The History of Lincoln

The History of Lincoln

Henry Leland

Born February 16, 1843, Henry Leland must have come into this world with a golden wrench in his fist. He was an inventor, engineer and a machinist who studied Metrology, the theoretical and practical aspects of measurement) along with precision machining and tool making. He also created and supplied engines to Oldsmobile, invented the electric barber clippers, the Leland-Detroit Monorail toy train and invented the Cadillac and the Lincoln. He was a huge admirer of Abraham Lincoln, so much so that he not only cast his first ever presidential vote for him in 1864, he also named his company The Lincoln Motor Company after him.

Henry Leland

World War I

In 1917, Leland and his son, Wilfred, resigned from Cadillac and formed Lincoln Motor Company. contracted with the American government during World War I and began making money by manufacturing the Liberty Aircraft engines for them. Ford Motor Company supplied cylinders for the engines.

World War I

After the War

The Lelands were left after the war with a modern manufacturing plant, and they decided to create a new luxury motorcar; thus, the very first Lincoln motorcar was finished in September of 1920.

But the postwar economy was hard on Leland's company, and by 1921 it was in severe financial difficulty. It was sold to the Ford Motor Company in 1922 at a receiver's sale.

Henry Ford's son, Edsel Ford, was named president of the company and was full of inspiration - he acquired "designs from the top U.S. coachbuilders to invigorate the Lincoln motorcar."

After the War

The Roaring Twenties

Both factory and custom-built-body Lincoln cars were offered, including open town cars and roadsters. The Lincoln chassis carried motorcar bodies from many great coachbuilders, such as Derham, Judkins and LeBaron, and sales quickly climbed. By the mid-twenties, Lincoln was one of the world's premier motorcars."

The Roaring Twenties

The Great Depression

The luxury market began to disappear during the 1930s, but Edsel Ford recognized this. Thus, the mid-price Lincoln-Zephyr was introduced in November 1935. Powered by a smaller V-12, it featured an aerodynamic design, seated 7 passengers and sported a redesigned front grille and pressed steel wheels. 15,000 were sold in 1936, making it a big success. In 1939, a convertible limousine called "The Sunshine Special" was custom-built for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The Great Depression

The Lincoln Continental

Ford collaborated with his chief designer, E.T. "Bob" Gregorie on what would become the Lincoln Continental in 1939. It was originally a singular design for Edsel, but it became popular with his friends. Soon they offered it as a limited production car. They built 25 that year, and then 400 in 1940, soon making it an automotive icon. The Continental was originally in production for 49 years, from 1939 to 1948, and again from 1958 to 2002, making its comeback in 2017.

The Lincoln Continental

Post World War II

From 1949 to 1960, Lincoln introduced the Lincoln Sport, the Cosmopolitan, Lido, the Capri, the Custom, the Premiere and the two-door luxury coupe Lincoln Continental Mark II Series.

In 1961, Lincoln returned to "understated elegance" when most other American automotive companies were using as much chrome as paint, and the new design was known as "the Continental look."

Introduced in 1981, the Lincoln Town Car was the largest American-made car by 2006, measuring almost 18 feet. The Lincoln LS was introduced in 2002, and the Lincoln Aviator made way for the Mark LT, MKC, MKZ and Navigator.

Post World War II

Today

Until George H.W. Bush left office in 1993, the Lincoln Town Car has always been the car of choice for the Presidential Fleet lineup. The powertrain of the 1989 Lincoln Town Car was comprised of a Ford F-250 three-quarter ton pickup, 460 cubic inch (7.5L), EFI V8 to compensate for added weight due to added safety features to the limousine.

Today, Lincoln maintains an impressive lineup of vehicles, including the MKC, MKZ, Navigator and Aviator. We hope you enjoyed this little bit of history!

Today

Interested in learning more about the history of Lincoln? Give us a call or visit us at 1555 Mansell Road Alpharetta, GA 30009. We look forward to serving customers from Sandy Springs, Cumming, Gwinnett and Duluth.

 

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Angela Krause Lincoln

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