17 May 1999
1948 LINCOLN CONTINENTAL TWO-DOOR CABRIOLET
Engine no. 81622
Red metallic with black interior
Engine: V12 sidevalve, 292cu.in. 4.7 litre, Holley downdraught carburettor, 120bhp at 3500rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: single transverse semi elliptic springs to beam front and live rear axles; Brakes: four wheel hydraulic drum. Left hand drive
Is is said that when Henry Ford purchased the quality car maker Lincoln Motor Company in 1922, his son Edsel announced,"Father makes the most popular cars in the world. I would like to make the best car in the world". Becoming Ford's luxury car division, Lincoln continued to provide fine V12-powered automobiles equipped with carefully crafted coachwork by most of the greatest names in coachbulding. The Series K Lincolns of the 1930s were in the great tradition of the luxury American automobile, stately, elegant and very costly. In 1935 Lincoln introduced the Zephyr, a medium priced V12 with an advanced specification given a strikingly good-looking streamlined pressed-steel sedan body by Briggs.The side-valve V12 engine derived from Ford's own excellent flathead V8.
The Zephyr offered another opportunity. Edsel Ford had long wanted to make a new kind of American car, exclusive and well equipped yet not quite a luxury car and influenced by styling ideas that had attracted him on his frequent trips to European motor shows and salons. Edsel gathered up designer Eugene Turrenne "Bob" Gregorie and the pair went to work on the 1939 Lincoln Zephyr sedan to create a two door convertible intended for Edsel's own use. The result was the gorgeous Continental convertible, which Edsel dubbed a Cabriolet, a little longer, a little lower than the Zephyr, subtly reshaped, beautifully proportioned, adornment kept to a minimum. It was a unique concept and a successful one. Edsel was plagued with orders from his friends for copies and put it into small-scale production. In 1946 came a reworking with squared off front fenders and more assertive die-cast grillwork, features that were to remain with the Continental until production ceased in 1948.
This very pleasing Lincoln Continental Cabriolet is from the model's final year and has power operated windows as well as the original radio. There is a steering column change for the three-speed box. The speedometer registers 50,000 miles which is likely to be correct. Paintwork and chrome are good (there is some microblistering on the bonnet) while a minimum of attention would be necessary to bring the car to show condition. The interior leather too is very good, although a demanding new owner might wish to give attention to the carpets. The car is Swiss registered.
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