20 interesting facts about Lincoln
Through its history Lincoln car brand had always been associated with luxury and prestige. It is the embodiment of the American ideal of VIP class vehicle. Lincoln Brand is among the world’s most prestigious car manufacturers.
1. Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland, a founder of the Cadillac auto brand. The new venture was named after Leland’s hero – 16th US President Abraham Lincoln, for whom he had casted a vote on he’s very first presidential elections.
2. Despite Leland’s skill and potential of his vehicles, the factory encountered several design-related obstacles and financial troubles that could not be overcome. Forced into bankruptcy, Leland sold his company to Ford in 1922 for $8 million.
3. In the 30s, two V12 engine models were launched – Lincoln KB and Lincoln Zephyr. This resulted in almost 10 times growth in production, compared to 1920.
4. Modified Zephyr Coupe was a predecessor for later model, Lincoln Continental – company’s first convertible. America’s entry into World War II made all automakers to suspend any production of automobiles for civilian use, in order to support American war effort. After the WW II ending, Lincoln continued to produce pre-war models.
5. In mid-50s the frequent changes in automotive design made it necessary to use a ladder frame rather than unibody construction in order to make it possible to change the design without having to change the chassis. Ladder frame enabled frequent changes and improvements of the car’s bodywork and interior while leaving the chassis and driveline unchanged, thus keeping costs down and design times short. At this time, the popularity of classic Lincoln models began to decline, partly due to the fact that since 1958 Lincoln vehicles were issued with a unibody construction, which was much more difficult to change.
6. In the 1956 model year, Lincoln introduced all-new model – the Premiere, that replaced Continental as Lincoln’s flagship model. The Premiere model borrowed some ideas from Cadillac cars, and was known for its stylish exterior, high-grade interior and some other unique features.
7. In 1961 new Continental model was introduced. Featuring sleek chassis and offered in both standard and convertible body styles, this model made the basis of the company’s sales in the 60s.
8. At the same time, Lincoln introduced custom-built cars of state, converted from standard Continental models by Lehmann-Peterson coachbuilding firm. Of all 40 limousines sold in 1964, only one car survived to our day.
9. Lincoln brand had always been popular among business sharks, as well as gangsters, prime ministers and presidents. At the time of his death, John Kennedy was being driven in a Lincoln Continental limousine.
10. In the early 70s company felled victim to severe austerity policy. From now on, Lincoln subdivision started to use major vehicle component parts of Ford. While not affecting quality, this measure was a serious hit on Lincoln’s identity.
11. In 1984 company introduced Lincoln Continental MK VII – a rear wheel drive luxury sports coupe. The model had gained success due to its good aerodynamics, full air suspension and anti-lock braking system.
12. In 1981 Lincoln introduced its new flagship model – Lincoln Town Car. This full-sized luxury sedan came with V8 engine, 4-speed automatic gearbox, and a maximum speed of 180 km/h. It was in production for exact 30 years, discontinued in 2011.
13. Lincoln Town was the last American made car to have integrated structure instead of commonly used one-piece underframe. This key feature enables extended wheelbase and easy conversion to limousine
14. Lincoln LS in its classical layout was first introduced in New York in April 1998 and immediately became popular among fans of big sports sedans. Model was equipped with a V8 engine and rear-wheel drive. This allowed the vehicle to become an alternative to European and Japanese sports sedans. Soon after its arrival, LS model was named “North American Car of the Year.”
15. In January 1997 Lincoln presented a full-size luxury SUV – Lincoln Navigator. It was based on Ford Expedition.
16. Throughout XX century, US presidents often had Lincoln as official state car.
17. Americans like all kinds of surveys and ratings. For instance, in 2013 there was a pull among American drivers to determine the best car manufacturers, according to US motorist. All the top lines were occupied by European automakers. Lincoln got the 8th place, which was nevertheless the best result for American company. The best part, for the Lincoln, was that their eternal rival Cadillac was only 9th.
18. Lincoln model range can be confusing at times. The same nameplate may be used for vehicles of different model, chassis or era. For instance, in 2005, legendary Lincoln Zephyr model was resurrected after 50 years of oblivion, only to be renamed into Lincoln MKZ (Mark Z) few months later.
19. Lincoln logo is presented in shape of a highly stylized compass with hands directed to every part of the world. At the same time, some people say that logo has an official name – The Lincoln Star. Either way, the company’s logo is one of the most recognizable emblems in auto world. In the eyes of customers, such design embodies the idea of something bright, luxurious and prestigious. There is another special version of Lincoln logo, called Cobra Star. It consists of traditional Lincoln badge coiled by snake of Shelby logo. It can be found only on bodies of customized Lincoln Motorsport vehicles.
20. Lincoln competes with BMW, Audi and Mercedes for the armoured vehicle market. Company offers armoured versions of its vehicles under Ballistic Protection Series. BPS presents the highest legally allowed level of ballistic protection – B/8. Those luxury fortresses are extremely popular in Middle East as well as in US.