HomeThe Market1953 Lincoln concept car at Keels and Wheels Concours

1953 Lincoln concept car at Keels and Wheels Concours


The 1953 Lincoln X-100 is taken for a high-speed test run during its heyday |The Henry Ford photos
The 1953 Lincoln X-100 is taken for a high-speed test run during its heyday |The Henry Ford photos

The gadget-laden 1953 Lincoln X-100, considered to be Ford Motor Co.’s first purpose-built concept car, appeared in auto shows across Europe and the U.S., where it starred as a thrilling vision of the future with a rain-sensing retractable roof and taillights that look like the exhaust outlets of a jet fighter plane.

The X-100 will land this weekend at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas, for the annual Keels and Wheels Concours d’Elegance. Lincoln Motor Co., one of the sponsors of the event that combines fine collector cars with vintage wooden boats, arranged for the concept to be transported from The Henry Ford museum for special display at the concours.

The X-100 heralded Ford’s future styling trends
The X-100 heralded Ford’s future styling trends

Keels and Wheels marks its 20th year during the May 2-3 show, which has entrants and spectators who arrive from all over the United States. About 15,000 people are expected to attend.

As part of the 20-year celebration, Keels and Wheels has invited best-of-show cars and boats from past concours to be on display.

The honored automotive marques for the 2015 concours judging are Packard and Mustang, and the boat brands are Garwood and Hacker.

The grand marshal for 2015 is Dennis Gage, the handlebar-mustachioed host of Velocity’s My Classic Car series on cable TV.

The Lincoln concept car will join about 200 cars and 100 boats at the scenic marina. For more information, see the Keels and Wheels concours website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.
  1. Is it just me, or does the entire rear treatment from the tail lights, mini fins, and even the rear quarter trim, look too much like a 61 Bird to be a coincidence?

  2. …..my exact thoughts! Rick, can you offer any insight as to the similarity of the 53 Lincoln concept to that of the 61-63 T-Bird? Was the resulting T-Bird design pulled from the Lincoln concept?

  3. Amazing that it took 8 years for that rear styling to filter down to the showroom floor on the 61 T-Bird. These days a concept can become reality in the next model year. I wonder who designed that Lincoln, and did they get credit for the 61 Bird?

  4. How about some chassis shots while it is off its wheels to see what kind of base it is built on? Thanks!

  5. ’61/’63 T-bird yes, even the 4 spears of crome on the rear quarter panel is t-bird, and notice the hood center piece, looks exactly like the ’58 Ford center piece

  6. The original concept for the 1961 Lincoln was taken from the T-Bird. When Robert McNamara saw the first T-Bird prototype in clay he liked it so much he asked the designers to stretch the wheel base and make it into the the 61 Continental. If you look at the front end of a 61 Continental and a T-Bird, the headlights and grill are almost the same. the T-Bird and the Conti were both Unibody cars built in the same Wixsom plant. This had been the the norm since the 1958. Both Unibody cars being built in the same plant saved Ford money and was cost effective and more profitable. The Continental engines and bodies were however built to a higher quality control standard.Lincoln pioneered the 12 mile quality control road test for every new Lincoln to check for any problems. This was done before they left the factory to be delivered to dealers. They were also the First to come out with the 24 Month/24000 mile warranty. this was a First in the industry and was later copied by Imperial and then Cadillac. I have owned several of these (62 and 65) . I still have the 62 and it never fails to get attention ware ever i go with it. I hope this helps to shed light on this great cars History.

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