If you’re expecting log cabins, philosophical debates, civil wars and assassinations, you might want to think again. This is a used engine site, not a history class. Also not to be confused with the history of the Lincoln Motor company that produces non-automobile motors, this is the history of the Lincoln auto company.
Birth and Young Life
The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in August 1917 by a father-son duo, Henry and Wilfred Leland. Henry Leland had previously been a manager for Cadillac, but wanted to work at creating aircraft engines for the Liberty planes of World War 1. He named his company after his hero, for whom he had voted – Abraham Lincoln.
Shortly thereafter, the war ended, and the new Lincoln Motor Company needed to find something new to work on, so they turned to manufacturing luxury cars. In 1920, the first luxury Lincoln rolled off the line and onto the streets.
Mergers and Moving Up
Unfortunately for the Leland’s little company, the Lincoln L-Series didn’t exactly explode on the car market. Rather, it exploded in the company’s face. Only about 150 cars were made before the company had to declare bankruptcy. However, it wasn’t all gone. The company was, instead, acquired by the very people who had provided them cylinders for their aircraft engines – the Ford Motor Company.
Before long, the Lincoln was not only a well-known luxury car, but was, in fact, up at the leading edge of the luxury market. In fact, in 1940, the Lincoln Continental became the first vehicle to win an award for design excellence from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and artist/architect Frank Lloyd Wright declared it the “perfect car.”
In 1927, the brand image for the Lincoln was a greyhound hood ornament. In the ’30s, though, Ford began using a coat of arms, and Lincoln followed suit, with a coat of arms bearing a red cross and knight’s helmet. Eventually, the symbol evolved to become the framed, 4-pointed star that still exists today.
Present Day Lincoln Motors
Like all car companies, Lincoln Motors has had ups and downs. Their best-selling years came in the late 1980’s to early 90’s, but the downturn of the economy hit them like it hit the rest of the USA. In 2002, Lincoln Motors had to declare bankruptcy, but were revived, again, by Ford. At present, the company is planning new models and hopes to release them by 2015, which they believe will spur increased sales and productivity.