The Early History of Lincoln Cars

The Early History of Lincoln Cars
May 16 11:27 2017 Print This Article

Customers of the Lincoln Bloomington dealership will likely appreciate the early history of the Lincoln automobile. Lincoln was one of the first American vehicles produced, and the company first opened in 1917. It was owned by Henry M. Leland, and in 1922, it became associated with Ford Motor Company as a subsidiary. In 1902, Leland had founded the Cadillac company with a partner, and he later managed the company with his son. Leland and his son left the company in order to assist with the World War I production of Liberty aircraft engines. After the war, he decided to use his manufacturing plant to create a new luxury car — one that would be named after the first president he had ever voted for.

Financial Problems and the Sale of Lincoln Company

Conditions after the war led to financial problems and disagreements with shareholders. As a result of this, Leland sold the company to Ford Motor Company. Lincoln had sold 150 vehicles the last year it was owned by Leland, and the next year, under Ford, it sold 5,512. Edsel Ford, the only son of Henry Ford, was put in charge of managing the division, and he was interested in revamping its style. Edsel had worked on convincing his father to add stylistic flourishes to Ford’s utilitarian vehicles, and working with Lincoln was his opportunity to shine. Edsel was forward thinking and believed that vehicles should appeal to drivers’ fashion sensibilities. He would work on innovating Lincoln’s design for the rest of his life.

Innovations to Lincoln

In 1923, Lincoln produced a limousine that could hold seven passengers, and it introduced a roadster for two.  Lincoln catered specifically to the needs of our nation’s police force, and the Police Flyer was a specially designed vehicle that featured bullet-proof windows, spotlights, and gun racks. The car had four-wheel brakes — something that was not yet available to the general public. The success of this vehicle, along with several others, allowed the company to turn a profit as soon as 1924, just two years after the company was headed for bankruptcy.

In the 1920s, Lincoln produced roadsters, luxury models, town cars, and vehicles that could be custom-built. Lincoln had a reputation worldwide as a company that built premier luxury vehicles, and sales were good. By the mid 1930s, however, consumers appeared to no longer be interested in luxury vehicles. As a response to this, Edsel developed the Zephyr, a V-12 powered vehicle with an aerodynamic design and a smaller body than their previous cars. It was well received by the public, and it sold well.

This vehicle would eventually be put out of production, as Lincoln’s factories were outfitted for the efforts supporting World War II. The Zephyr became the framework for what would be the Lincoln Continental, one of their most successful models. Today, Lincoln continues to produce beautiful vehicles designed to bring style and comfort together. People interested in Lincoln Bloomington can browse the great selection of quality vehicles when they stop in to the dealership.

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James Carlos
James Carlos

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