I’ll be honest, I’m a complete sucker for the Lincoln Zephyr and the Continental of this era. They get overlooked occasionally by Cadillacs and by independent marques of the Depression era, but their long-standing reputation of simple elegance, beauty, and dashes of brashness are symbols of what the Lincoln name used to mean. They all pack V12 engines, they all have (except the ’42 model in this gallery) restrained styling, and each one was an excellent example of its year and body type. This being a feature year for Lincoln at Pebble Beach, they had their very own class. The cars within this class included everything from the classic 1938 Zephyr coupe in black, to an all-original 1940 Zephyr Continental Cabriolet, to a 1942 Continental Cabriolet (1 of 11 left in the world). Some of them included all the original brass fittings in the interior, something I’ve never seen on a Lincoln. The car pictured up top is a 1941 Continental Coupe which won the class. In fact, for those of you with good memories (or those of you who can pair cars with movies as well as I can sometimes), that body style and year were featured in one of the most memorable mob movies ever, The Godfather. Sonny Corleone, played by James Caan, drives a black 1941 Continental coupe to his grisly death in one of the most memorable scenes of the film. If you don’t remember, I’ve included it at the end. Enjoy the photos of these understated, elegant automobiles.
As promised, here’s the scene of Sonny getting killed in The Godfather. Now, doesn’t that car look familiar?
Albert S. Davis