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Lincoln Continental (1961–3)

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Lincoln Continental. 1961–3 (prod. 87,458). 4-door sedan, 4-door convertible. F/R, 430 in³ (V8 OHV). Elwood Engel led the team that styled the 1961 Lincoln, based on a rejected Ford Thunderbird proposal. Monocoque structure unique to the brand. More compact dimensions than before, acknowledging that Lincolns had become too big in the late 1950s. Heavier than rivals, with plenty of modern conveniences (for the time), with Ford’s aim to make the finest car in the US. Suicide doors. Power-operated top for convertible, folding into rear-hinged trunk. Slow start for 1961, with consumers unsure of what a smaller Lincoln meant, and a complete departure from the tailfins that marked other luxury cars in 1960. Sales increased for 1962 and 1963 as word of the cars’ quality got round, and the lack of stylistic changes helped establish a timeless Lincoln look.

Manufacturing location: Wixom, Michigan, USA

Marque: Lincoln | Model: Lincoln Continental | Predecessor: Lincoln Première (1958–60) | Successor: Lincoln Continental (1964–5)

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