HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1948 Lincoln Continental

Pick of the Day: 1948 Lincoln Continental

Just back from a road trip, the car is being offered after 20 years of ownership


From local shows to Pebble Beach, the centennial of the Lincoln automotive brand is being celebrated in 2022, and the Pick of the Day, a 1948 Lincoln Continental, could be your ticket to featured status from cruises to concours.

Henry Leland launched the Cadillac brand, but he was among those unhappy with Billy Durant’s management of General Motors. So Leland, at the time 74 years of age (and who had voted for Abraham Lincoln for president), quit. Leland and his son, Wilfred, started a new company, Lincoln Motor, but instead of cars, they were building Liberty aircraft engines for use in World War I.

When the war ended, they started building luxury motorcars. Sales were not strong and the company was failing when it was purchased by Henry Ford. Ford reportedly hated Leland, who had been brought in to assess the value in 1902 of the Henry Ford Company, which Henry had started but had left in disagreement with his financial backers.

But Ford’s son, Edsel, liked Lincoln and the Lelands so the sale took place, though it wasn’t very long until Henry made things so difficult for the Lelands that they would leave.

Lincoln flourished under Edsel’s leadership. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge bought one, which began a relationship between the brand and the nation’s presidents. In 1931, 23-year-old Bob Gregorie was hired as the first designer at the Ford Motor Co. (he had previously been designing yachts) and helped create the Lincoln Zephyr and in 1939, the Continental.

Edsel Ford had been traveling in Europe and wanted a stylish car for his annual winter stay in Florida. The result was the Continental, which drew so much attention from luxury-car buyers that a production version was created. 

The Pick of the Day is a 1948 example being offered after 20 years of ownership. The private seller in Fountain Valley, California, reports that the car has been “garaged and well taken care of.” 

Its V12 engine has been driven 16,000 miles after a rebuild, and the car has new paint and upholstery. The engine is linked to a 3-speed, column-shifted transmission with overdrive, and recently did a trip from California to Colorado and Utah and back.

“Everything electrical and mechanical is in perfect working order,” the seller reports. “No cracks in the glass, no tears, no rips.”

However, the seller adds, “Getting too old to work on it anymore, it’s time for a new home.”

The car is being offered for $45,000, which the Hagerty valuation website lists as the price of such a car somewhere between Excellent ($35,100) and Concours ($49,200) condition. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.



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