Abraham Lincoln reigns as a longtime hero to many Americans, but perhaps one of Lincoln’s most fervent fans would have to be Henry M. Leland who named his car company after this iconic historical figure. Leland was one of the founders of Cadillac, formerly named the Henry Ford Company.
After World War I, the Cadillac Company was sold to General Motors, and Leland left the company to pursue the formation of his own novel endeavor: the Lincoln Motor Company (fittingly named after Abraham Lincoln). In 1917, Leland founded the company in Detroit with the original intention of building Liberty craft engines for the First World War. Then in 1940,Lincoln received an admirable honor and was awarded credit for design excellence in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Shortly after the Lincoln Motor Company accepted the honor for excellent design, on April 30, 1940, it was purchased by Ford and became the Lincoln Division of Ford Motor Company. While this transition brought forth a period of financial tribulation and instability, there was light at the end of the darkness. The acquisition of the Lincoln Division enlivened Henry Ford’s company, and rapidly reached top selling status in America, rivaling other luxury car brands like Pierce-Arrow, Peerless, Packard, Marmon, Duesenberg and Cadillac.
In 1961, Ford introduced a new kind of Continental car. This marked a turning point for the company since the unique design and makeup of the Continental was and still is one of the most durable and time-enduring car blueprint on the market. Perhaps the most authentic and fresh elements of the Continental design is the center-opening doors, which gave Lincoln its signature style. The telltale spare tire mount, dubbed a “Continental Kit” by custom car repairmen is an undeniably idiosyncratic and attractive feature of these Lincoln car types.
After trekking a rough road to a top-selling car brand, the future looks bright for Ford’s Lincoln Division in light of the redesigning of the MKZ sedan by new chief designer, Max Wolfe. The latest MKZ model of Lincoln held the key to a future of optimal-sale bliss for the Ford Motor Company. However, after much hype, the MKZ model, originally designed by Solomon Song, was a flop. This lack of instant success was attributed to the old-fashioned, out-dated and obsolete style and design of a car that was supposed to turn things around for the Lincoln Division. However, the Lincoln name is not demarcated just yet. Leslie Butterfield is a luxury car specialist with Interbrand and the author of Enduring Passion: The Story of the Mercedes-Benz Brand. Her advice promises to be piercingly accurate as she vehemently recommends a revamping of the car design, while maintaining the credibility of the Lincoln name. Butterfield asserts that “it’s important that the design be a break with tradition. I don’t want to feel I’m buying Old Lincoln, I want to feel like I’m buying New Lincoln.”
Today,Lincoln remains an automobile brand of the Ford Motor Company sold primarily in North America. Along with the Continental, other historic models include the following: Lincoln Blackwood, Lincoln Capri, Lincoln Cosmopolitan, Lincoln Custom,Lincoln L-series, Lincoln Lido,Lincoln K-series and Lincoln Versailles. The most current models are the Lincoln-Zephyr, Lincoln Town Car, Lincoln LS and Lincoln Aviator.
Lincoln History and Photo Gallery,