The Lincoln Continental
is a series of full-sized luxury cars
produced by Lincoln
, a division of the American automaker Ford Motor Company
. Introduced in 1939 as a personal vehicle of Edsel Ford
, who commissioned a coachbuilt Lincoln-Zephyr convertible 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
. Produced for 55 years across nearly eight decades, there are ten generations of the Lincoln 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, the Lincoln Continental was the sole model line sold by the division. As part of its entry into full-scale production, the first-generation Lincoln Continental became the progenitor of an entirely new automotive segment, the personal luxury car
. Following World War II, the segment evolved into coupes and convertibles larger than sports cars
and grand touring cars
with an emphasis on luxury and style over handling. From 1956 to 1957, the Continental nameplate also saw use in the short-lived Continental Division, marketing the 1956-1957 Continental Mark II
as the worldwide flagship of Ford Motor Company; as a second successor, Ford introduced the Continental Mark series
in 1969, produced over five generations to 1998. Read more...