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Date Published : July 30,2014

Lincoln Innovations Turned Classics

One look at a Lincoln car, and it’s obvious that it speaks of absolute luxury. Henry Leland’s creation has survived decades of trials and stiff competition from the likes of Cadillac and General Motors, making it a classic American icon. Over the years, Lincoln has introduced radical models that would revolutionize the whole line of high-class cars and serve as the baseline for other manufacturers.

Lincoln Zephyr: sleek by design

The telling of the Lincoln history would always start with the 1936 Lincoln Zephyr: the car that puts Lincoln on the map. In a time where smooth, airplane-like designs were booming, the Zephyr is considered the first successful streamlined car. Designed by John Tjaarda, its low grill, sharp hood, and flowing contour appear as if the car was designed to slice through air. The flowing body gave it a sports car feel while maintaining a profile that was still luxurious enough for high-class executives. The car was so popular that it became the template of the Lincoln Continental.

This is in contrast to its rival that time-the flop that was the Chrysler Airflow-which was considered “too streamlined” for the market. A round hood, bulky profile, and some engine problems made the car so undesirable that it was included in Time Magazine’s 50 Worst Cars of All Time .

Lincoln Town Car: the choice limousine

In 1922, by the request of then owner Henry Ford, Lincoln designed a car for his personal use: The Lincoln Town Car. Its simple design-an open chauffer cockpit coupled with an enclosed passenger cabin at the back-was a status symbol of wealth and power. This made the Town Car the basis for modern limousines.

It wasn’t until 1981 that Lincoln decided to manufacture the Town Car as a production vehicle. Computerized features, security measures, and a lavish interior packaged in an elegant and classy body made this car an instant hit. Against Cadillac, the Lincoln is the more preferred, widely used and rented type of limousine in the market for business meetings, weddings, and proms. Despite being a popular car for 20 years, production has stopped to make way for future, more innovative models.

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