Now virtually synonymous with the Lincoln marque, the legendary Continental started out as a personal, custom-bodied one-off “special Lincoln-Zephyr” commissioned by Lincoln boss Edsel Ford. Styled by Ford designer Bob Gregorie on the existing V-12 Zephyr chassis, the new Continental was delivered to Mr. Ford on 1 March 1939 and would go on to become a design legend in its own time. Due to the attention and acclaim the prototype received, a production version was planned. Just a year after the prototype was first approved, the Lincoln Continental first became available to the public in 1940.
With just 54 convertibles and 350 coupes produced, the beautifully styled Continental found adoration within the art and automotive worlds, with Frank Lloyd Wright and Rita Hayworth among the car’s noteworthy owners. It would become the basis for the Lincoln image for the next nine decades. With a few scattered years of non-production, the Continental was manufactured in 10 generations and for a total of 55 years until its most recent discontinuation in 2020.