Cohort Classic Capsule: 1942 Lincoln Continental – The Beginning Of The End

 Lincoln Continental 1942 fr

1941-1942 started a major new styling direction in Detroit: out with the graceful and delicate streamline-era front ends; in with the Wurlitzer juke-box look out front. As much as I can appreciate some of the fanciful front ends in their own right, they typically overpowered the rest of the cars, which with few exceptions were still mostly the same bodies as the ’39s. In the case of the exceptionally graceful 1939 Continental, the results of its facelift in 1942 were rather exceptionally jarring.

Lincoln Continental 1942 side

TheProfessor47 posted these shots of this very fine 1942 Continental, which also had elongated front and rear fenders compared to the original. Obviously, still a very attractive car, and the front end was still much better then the really heavy one that came along in 1946.

Lincoln Continental 1942 hood

These Continentals were appreciated for their uniqueness right from the get-go, and I suspect their survival rate is perhaps the highest of any American car of this era. But they were saddled with what was undoubtedly the worst engine ever built by Ford, the Zephyr V12. Many or most had their engine replaced with the big Lincoln flathead V8 that came along in 1949, or even the later Lincoln Y-block.

Lincoln Continental 1942 rq

Apparently, there were plans for a Continental coupe based on the new 1949 body, but it was nixed due to it just not working on that big, bulbous body shell, as well as anticipated low sales. Or perhaps it was out of respect to Edsel Ford, who died in 1943, and didn’t want his reputation sullied by something less than worthy. Good call.