When I was growing up on the hard streets of Trenton, New Jersey, during the 1970s, the Lincoln Continental was one of the most eye-catching cars on the road. This was the era of what they used to call the “big boats,” and the Lincoln Continental was probably the biggest boat of all.
I was more of a rock-and-roll guy, but this was also the disco era. Imagine a guy looking kind of like John Travolta, with perfectly coiffed hair and gold chains, doing the gangster lean thing behind the wheel of a mid-seventies Lincoln Continental. For many people, that was the epitome of cool at the time.
The Lincoln Continental was a truly iconic vehicle that helped to define the American luxury car market. It was developed by Henry Ford’s son Edsel, and he intended to use the car himself, so it was built to suit his unique personal tastes. The chief designer at the time was Bob Gregorie, and he completed the task in 1939.
Edsel Ford drove the one-of-a-kind car while he was on vacation in Florida, and a lot of people with a lot of money took notice. The company started producing models for sale in very small quantities because they were built by hand, so these earliest specimens are very rare.
Automotive manufacturing was halted during World War II, but the Lincoln Continental was produced after the war from 1946 through 1948. It was discontinued, but it came back for the 1956 model year, and it remained in production in one form or another through 2002.
The Lincoln Continental has been gone since then, but a triumphant return is in the offing. A few insiders have been afforded glimpse of the brand new Lincoln Continental, and it is going to be put on public display at the upcoming New York Auto Show.
I am certainly excited to see the Lincoln Continental back in action. Iconic models from the American Big Three have fallen by the wayside over the years, but they often do quite well when they are brought back from the ashes.
The sneak peeks that are making the rounds on the Internet are quite impressive. It looks like the Continental will be a major player once again, and it may be on the board when I start shopping around for my next new car.