1955 Lincoln Futura

1955 Lincoln Futura Features, II

The Ford Design Center was busy with a host of dramatic idea cars in the Fifties, including the Futura.
The Ford Design Center was busy with a host of dramatic idea cars in the Fifties, including the Futura.

The 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car had so unique features they make up two full lists. The first is on the previous page; here's the rest of the features.

  • Exterior door handles were in recesses at the tops of the doors. Interior handles were levers with chrome balls on the ends. The door jambs contained cam-type devices with micro switches on them. As a door opened, the interior lights went on and the complicated interlock system raised the top. When the doors were closed, the top automatically closed.
  • In the curved area close to the windshield on the driver's side of the interior were five small round lights that indicated the gear that had been selected. Small triangular turn signal indicator lights flanked the gear selector lights. The directional signals were activated by buttons located in chrome pods hung from the arms of the steering wheel.
  • The dash could be closed off by five roll-top desk-type chromed metal doors that, when down, hid the dash controls and closed off the glovebox. From left to right, the roll-down compartments contained air-conditioning controls; four knobs for the lights; the cigar lighter; temperature control and a dummy wiper switch; AM radio; and the glovebox. All but the air-conditioning controls were to the right of the steering wheel.
  • The horn was activated by a pedal on the floor.
  • The narrow vents inboard of the headlights helped to cool the engine compartment. Neither the grille opening nor the vents near the headlights did a very good job of cooling the Futura, and it always had a tendency to overheat.
  • At the top center of the windshield was a vent to let in fresh air. It didn't work very well, even when the car was moving. An air exhaust vent about three inches high was on the package tray area. It extended from one side of the passenger compartment to the other.
  • The air-conditioning system, when originally installed, had two clear plastic funnels rising out of the package tray area. The evaporator for the air-conditioning system was located in the trunk. The gills on the decklid were just for looks and had no connection with the air-conditioning system. The vents at the front of each rear fin were used to cool the rear brakes and as the source of outside air for the air-conditioning system. Sometime after the Futura was introduced, the plastic funnels were removed. Whether the air-conditioning system remained operable after that is unknown.
  • The only other known change made to the Futura after it was introduced was the addition of 1956 Lincoln script towards the front on each side of the car.
  • Standard Lincoln features on the Futura included power steering, brakes, and seats; ball-joint suspension; and dual exhausts. For some reason, Ford press releases also listed an automatic starter as standard equipment. Whether that meant that the Futura was started any differently than any other Ford products is unknown.

The interior design was functional and integrated. The upper part of the dash was covered with black leather and the lower part was in "blue white pearlescent." The area underneath the dash was a continuation of the upholstery extending almost to the floor before flaring out into heater openings on both sides.

The door panels were extensions of the dashboard design and included built-in armrests. The seats were highback buckets, padded with foam rubber and covered in blue-white pearlescent leather with pleated black leather inserts. The steering wheel was black, as was the carpet. The rear part of the console was a raised armrest. Power seat switches were set in the center console.

Learn how well some of these features worked -- or didn't -- on the next page.

For more information on cars, see: