The New York Auto Show finished its run on Sunday evening and was home to a multitude of concept and full debuts, including Lincoln’s Navigator concept (complete with a massive gullwing door) and Mazda’s MX-5 Targa Retractable. This year, the show wasn’t nearly as glitzy as previous years, but I had an enjoyable day all the same. Although I wasn’t intent on taking as many photos (as I had spent a massive amount of time at L.A. a few months back), there was still plenty to see. Fiat showed off the new 124 Abarth, and Porsche had the 911R on display for all to see, just ahead of the new 718 Boxster roadster. Enjoy the brief gallery of what was on display this past week, with some more to follow. Continue reading New York International Auto Show General Gallery
Lincoln showed off their fancy new Navigator Concept at the 2016 New York International Auto Show to much acclaim. It was all over the news, and people were going mental over it. I mean, what’s not to love about a sparkly blue SUV with massive gullwing doors and fine wooden steps up to its luxurious cabin?
Yes, if it were real, the Navigator Concept would be a game-changer in the SUV market, but it isn’t real. People often miss the word “Concept,” and I must’ve had around ten people ask me if I had seen the incredible new Lincoln Navigator, as if it were actually the new production car. Sadly, I then had to break all of their hearts by telling them it was just a pipe dream that would never come true. An automotive strip-tease with no happy ending.
This image has been circulating around social media for months now. Despite the reveal of the actual production 2017 Lincoln Continental, which looks nothing at all like the car in the picture (see below), people continue to share it.
In truth, I, and most Lincoln fans, cannot help but wish that the new Continental actually did look exactly like the car in the top picture. That Continental is unmistakably a Lincoln in a sense that is true to the brand’s history. The production 2017 Continental, while nice in many ways, is really just another interchangeable luxury sedan. It could easily be mistaken for an Audi, a Mercedes, or a Jag. The car at the top, though? Not a chance.
Every time I’ve seen that top photo shared on social media, it’s always been with a sense of excitement. That’s because the car in the picture is the modern Lincoln Continental that people actually wanted- A distinctive retro-nod shape, unmistakable Lincoln flavor, and, of course, suicide doors! That’s all what made the Continental “The Continental” back in the day.
I think Ford has missed a huge opportunity here to really inject some much needed enthusiasm back into the Lincoln brand. Lincolns used to be some of the most stylish cars on the road in the 1960s and earlier. Lincoln desperately needs to bring that sort of flavor back into their brand identity if they want to succeed these days. A bland approach, merely running with the pack, is not going to cut it. Lincolns are supposed to be bold. They’re supposed to class up the joint whenever they roll up, not merely blend into the woodwork.
We had a great time at Lead East this year, and we have dozens of incredible photos to share with you.
Here is round 2. Enjoy!
Lincoln hasn’t been making dramatic, sexy, or even remotely attention-grabbing cars for some years now. In fact, all of their products since the LS was taken out behind the barn have been rebadged Fords. 9 years of nothing but rebadged Fords and mediocrity. Finally, though, there is hope from the land of Town Cars, Mark Series, and Zephyrs. The new Continental concept is a genuine breath of fresh air from Lincoln–it’s not a reskinned Ford with a toupee. Continue reading The Lincoln Continental: Grandpa Irving’s Lincoln, No Longer.
The Lincoln brand desperately needs a savior, but I’m really not seeing the 2016 Lincoln Continental Concept as the car to do it.
Establishing a solid brand identity for Lincoln is really the only thing that matters here, in my opinion. And, frankly, if the new Continental isn’t going to do that, then it is total a waste of effort and money for Ford. My problem with it is that most of it’s good aspects are done the wrong way to establish a real unique brand identity. There is too much copying going on, and you can’t anywhere new as a follower. There are a few good things, though, so let’s begin with that before jumping into the ocean of criticism I have to voice.
On Sunday, I attended the River Edge Classic Car Show in River Edge, NJ thanks to a tip from my aunt, who happens to live there. I was expecting this show to be another small neighborhood car show in a small town in Bergen County. To say the very least, I was completely and utterly wrong. Despite the rain all over New Jersey and the threatening, humid air hovering over the city park, the show went on and was a runaway success. Admission was free, food was reasonably priced, and the atmosphere was friendly and full of good vibes. All sorts of cars were welcome, from a gorgeous early 1930s Chevrolet sedan all the way up to a restored 1970 Plymouth AAR Cuda, among many other fantastic cars. There were muscle cars, hot rods, offbeat classics, Mustangs, and even a Lotus Esprit V8. I was incredibly impressed at the variety and the caliber of cars on display out on the street on Sunday afternoon. The weather held up, everyone had a great time, and I even saw a 1969 Mustang Mach 1 that I’d judged in 2007 (more on that car in a future post). A great day was had. Enjoy the photos, everyone!
The Lincoln Continental was once a great marque. Lincoln needed to sell more product and in 1960, the Mark V was outdated and outclassed by its more modern rivals, so Lincoln was the first to take the plunge and shear off the tail fins. Lincoln told Elwood Engel, Ford’s design head at the time, to design something modern for their luxury product. He worked wonders, creating a boxy shape that became an instant classic. The suicide-doored sedan and corresponding convertible were chiseled and mature, and became the definitive Lincoln shape for a decade thereafter. This is probably my favorite year of the postwar Continental–1963. The angle of the grille and the ratio of chrome to paint up front are dead-on perfect and the upright top of the fenders shines through brilliantly. My grandpa had a convertible one of these in the early 1960s and remembers it fondly, just as I caught a glimpse into the past thanks to this example. The eggshell white paint may seem a bit plain to some but I think this is the consummate color for the Contiental of the Sixties. In fact, to me, no other color really captures the shape and the inner lines. The suicide doors, long since out of style by the time this body launched in 1961, have always looked perfect. Values have been healthy for this car for some time, and I can see why–this is easily my favorite Lincoln of the postwar era, even more so than the ones from the late 1940s. Enjoy the photos.
Raymond Leowy is a name known very well by a lot of car enthusiasts. He penned, among others, the Studebaker Avanti, the bullet-nose Studebaker Commander and Champion of the postwar era, the 1946 Lincoln Continental, the Hillman Minx, and the Sunbeam Alpine roadster. He had an eye for style and flair, and also was the pencil behind plenty of contemporary designs of today, including even the US Postal Service logo still in use. However, in 1941, he bought a brand-new Lincoln Continental coupe and had it sent off to the coachbuilder Durham for modifications. By the time the craftsmen at Durham were finished with the Lincoln, it looked strikingly different. The grille and hood were reshaped, the front fenders were shortened, and the bumpers were customized up front. At the rear, a fin was added in the center, and an opera window and plexiglass roof were added to the top. It was, in the end, quite a unique Continental and I had a hard time ignoring it when it was sitting at the entrance of the show this year. Enjoy the pictures.
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.
At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, every car is nothing short of immaculate. However, even among the hundreds of exquisite automobiles, some find a way to stand out in the crowd. This 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Boano Coupe does it with a stunning color draped over a sleek, if a bit peculiar, design.
Jalopnik even said they thought this car should have won “Best In Show”, but naturally they are always into the most offbeat thing present. While I don’t agree that this car should have won “Best In Show”, I really did enjoy getting to see this Indianapolis Boano Coupe in person. It definitely brings an event with it wherever it goes, and at a big car show such as this, that is what really matters.
Enjoy the photos.