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Lincoln

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Lincoln
Vehicle Manufacturer

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Official Site: Lincoln.com
Wikipedia: Lincoln Motor Company

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Reference Desk
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Article Index
A manufacturer of cars and trucks started in 1917 by Henry & Wilfred Lelans.  Purchased by the Ford Motor Company in 1922, it would go on to become the company's luxury division.

Vehicle names used by Lincoln currently and throughout history:  Aviator, Blackwood, Continental, Cosmopolitan, LS, Mark LT, Mark VI, Mark VII, Mark VIII, Mark X, MKC, MKS, MKT, MKX, MKZ, Model K, Model KB, Navigator, Premiere, Town Car, Versailles, and Zephyr.

Dealerships include:  Elmhurst Lincoln Mercury.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Lincoln Motor Company page on 15 August 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Lincoln Motor Company (also known simply as Lincoln) is a division of the Ford Motor Company that sells luxury vehicles under the Lincoln brand. Founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland, Lincoln has been a subsidiary of Ford since 1922. While currently sold primarily in North America, Ford introduced the Lincoln brand to China in 2014. Lincoln vehicles are also officially sold in the Middle East and South Korea.

1917–1940: Lincoln Motor Company

The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in August 1917 by Henry Leland and his son Wilfred. An engineer, Henry Leland named his new automobile company after Abraham Lincoln, the first presidential candidate for whom he had cast a vote (in 1864). As the United States was still involved in World War I, the primary source of income for the company was military contracts; Lincoln co-assembled Liberty V12 aircraft engines, using cylinders supplied by Ford Motor Company, along with Buick, Cadillac, Marmon, and Packard.

Alongside aircraft engine production, Lincoln produced its first automobile in 1917, the Lincoln Model L. Powered by a V8 engine, the Model L was marketed as a luxury automobile, competing against other American luxury car manufacturers. Following the end of the war, the Lincoln factory was retooled entirely for automobile production.

Purchase by Ford

During the early 1920s, Lincoln suffered severe financial issues, balancing the loss of revenue of Liberty engine production with the obsolete design of the expensive Model L. After having produced only 150 cars in 1922, Lincoln Motor Company was forced into bankruptcy and sold for US$8,000,000 to the Ford Motor Company on February 4, 1922; some of the proceeds of the sale went to pay off its creditors.

For Henry Ford, the purchase of Lincoln was a personal triumph, as he had been forced out of his second company (Henry Ford Company) by a group of investors led by Leland. The company, renamed Cadillac in 1902 was purchased by General Motors in 1909, serving as the chief competitor to Lincoln. While Henry Ford had previously introduced Ford-branded luxury vehicles (the Ford Model B in 1904, the Ford Model F in 1905, and the Ford Model K in 1906), the company found little acceptance. With the acquisition of Lincoln, the nameplate became a top-selling rival alongside Pierce-Arrow, Marmon, Peerless, Duesenberg, and Packard.

Although the chassis itself saw few major changes (with its L-head engine and unusual 60-degree cylinder block), the body saw significant updates. At the direction of Henry's son Edsel, in 1923 several body styles were introduced, that included two- and three-window, four-door sedans and a phaeton that accommodated four passengers. They also offered a two-passenger roadster and a seven-passenger touring sedan and limousine, which was sold for $5,200. A sedan, limo, cabriolet, and town car were also offered by coachbuilders Fleetwood, Derham and Dietrich, and a second cabriolet was offered by coachbuilder Brunn. Lincoln contracted with dozens of coachbuilders during the 1920s and early 30s to create multiple custom built vehicles, to include American, Anderson, Babcock, Holbrook, Judkins, Lang, LeBaron, Locke, Murray, Towson, and Willoughby in the 1920s. Murphy, Rollston, and Waterhouse were added in the 1930s.

Vehicles built by these coachbuilders went for as much as $7,200, and despite the limited market appeal, Lincoln sales rose about 45 percent to produce 7,875 cars and the company was operating at a profit by the end of 1923.

In 1924 large touring sedans began to be used by police departments around the country. They were known as Police Flyers, which were equipped with four-wheel brakes, two years before they were introduced on private sale vehicles. These specially equipped vehicles, with bulletproof windshields measuring 7/8 of an inch thick and spot lights mounted on the ends of the windshield, also came with an automatic windshield wiper for the driver and a hand-operated wiper for the front passenger. Police whistles were coupled to the exhaust system and gun racks were also fitted to these vehicles.

Optional equipment was not necessarily an issue with Lincolns sold during the 1920s, however, customers who wanted special items were accommodated. A nickel-plated radiator shell could be installed for $25, varnished natural wood wheels were $15, or Rudge-Whitworth center-lock wire wheels for another $100. Disteel steel disc wheels were also available for $60. Lincoln chose not to make yearly model changes, used as a marketing tool of the time, designed to lure new customers. Lincoln customers of the time were known to purchase more than one Lincoln with different bodywork, so changing the vehicle yearly was not done to accommodate their customer base.


Reference Desk

The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

TypeTitle
1982 Book1982 Car Shop Manual Volume G (Engine/Emissions Diagnosis for All Car Models and Truck Series) by Ford Motor Company


Photographs

1922 Lincoln Advertisement Cooper-Irvin Motor Co.
December 31, 1922 - Amarillo Daily News

View 1922 Lincoln Advertisement - 522KB
1946 Lincoln 1946
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
View photo of 1946 Lincoln - 2,096KB
1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
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1955 Lincoln 1955
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1955 Lincoln - 3,949KB
1960 Lincoln Promotional Model 1960 Promotional Model
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
August 2011 Meeting of C.A.R.S. in Miniature
View photo of 1960 Lincoln Promotional Model - 1,846KB
1960 Lincoln Promotional Model 1960 Promotional Model
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
August 2011 Meeting of C.A.R.S. in Miniature
View photo of 1960 Lincoln Promotional Model - 1,849KB
1960 Lincoln Promotional Model 1960 Promotional Model
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
August 2011 Meeting of C.A.R.S. in Miniature
View photo of 1960 Lincoln Promotional Model - 2,029KB


Article Index

DateOriginal PublisherArticleAuthor
16 May 2006Define Lincoln Luxury: Challenge Given By Lincoln And Magic Johnson To Aspiring FilmmakersPamela Hewitt
22 June 2006Lincoln's ‘American Dream' And Four New VehiclesPamela Hewitt
22 February 2008Is RWD Breathing Life into Lincoln?Rob Parker
28 February 2008Consumer Advisory: NHTSA Warns Ford, Lincoln and Mercury Owners of Fire Hazards Involving Faulty Cruise Control Switches in Recalled Vehicles That Have Not Been RepairedNHTSA
9 September 2008CONSUMER ADVISORY: Five Million Unrepaired Fords, Lincolns and Mercurys Could Pose Serious Fire Hazard to Vehicles and DwellingsNHTSA
3 April 2009Lincoln Cars: : An Interesting HistoryRonnie Tanner
11 November 2010Lincoln announces permanent free maintenance programPatrick Howard




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