1941 Lincoln Continental cabriolet, part of the 1940-1941 Lincoln Continental line of collectible cars
1941 Lincoln Continental cabriolet

The 1940-1941 Lincoln Continental was originally designed as a custom-bodied special for Edsel Ford, and Bob Gregorie's "Mark I" Continental seems to look better and better as the years pass. These first models -- identical mainly except for pushbuttons instead of handles on the '41 doors -- are the cleanest of the breed.

Essentially, it was a sportier version of the contemporary Lincoln-Zephyr, powered by the long-stroke V-12 derived from Ford's flathead V-8. This engine had a history of inadequate water passages and poor oil flow before 1940, though these problems were partly corrected by then.

The original Continental was one of the first cars recognized as something more than a mere machine -- by New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Classic Car Club of America, among others -- and one of the finest examples of the automobile as art.

Pluses of the 1940-1941 Lincoln Continental:

  • Ageless design
  • A highly coveted CCCA Classic

Minuses of the 1940-1941 Lincoln Continental:

  • Questionable mechanical reliability
  • High running costs
  • Not cheap and quite rare

Production of the 1940-1941 Lincoln Continental:

  • 1940: 2d cpe 350; 2d cabrio 54
  • 1941: 2d cpe 850; 2d cabrio 400

Specifications of the 1940-1941 Lincoln Continental:
Wheelbase, inches:
125.0
Length, inches:
209.8
Weight, pounds:
3,740-3,890Price, new: $2,783-$2,916

Engines for the 1940-1941 Lincoln Continental:

Type Size Horsepower Years
sv V-12292 cid 120
1940-1941

Want more information about classic cars? See: