While Cadillac is busy forging a new period in the history of its luxury sedans, Lincoln wants you to recall its 1960s heyday. That’s right: Lincoln is reviving the Continental. Best known as either the car Oddjob had crushed in the James Bond movie Goldfinger or, more ominously, President John F. Kennedy’s last ride, the Continental of the 1960s placed Lincoln at die pinnacle of car design. After a decade of fruitless self-reflection, Lincoln is striving for greatness once again.
This big-body four-door isn’t overtly retro, but touches such as die prominent polished grille and substantial chrome interior trim definitely nod to the brand’s Mad Men period. But if the Continental is to compete with Cadillac (and Mercedes and BMW and Audi and all the rest), it’s got to pack some serious tech. Lincoln patented outrageous front seats for the new Continental, adjustable 30 different ways, and the car is powered by one of three V-6 engines, the hottest of which is a 400-horsepower twin-turbo with all-wheel drive. At about $46,555 to start, could this be the car that makes Lincoln relevant again? We’ll have to wait and see whether a resurrected name from its history books can do that, but the future looks shiny.
There’s an unsettling irony in the fact that John F. Kennedy was shot in a ’61 Lincoln Continental. Like him, the revamped ’61 Continental had a new integrity. Substantial and innovative, it was bristling with new ideas and survived for nine years without major change. The car fit for presidents was elegant, restrained, and classically sculptured, perfect for Camelot’s new dynasty of liberalism.
Itѕ nісе to own a major car company, and Henry Ford’s son Edsel was happy to take advantage. Не commissioned a custom-built car for his 1939 spring vacation, turning to Lincoln (Ford’s up-market brand since 1922). Chief designer Eugene ‘Bob’ Gregorie obliged, working from the Lincoln Zephyr to create a stylish convertible (the boss was off to sunny Florida).