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Lincoln was founded by Henry M. Leland, one of the founders of Cadillac, in 1917. The company had briefly built military aircraft engines before turning to luxury automobiles. However, the cars were not a success and Lincoln was in trouble when it was sold to the Ford Motor Co. in 1922. Under Ford, the company developed luxury cars rivalling Cadillac and Packard. The Lincoln trade mark of having a vertically mounted rear spare tyre appeared for the 1939 model year on the first Continental. A Continental division actually appeared in the 1950s, its sole product the Mark, a luxury car priced at the same level as a Rolls-Royce. Continental was merged back into Lincoln by 1959, and remained a model line until 2002. The company has had its heyday but an absence of new models has seen it fall behind its competitors, including Cadillac. Many Lincolns today look like upscale Fords, despite promising concept cars over the years.

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