS television situation comedy Green Acres (1965–1971), in which the cars were furnished by Ford Motor Company, lead character Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert) is shown driving a 1965 Continental convertible and then in later episodes owns a 1967 model. Kennedy Limousine SS-100-X For the Kennedy White House, the Secret Service purchased a convertible parade limousine custom built by Hess & Eisenhart of Cincinnati, Ohio, from a 1961 Lincoln four-door convertible. Code named the SS-100-X, it was in this car that JFK was assassinated in 1963. By that time, the front of the car had been updated with the grille/headlight/bumper assembly from the 1962 model. After the assassination, the limousine was returned to Hess & Eisenhart, where it was repaired and retrofitted with full armor and a fixed roof. It subsequently continued in service for the White House for many years. This world-famous car is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Fifth generation (1970–1979) Model years: 1970–1979 Assembly: United States: Wixom, Michigan (Wixom Assembly) Body style: 2-door hardtop 2-door coupe 4-door pillared hardtop Layout: FR layout Platform: Full-size Ford Engine: 400 cu in (6.6 L) Cleveland V8 460 cu in (7.5 L) 385-series V8 Transmission: 3-speed C6 automatic Wheelbase: 1970–73: 127.0 in (3,226 mm) 1974–79: 127.2 in (3,231 mm) Length: 1970–72: 225.0 in (5,715 mm) 1973: 229.9 in (5,839 mm) 1974: 232.6 in (5,908 mm) 1975–76: 232.9 in (5,916 mm) 1977–79: 233.0 in (5,918 mm) Width: 1970–73: 79.6 in (2,022 mm) 1974–75: 80.0 in (2,032 mm)< 1976: 80.3 in (2,040 mm) 1977: 80.0 in (2,032 mm) 1978–79: 79.9 in (2,029 mm) Height: 1970: 55.7 in (1,415 mm) 1971–72: 55.6 in (1,412 mm) 1973: 55.5 in (1,410 mm) 1974: 55.4 in (1,407 mm) 1975: 55.6 in (1,412 mm) 1976: 55.5 in (1,410 mm) 1977: 55.2 in (1,402 mm) 1978–79: 55.4 in (1,407 mm) Curb weight: 4,900–5,400 lb (2,200–2,400 kg) Related: Ford Galaxie/LTD Mercury Marquis/Grand Marquis Designer(s): Buzz Grisinger For 1970, the Continental received a ground-up redesign for the first time since 1961. Available again as a two-door hardtop and a four-door pillared hardtop, the Continental borrowed a number of styling cues from both its predecessor and the Continental Mark III. As before, the sides were relatively unadorned with blade-like fenders, but the door handles on 4-doors gave away the biggest change: the distinctive "suicide doors" were replaced by conventional front-hinged doors. Like the Mark III, the Continental now wore hidden headlamps. Unibody construction was replaced by cheaper body-on-frame construction; on the upside, the old rear leaf springs were replaced by coil springs. An automatic parking brake release, two-way power seats, power front disc brakes(read drum), headlamp doors closed light, and ajustable head restraints where standard. 1973 Lincoln Continental hardtop coupe Another major change to the Continental lay under the skin; for the first time, it shared a common platform with the full-size Ford LTD and Mercury Marquis. The 1970 model was the first time ever a standard Lincoln shared a chassis with the full-sized Fords, somewhat expected as the Ford in LTD form had increasingly marketed itself as a "poor man's Lincoln" in the late 60's. "In essence, the new Lincoln was to the Ford and Mercury what the General Motors C-Body offerings (especially the Cadillac) were to the medium priced car lines that employed the B-shell." In mid-model year 1972, Lincoln's long history of distinct engines from its corporate counterparts came to an end as the 460 V8 became available in the Mercury Marquis and Colony Park. To move upmarket from Ford and Mercury, the full-size Lincoln product line gained two nameplates with two popular option packages. In 1970, the Town Car name (dormant since 1959) was revived; in 1973, a corresponding two-door Town Coupe was introduced. In addition to the standard Continental, the Town Car/Town Coupe offered a limousine-style vinyl top and more standard equipment. Front disc brakes were standard. During its lifecycle, this generation of Continental saw a number of changes. From 1970 to 1974, each model year wore a different grille style. In 1973 and 1974, the Continental (to comply with federal mandate) was fitted with 5-mph bumpers in the front and rear, respectively. In comparison to the 1970 model, the 5-mph bumpers seen on 1975–1979 models left the Continental 7 inches longer. 1975 Facelift 1975 Lincoln Continental Town Car 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car For 1975, the 2-door hardtop model was replaced with a pillared coupe; the 4-door received a new roofline to further differentiate it from Ford and Mercury models. The Continental Town Coupe received a square opera window in its C-pillar while the Town Car received an oval one (similar to the Mark IV). Braking performance, a sore point on full-size American cars of the time, was improved as the Continental became one of the first American cars (besides the Corvette) with 4-wheel disc brakes. Front and rear leg room was 42 inches. In 1977, the grille changed from a rectangular unit to the Rolls-Royce style radiator grille seen on the Mark Series; variations of this style would be used on the Continental and Town Car until 1997. The new grille was both higher and narrower than in previous years, but the position of the headlamps remained unchanged. To hold the line on price and to increase fuel economy, previously standard luxury features gradually became optional over the decade, with the 460 cu in (7.5 L) engine becoming an option during the 1977 model year (the dealer Product Facts Books received revised insert pages in March 1977 showing the 400 then being standard and the 460 optional). Model Year 1978 Continentals had the 400 standard and the 460 optional but for Model Year 1979 the 460 was dropped and only the 400-cubic-inch (6.6 L) engine was available. After Model Year 1976, the 460-4V was no longer available in California and all Californian Continentals from 1977-1979 came only with the 400-2V. Rear fender skirts were reduced in height for the 1978 model year, revealing more of the wheel opening. Four-wheel disc brakes were optional. The 1970-1977 models share the same dash design then for 1978 and 1979 Lincoln replaced it with a plusher version of the contemporary Mercury Marquis dash. By 1979, the Continental measured 233.0 in (5,920 mm) and weighed between 4,900–5,500 lb (2,200–2,500 kg) depending on the year. After General Motors downsized its full-size product lineup for 1977, the Continental became the largest mass-market automobile produced worldwide at the time, surpassed only by purpose-built limousines such as the Mercedes-Benz 600 and Rolls-Royce Phantom VI. The 460 cid V8 was also the largest-displacement engine in any production car worldwide from 1977 to 1978. Golden Anniversary Town Car (1971) A Golden Anniversary Town Car was offered in 1971 to commemorate Lincoln's 50th anniversary. This limited edition model featured full vinyl roof, unique leather interior, glove box vanity mirror, 22 carat gold keys, and a commemorative plaque on the dashboard. In addition to the Continental's other exterior color choices, a Golden Anniversary-exclusive gold moondust metallic paint was also available. Approximately 1,600 were produced. Williamsburg Town Car In 1977, 1978, and 1979 Williamsburg Town Car packages were offered featuring unique dual shade paint with custom accent stripes, full vinyl roof, power vent windows, 6-way power twin comfort lounge seats, and lighted vanity mirrors. Collector's Series (1979) In 1979, a "Collector's Series" option package was available to commemorate the last year of the large Lincolns, which added virtually every Lincoln feature and raised the price of the Continental sedan to approximately $16,500. Among the select few extra-cost options were power moonroof, 40-channel CB radio, "Sure-Track" brake system, and leather interior. The price of a fully equipped Continental Collector's Series could exceed $18,000. There were only four colors available: dark blue, white and limited-issue medium blue (197 built) and light silver (125 built) with a dark-blue vinyl top. A similar but much pricier Collector's Series package was also available on the Continental Mark V. Rear view of 1979 Continental Town Car Sixth generation (1980) In order to meet federal fuel economy standards, the Continental underwent downsizing for the 1980 model year (three years after Cadillac). For the first time, Lincoln shared a common platform (the Ford Panther platform) with full-size Ford and Mercury sedans. In the redesign, the Continental shed fourteen inches in length, two inches in width, ten inches in wheelbase, and nearly a half-ton in weight; downsizing had brought some models of the Continental to within 200 pounds of the curb weight of the Versailles (marketed as a compact car). The Panther platform also served as the basis for the all-new Mark VI, a coupe sharing the wheelbase of the Ford LTD as well as the first 4-door Mark-series sedan. Gone forever was the 400 Ford 335 engine, replaced with the 302 cid 5.0 Windsor, the smallest engine in a Lincoln since the 292 cid Lincoln-Zephyr V12, last seen in 1948. The 351 cid Windsor was a relatively rare one year only option available in 1980. More important by far in the total Continental powertrain picture was the new 4-speed Automatic Overdrive Transmission (AOD). Developed under the name Ford Integral Overdrive (FIOD), this industry-first featured both a mechanically engaged overdrive (0.67/1 ratio) fourth gear and third and fourth gear torque converter lock-up. When combined with weight reduction this more-efficient powertrain provided the 1980 Lincoln and Mark with the best year-to-year fuel economy improvement (38%) in Ford history. The introduction of a standard overdive transmission enabled Lincoln to leap its competitors, going from the company with the worst CAFE rating to the most fuel-efficient full-size car sold. During the 1970's, the Town Car trim level on the Continental had become increasingly popular, and in 1981, the Town Car took its place as Lincoln's standard full-size car. For 1981, the Continental name went on a brief hiatus, as it was to appear on an entirely different car the next year as Lincoln sought to expand its lineup beyond full-size cars. The only appearance of the Continental for 1981 was as the Mark VI coupe and sedan. Seventh generation (1982–1987) Model years: 1982–1987 Assembly: United States: Wixom, Michigan (Wixom Assembly) Predecessor: Lincoln Versailles Body style: 4-door sedan Layout: FR layout Platform: Ford Fox platform Engine: List of engines Transmission: 4-speed AOD automatic 4-speed ZF 4HP22 automatic (turbodiesel) Wheelbase: 108.5 in (2,756 mm) Length: 200.7"(1985) Width: 73.6"(1985) Related: Ford Granada Ford Thunderbird Mercury Cougar After a one-year absence, 1982 saw the Continental name reapplied to a mid-size car based on the long-wheelbase version of the Ford Fox platform. Intended to compete with the Cadillac Seville (priced in 1982 from $23,433), the new Continental was priced from $21,302. Unlike the Seville, which switched to a front-wheel drive chassis for 1980, the 1982 Continental remained rear-wheel drive. While the now-unrelated Mark VI was produced in coupe and 4-door styles, the new Continental was strictly a four-door sedan. For 1982, the Continental was offered in base, Signature Series, and Givenchy Designer Series trim. Starting in 1983, the Signature Series trim was dropped but base and Designer (Givenchy and/or Valentino) trims continued through 1987. The 1982 Signature Series and Givenchy Designer Series Continentals included many additional standard features and added $3,100 to $3,500 to the price of the base model. Fully optioned Signature and Givenchy models would top out at over $26,500 (approximately $63,819 in today's dollars) and were among the most expensive Lincoln sedans built to date. 1982 Continental Givenchy Edition, side view In the early 1980's, variations of the so-called "bustle-back" styling were offered on the Cadillac Seville and Chrysler Imperial. The look never caught on: the Imperial was a huge disappointment for Chrysler; only 10,981 were sold in the U.S. over three model years. Sales of the Seville — one of Cadillac's success stories of the late 1970's — dropped by 26% a year after its redesign, selling at half the rate of the Eldorado, despite their sharing a common platform. Two years behind the Seville, Continental's focus groups discovered — too far along the development process — that the bustle-back trunk was a design past its prime, if in fact there ever was one. An 11th-hour change was the addition of a horizontal brushed-chrome strip that ran along each side of Continental. This added trim (along with plentiful two-tone color combinations) gave it a more conventional appearance in comparison to the Seville. For the first time, the Continental wore its namesake imitation spare tire bulge on the decklid. The standard powertrain for 1982 was shared with the Town Car; a carbureted version of the Ford 302 cid V8 backed by the new 4-speed AOD automatic transmission. Fuel injection replaced the carburetor in 1983, upgraded to sequential injection in 1986; the 1982 Continental was the last Lincoln equipped with a carbureted engine. The 1982 configuration put out 131 hp (98 kW) and 229 pound-feet (310 N·m) torque. As a no-cost option (for 1982 only) was the first six-cylinder engine in a Lincoln: a 3.8 L V6 shared with the Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar. To counter the optional diesel engines available from Cadillac and European automakers, Lincoln introduced a 2.4 L turbodiesel six-cylinder engine (purchased from BMW) in 1984. The diesel-powered Continental was rarely ordered and was discontinued in 1985. This car introduced two industry firsts: gas-charged shock absorbers and self-sealing tires. 1984 Facelift 1984–1987 Lincoln Continental For 1984 (to keep in line with the new Mark VII), the $21,769 Continental got freshened styling with flush-fitting front and rear bumpers, revised tail lamps, a new header panel featuring an angled grille flanked by recessed quad headlamps and larger wrap-around marker lights incorporating cornering lamps, and satin-black trim on the doors and dashboard. Wood veneer appeared on the door panels and dashboard, although by 1986, the simulated wood was back. Continental continued through the 1987 model year with few changes, save for paint schemes and upholstery patterns. In what became Lincoln fashion since the early 70's, brand-name designer labels appeared on the upper-rung models. Cartier was the top Town Car model, American designer Bill Blass and Italian sportswear mogul Versace both chose schemes for Mark VII, while French designer Hubert de Givenchy and Italian-born Valentino gave their personal touches to the Continental. Comparison with Versailles The 1982–1987 Continental was a 'spiritual successor' to the Lincoln Versailles compact of the 1970's. Like the earlier Versailles (which shared most of its sheet-metal, drivetrain, and chassis with the Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch), the new Continental — serving as a premium model for Lincoln — was based on a lower-rung Ford model using the Fox platform. Originally introduced for the 1978 Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr, the 105.5 in (2,680 mm) wheelbase was stretched 3 in (76 mm) for the Continental. In a parallel, the 1976 Seville shared much of its underpinnings with the Chevrolet Nova; the difference between GM and Ford was that by 1977, Lincoln styling cues were carried across the entire Ford lineup (with the exceptions of Pinto and Mustang II). As such, the Granada was already a much more formal looking car that appealed directly to former full-size buyers looking for something more economical without a loss of comfort. Contrary to its reputation; the Versailles was actually thoroughly refined over the Granada, and even included the "first clear coat paint on a regular production car." But the 1982–1987 Continental differed greatly than Versailles in that Continental would not repeat the mistake of taking an existing body and slapping a Lincoln grille on it. Instead, the 1982 Continental had a unique body and interior, both giving a feeling of luxury true to Lincoln's image. Ford learned the lesson of too much brand sharing quickly; Lincoln would continue to share chassis with lesser models, but it would always have unique bodies and styling to justify its premium pricing. The Continental succeeded where Versailles had failed in the sales race. Eighth generation (1988–1994) Model years: 1988–1994 Assembly: United States: Wixom, Michigan (Wixom Assembly) Body style: 4-door sedan Layout: FF layout Platform: Ford D186 platform Engine: 3.8 L Essex V6 Transmission: 4-speed AXOD-E automatic Wheelbase: 109.0 in (2,769 mm) Length: 1988–1993: 205.1 in (5,210 mm) 1994: 205.6 in (5,222 mm) Width: 1988–1993: 72.7 in (1,847 mm) 1992–94: 72.3 in (1,836 mm) Height: 1988–1991: 55.6 in (1,412 mm) 1992–94: 55.4 in (1,407 mm) Related: Ford Taurus Mercury Sable Ford Windstar By the late 1980's, the near-luxury segment in which the Continental competed had changed drastically from a decade before. In addition to traditional competitors Cadillac and Chrysler, the downsized Continental now competed in the same price and size segments as Acura, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Saab, and Volvo. For the 1988 model year, the Continental was given a clean-sheet, aerodynamic redesign. 1989 Continental Signature Series In a shift to front-wheel drive, the new Continental was based on a long-wheelbase variant of the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable; no exterior sheetmetal was shared between them. While gaining four inches in length, it shed 170 pounds in weight over its 1987 predecessor. No longer intended as a successor to the Versailles, the new generation sought a new role of making Lincoln competitive against import brands. Although much of its non-domestic competition still retained rear-wheel drive, the switch to front-wheel drive brought Lincoln in line with the downsized Cadillac lineup and allowed platform sharing with the newly-introduced Taurus; by interior volume, the Continental was the largest front-wheel drive car sold in 1988. The 1988 Continental featured many technological advancements, including the first Lincoln equipped with a driver's side air bag restraint system and an adaptive air-ride suspension system, which leveled the vehicle depending on factors such as load and speed. The Continental was equipped with speed-sensitive power steering which varied the amount of power assist depending on speed in order to facilitate easier low-speed maneuvers, such as parking, while providing for a tighter steering feel at highway speeds. For the first time since the discontinuation of the V12 engine, no V8 was available on the Continental. The sole engine choice from 1988 to 1994 was a 3.8 L Essex V6. Horsepower grew from 140 in 1988, to 155 in 1991, and then to 160 in 1993. The switch to front-wheel drive allowed for the return of 6-passenger seating back to the Continental, last available in 1980. The redesign of the sloping trunk associated with its predecessor significantly boosted trunk space from 15 cubic feet to 19 cubic feet. A leather interior was standard equipment (velour available as a no-cost option). Throughout its production run, the option list remained small. Major options included a compact disc player, InstaClear heated windshield (1988–1992), JBL sound system, power glass moonroof, keyless entry, anti-theft alarm system, cellular phone (starting 1990), three-position memory seat, and choice of wheels. As part of the redesign, Lincoln simplified the trim lineup; only standard (later named "Executive") and Signature Series remained. The Continental was part of Car and Driver magazine's 1989 Ten Best list. Lincoln made several minor updates to the eighth-generation Continental during its production. For 1989, the dashboard was redesigned to accommodate dual air bags. In 1990, the design of the grille, hood ornament, and taillights were modified. For 1993, an "individual seats" group was available which ditched the usual chrome column shifter and 50/50 "comfort lounge" split bench seating (and 6-passenger capacity) for a center console with floor shifter (a Continental first), storage armrest, and cup holder. 1994 Facelift 1994 Lincoln Continental The 1994 Continental received a cosmetic facelift including new taillights, revised decklid lock cover and trim, a rounded argent grille, restyled smaller bumpers and bodyside moldings, and sculptured rocker moldings. A revised "Lincoln" nameplate appeared on the front grille and rear taillights (moved off the decklid from last year). Inside, a new steering wheel was included with the bucket seat option. It was also the first car in its class to include standard dual air bags and anti-lock brakes. 1994 was the last year that the Continental was offered in Executive and Signature Series trims. An Executive Touring package was also available. 50th Anniversary Edition (1990) A 50th Anniversary Edition Continental Signature Series was offered in 1990 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the model. It featured "50th Anniversary" badging, geometric spoked aluminum wheels with unique center hub ornaments, titanium exterior paint with unique red/blue accent striping, and two-toned interior. Ninth generation (1995–2002) 1995-1997 Lincoln Continental Model years: 1995–2002 Assembly: United States: Wixom, Michigan (Wixom Assembly) Body style: 4-door sedan Layout: FF layout Platform: Ford D186 platform Engine: 4.6 L InTech V8 Transmission: 4-speed AX4N automatic Wheelbase: 109.0 in (2,769 mm) Length: 1995–1997: 206.3 in (5,240 mm) 1998–2002: 208.5 in (5,296 mm) Width: 73.6 in (1,869 mm) Height: 56.0 in (1,422 mm) Related: Ford Taurus Mercury Sable Ford Windstar For the 1995 model year, the Continental was substantially updated, with more rounded lines similar to the Mark VIII; the interior also saw a major overhaul. Still based on the Ford Taurus, the redesign marked the return of the V8 engine to the Continental for the first time since 1987. The sole engine for the Continental was the Modular 32v DOHC 4.6L V8 also used in the Lincoln Mark VIII, but slightly de-tuned for front wheel drive use. It produced 260 hp (190 kW) and 260 lb·ft (350 N·m) torque. 0-60 mph was a stout 8 seconds. Inside, the Continental featured a plush leather interior with many amenities and advanced electronics for the time. There was only one trim offered, called Base. Lincoln offered most features as standard equipment with the only options consisting of a 6-CD changer, power moonroof, heated seats, and cellular phone. As before, buyers could choose between five and six-passenger seating. 1995–1996 Continentals had air ride suspension on all four wheels while the 1997 model had rear air suspension and traditional steel coil springs up front. 1997 was the last year before it was updated again. 1998 Facelift 2000 Lincoln Continental The Continental was updated again in 1998 with redesigned front and rear end styling. The front-end held a strong family resemblance to the newly redesigned '98 Town Car. Also new for 1998 was a dashboard redesign, though still keeping the reflective dash cluster. A good deal of money was spent on these changes, and sales were up from the 1997 model. In 1999, it was too soon to change anything outside, so Continental gained seat-mounted side airbags and even more power (now up to 275 hp (205 kW). For 1999, the Continental held an MSRP of $38,325 — the same price as the Town Car. Six-passenger capability was still available via the no-charge option of a split-bench front seat and column shifter. Also available on the '99 Continental was the $2,345 "RESCU package" (Remote Emergency Satellite Cellular Unit) which included Global satellite positioning (similar to GM's "OnStar"), 3-channel HomeLink compatible garage door opener mounted in the driver's sun visor ($120 if ordered separately), voice-activated cellular telephone ($790 if ordered separately), and the Alpine Audio System (which included a digital sound processor, subwoofer amplifier, and additional speakers — $565 if ordered separately). One could also opt for the $595 6-disc CD changer, heated front seats for $290, and $1,515 for a tinted glass power sunroof with sliding shade. New for 1999 was an extra-cost "Luxury Appearance Package" for $1,095 that included a wood-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob with unique two-tone seat trim and floor mats inside, and chrome alloy wheels (the chrome wheels were available separately for $845) and a special grille up front. The "Driver Select System" added $595 to the sticker price, and included a semi-active suspension, selectable ride control, steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio and climate systems, automatic day/night outside mirrors, and the Memory Profile System that recalled power steering assist and ride control settings for two drivers. The $1,100 "Personal Security Package" included special run-flat tires mounted on polished alloy wheels (the alloy wheels were available separately for $350) and the universal garage door opener (also available separately for $120). Diamond Anniversary Edition (1996) A Diamond Anniversary Edition Continental was offered in 1996 to commemorate Lincoln’s 75th anniversary. The package included "Diamond Anniversary" badging, leather seats, voice-activated cellular phone, JBL audio system, auto electrochromatic dimming mirror with compass, and traction control. Spinnaker Edition (1996) A Spinnaker Edition Continental was also offered in 1996 featuring "Spinnaker Edition" badging, tri-coat paint, two-toned leather seats, and 16" spoked aluminum wheels. Limited Edition (2001) A Limited Edition Continental was offered in 2001 featuring unique leather interior with "Limited" embroidery, two-toned interior trim, wood steering wheel, 6-disc CD changer, and 16" spoked aluminum wheels. It was sold as a Greenbrier Limited Edition Continental in select markets. Collector's Edition (2002) To commemorate the end of the model run, a Collector's Edition Continental was offered featuring genuine walnut burl steering wheel, instrument panel, and side door trim, "CE" logos, platinum painted grille, 10-spoke chrome wheels, and more. In addition to the Continental's other exterior color choices, a CE-exclusive charcoal gray was also available. Approximately 2,000 were produced. Discontinuation After a few slow-selling years, Lincoln announced the end of Continental production after 2002. The cancellation was due largely to the continued shift in the consumer marketplace away from large front-wheel drive luxury cars. With advancements over recent years in traction control, anti-lock braking systems, and skid control devices, front-wheel drive was no longer deemed a necessity in inclement weather areas. The Continental, and to an extent the Lincoln Mark VIII coupe, were essentially replaced in the Lincoln lineup by the mid-size Lincoln LS V8 & V6 sedans, which were introduced in the 2000 model year. Even though the Continental was a large front wheel drive sedan, and the Mark VIII was a rear wheel drive coupe, the rear wheel drive LS acted as a replacement for each, by acting both as a personal luxury vehicle, and as a contemporary sedan. Nevertheless, buyers looking for a full-sized luxury sedan in the Continental class tended to "move up" and purchase the larger rear wheel drive Town Car, while those looking for a personal luxury-sporty sedan in the Mark VIII class purchased the LS. All Continentals built after 1958 were assembled at Ford's Wixom Assembly Plant. The last Lincoln Continental rolled off the assembly line there on July 26, 2002. The plant continued to manufacture the Town Car and the LS, as well as the limited production Ford Thunderbird 2-seat convertible and Ford's niche sports car, the Ford GT. Lincoln's Town Car was the last model still produced there when the Wixom facility was shut down in 2007. Replacements Lincoln upgraded the LS in 2005–2006 to attract more of the mid-size luxury market in the Continental class. The LS was cancelled in April 2006 due to slowing sales, following the release of the mid-size 2006 Lincoln Zephyr, and its upgraded replacement, the 2007 Lincoln MKZ. A larger, more luxurious Lincoln flagship sedan, the Lincoln MKS, has been launched in mid-2008 for the 2009 model year. Based on the same platform as the renamed Ford Taurus, it would be a proper replacement for the Lincoln Continental class vehicle. A concept vehicle was created in 2002, complete with suicide doors and a 362 cu in (5.9 L) V12 engine producing 414 bhp (309 kW) at 6000 rpm and 413 lb·ft (560 N·m) at 5270 rpm.There is a fan page for this concept vehicle on urging the Ford Motor Company to produce the vehicle with modern high tech features and drive trains including the 5L Coyote V8, 6.2L Boss V8 or Ecoboost 3.5L V6 and the 6R80 6 speed automatic transmission with rear wheel drive. Source: Internet