Lincoln Continental Brings Back Design Cue

Some companies use cues from their past because contemporary ideas don’t seem to be working out so well.

Some companies use cues from their past because contemporary ideas don’t seem to be working out so well.

Other companies use those cues because they speak to some fundamental truths about the brand.

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One of the companies in the latter category is Lincoln, which has been creating some beautiful vehicles of late that are getting significantly less attention in the market than they deserve.

80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental

The Continental is one of those vehicles. Unfortunately, in the U.S. during the first 11 months of this year only 7,588 of these handsome sedans have been sold.

However, one group of 80 Continentals, a special edition, will probably be sold before you’ve even had a chance to read this, even though the cars won’t be available until next summer.

It is the 2019 Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition.

80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental

David Woodhouse, Lincoln design director: “The center-opening doors became synonymous with the Lincoln Continental, even though they were only featured primarily in the ’60s. But they struck such a chord that they’re still remembered so fondly today.”

And so to celebrate its 80th, they’re bringing out 80 Continentals with the center-opening doors.

(These doors are sometimes referred to as “suicide doors.” Presumably that wouldn’t go over too well in the marketing materials.)

This isn’t just a matter of redesigning the sheet metal for the doors and repositioning hinges. They’re adding six inches to the wheelbase, which is for rear ingress and egress.

Woodhouse describes the doors, which open to a full 90 degrees, as “the easiest way to get in and out of a vehicle.”

1961-Lincoln-Continental

‘61 Lincoln

While some might think that the center-opening doors would eliminate the B-pillar—providing a whole lot of capacious space for getting in and out—that is not the case today, nor was it back in the early ‘60s, when the 1961 Continental was gliding along. (It is hard to conceive how contemporary rollover and roof-crush regulations could be met without the pillars in place on the new model. Back in the day it probably had more to do with sealing than the Continental’s ceiling.)

The 2019 Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition can be ordered through Lincoln Black Label dealers. It is worth noting that according to Lincoln there will be “a limited number of additional Continental Coach Door Edition sedans” for the 2020 model year.

Although the number may be small, perhaps this version of the Continental will make more people aware of what is clearly a well-designed and well-executed automobile.

80th Anniversary Lincoln Continental