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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1941 Lincoln Continental 292 V12 - Collector Car For Sale (Click Here)

The words Edsel and styling rarely appear together without prompting memories of the car that proved an embarrassment to Ford Motor Company almost three decades ago. But Edsel, as in former company president Edsel Ford, was responsible for one of the most revered automotive designs of all time: the timeless 1940-1941 Lincoln Continental. From the moment it appeared it was a car that turned heads and made people eager to part with lots of money just to own one. Today, nearly seventy years later, it still does. In its original and highly unusual Paradise Green this classic of classics is a 99 point LCOC showstopper and a recipient of the Lincoln Trophy in its only time in national competition!

The Lincoln Trophy is given to the finest Primary Class car in attendance at Lincoln and Continental Owners Club meets, across all classes. Its score was 99%--the final point was a deduction for the period correct Edelbrock intake manifold and dual carb setup!

The current owner, Robert DiCarlo, purchased the car in June of 1974—that’s long term ownership! He paid the at-the-time decent sum of $2950 for the car, which would have still gotten you a new car then. Even then there was an appreciation for this classic!

Edsel dreamed of making Lincoln the best car in the world. Blessed with an unerring sense of style, he was enamored with the look of certain European cars, with long hoods and fenders, narrow grilles, and other elements he thought of as "continental." In 1938 he commissioned a special custom convertible incorporating such traits, based on the production Lincoln Zephyr. Built with the assistance of E. T. "Bob" Gregorie, the young head of Ford Motor Company's design department, it was delivered to Palm Beach, Florida, where Edsel used it on his annual winter vacation. It immediately attracted inquiries from over 250 people as to when it might be offered for sale. Encouraged by this response, Edsel okayed a production version as an addition to the 1940 Zephyr line, and his personal car reached Lincoln showrooms with only minimal changes.

Bob drove the car sparingly for the better part of two decades before deciding on the full-bore restoration which would take the better part of 10 years. After fully disassembling the car they found no more than three very small rust holes in the driver side rear fenderwell—can you imagine any car from the golden era surviving so well??? The car had worn a black coat of paint for decades but the Paradise Green poked through in several places. Every part was removed from the car, inspected, refinished and set aside for reassembly. The body received weeks worth of attention to get it just right before the mechanicals rejoined the party. Both front and rear suspensions were taken completely apart, rebuilt and refinished, as were the brakes. The 292ci, 120 horsepower V12 engine was taken apart, rebuilt, detailed and reinstalled with the rebuilt transmission and a new clutch. With nearly two tons of car and a softly calibrated suspension this car drives as well as it looks!

Outside every piece of trim and chrome are perfectly restored and look amazing next to the brilliant green paint. New, correctly sized whitewall tires are in place on the original rims with restored hubcaps. Gaps are better than new, as is the glass. The waterfall grille is nearly perfect and is far and away the showstopper up front. The spare tire, mounted “in a continental fashion,” highlights the rear and is a direct result of Edsel’s wishes. We have the judging sheets—the LCOC noted NO demerits!

Think "classic," and one of the collector cars you're likely to envision is the original 1941 Lincoln Continental. Dozens of other models have been assigned that designation by the Classic Car Club of America, of course, but nearly all are from the 1920s and '30s. They’ve earned—and deserve—full classic status on the basis of their trend-setting, timeless design.

Inside you’re treated to one of the nicest and best looking interiors ever installed in a production automobile. Art Deco touches are everywhere from the cascading design of the dash to the shapes and feel of the gauges and switchgear. The upholstery was replaced from top to bottom, and the kit alone was nearly $10,000. Originally equipped with a gray mohair and maroon leather scheme Robert decided on this beautiful two-tone green as it matches the exterior so well. We have a copy of the build sheet from the Henry Ford Museum that shows the options—it’s fantastic such a record exists! Everything works as it should—again, no demerits.

Under the long hood is the elegant and smooth V12 engine, as detailed and clean as the rest of the car. You’re immediately drawn to the long, polished heads, matching polished Edelbrock manifold and the spark plug wires sprouting from their mounts. While a stock intake manifold isn’t difficult to come by, the stock air cleaner is, and the correct one comes with the car if the new owner chooses to go for 100-point correctness. Personally we’d take the 1 point deduction and have the cool setup! Finishes in here are as crisp as the rest of the car and the motor fires to life immediately and without issue.

We have a number of restoration receipts which total more than $50,000 in parts and labor. That was nearly 10 years ago, at rates only a craftsman offers after hours in his own workshop! Also present is an owner history which dates back to the mid 60’s, not to mention the Judging Sheets from its only national outing.

Lincoln also offered an attractive regular convertible, but only the Continental deserves to stand among the finest automotive designs of the Twentieth Century. The Continental was featured in The Museum of Modern Art's Famous 1951 exhibition “8 Automobiles.” It is now recognized as a true icon of American automotive design. Only 850 coupes like this stunning example were built in ’41, and this is certainly among the best in the world, then and now!

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