Edsel Ford was Henry Ford’s only son but the father and one were completely different. Edsel Ford was intelligent and was very talented in a lot of areas. It was because of Edsel Ford that many American coachbuilders survived the first years of the Great Depression. It is quite ironic that the car built to honor Edsel Ford was a failure after it was released in 1943, 14 years after the death of Edsel at the age of 49. Edsel Ford had a short but highly successful life, he was Ford Motor Company president. He was the one who pushed Ford to buy the Lincoln Motor Company that was founded by Leland. He also convinced his father to stop the production of the most successful vehicle at that time – the Model T. Edsel started the creation of the elegant Model A that was called by others as the “little Lincoln”. He also created Ford’s 1st styling department in 1935 and placed E.T. ‘Bob’ Gregorie as the styling director.
The Lincoln Continental was directly inspired by Edsel Ford’s ideas. It is widely known that Edel’s trip to Europe and seeing the magnificent coachworks throughout Europe was what inspired him to create a line of elegant vehicles for America. He assigned Bob Gregorie to design a custom coachwork to be mounted on a Lincoln Zephyr chassis. Edsel wanted the new coachwork to be smooth, elegant, and minimalistic similar to the European cars. In 1939, the 1st Lincoln Continental prototype was delivered to Florida. Edsel’s new Lincoln Continental was received with high praise and expectation about the production from the very people he aimed to sell the car. A 2nd prototype was built for fine-tuning and the production for the new Lincoln Continental started just 6 months after in October 1939 as the 1940 Lincoln Continental.
Similar to the 1st prototype, the Continental was built on the same 125” wheelbase used on the Lincoln Zephyr. The early Lincoln Continentals were powered by a 292 ci flathead V12 engine that produced 120 horsepower, with a 3-speed column shifter. But the body was completely different. Compared to the Zephyr, the driver’s seat was pushed back, it had a longer hood and the overall profile of the Continental was significantly lower. The Cabriolet, like all Lincoln prototypes, had closed rear roof quarters that made the car look longer than it really is. The rear also had a spare tire mount. The interior trim was finished in gold.
The completely redesigned 1942 Lincoln Continental had the same styling of the all new Zephyr that featured squared off fenders, a wider 2-piece grille, and a lower ride height. The engine was upgraded to a 306 ci engine that produced 130 horsepower. Unfortunately, like every industry at that time, the production of the 1942 Lincoln was canceled to allocate all resources for the war. Only 1,236 Lincolns were built in 1942, and 136 of those were Cabriolets.
This featured 1942 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet is one of the very few remaining examples that exist today. It has undergone a complete bare chassis restoration and now looks as elegant as it was back in the days. It comes with a very elegant Victoria Coach Maroon finish, and a tan top and leather interior. The leather looks good with only some minor fading on the driver’s side. The exterior finish looks excellent and the body panels are straight and solid. The dashboard has been completely restored and still features its 1940s style, correct gold trim accents that perfectly complements the interior and exterior. Because it is a luxurious car of its time, it is loaded with features such as a heater, radio, power convertible top, power windows, full instrumentation, and clock. The wheels come with proper chrome trim rings and hubcaps that are in excellent condition. The exterior chrome trims have an excellent shine.
Under the hood, the engine bay looks very clean and the flathead V12 engine still holds strong. The V12 was never known for producing high horsepower but for having a very smooth and reliable operation. It is a great engine perfect for touring around town or cruising the highways in this elegant ride. The flathead is matched to a 3-speed manual transmission that is connected to a standard Columbia two-speed overdrive rear axle. This Continental offers a very smooth ride without any noise compared to its pre-war counterparts.
This is a very solid and beautiful example of the 1942 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet. The restoration work was professionally done and quality shows. A perfect regular driver that would also be a great show car to any pre-war classic car events.
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