Lincoln Continental: made in 1963. Power – 200 hp. Moscow transport museum
The Lincoln Continental is a series of mid-sized and full-sized luxury cars produced by Lincoln, a division of the American automaker Ford Motor Company. The model line was introduced following the construction of a personal vehicle for Edsel Ford, who commissioned a coachbuilt 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr convertible, developed as a vacation vehicle to attract potential Lincoln buyers. In what would give the model line its name, the exterior was given European “continental” styling elements, including a rear-mounted spare tire.
In production for over 55 years across nine different decades, Lincoln has produced ten generations of the Continental. Within the Lincoln model line, the Continental has served several roles ranging from its flagship to its base-trim sedan. From 1961 to 1976, Lincoln sold the Continental as its exclusive model line. The model line has also gone on hiatus three times. From 1949 to 1955, the nameplate was briefly retired. In 1981, the Continental was renamed the Lincoln Town Car to accommodate the 1982 seventh-generation Continental. After 2002, the Continental was retired, largely replaced by the Lincoln MKS in 2009; in 2017, the tenth-generation Continental replaced the MKS.
Fourth generation (1961–1969)
For the 1961 model year the Lincoln range was consolidated into one model. Following the $60 million in losses ($593,520,810 in 2022 dollars) to develop the 1958–1960 cars, all models were replaced by a new Lincoln Continental.
Making its first appearance since 1948, the fourth-generation was available only as a four-door sedan and convertible until its 1966 model year refresh. The 1961 four-door sedan was listed at US$6,067 ($59,413 in 2022 dollars) and manufactured 22,303 while the convertible was listed at US$6,713 ($65,740 in 2022 dollars) and manufactured 2,857.
The new generation was nearly 15 inches shorter overall with a 8″ shorter wheelbase over its predecessor, though heavier than its Cadillac or Imperial counterparts. Its construction and post-build quality control reflected Ford corporate management’s commitment to quality.
The 1961 Lincoln Continental and its designers received a bronze medal by the Industrial Design Institute (IDI) of New York, NY. It also won Car Life’s 1961 Engineering Excellence Award.