Leland’s Legacy: A Century of Lincoln


Henry Leland was a patriot, precision craftsman, and the sole individual in automotive history with two enduring nameplates to his credit: Cadillac and Lincoln. With the second of those American icons celebrating its centennial, this is the ideal moment to recognize Lincoln’s heritage.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/10/05/100-years-of-lincoln-anniversary


I noticed one error in the article. Rewgarding Lincoln’s first truck - the Navigator. It was based on the Ford Expedition, not the Explorer. The Lincoln version of the Explorer was named, I think, the Aviator.


I didn’t Realize that so few Blackwoods were sold. I can remember 2 of my customers having them. I think 1 still does. I’m going to have to ask his son “how’s dad doing…and the truck?” I think I want one more than the first time I saw it. Yeah just a dressed F150 but we’ll dresse. Now you spend way more with all the luxury and then some if you buy a new pickup. Guess they were ahead of the market. I grew up on Lincoln with my grandparents driving town cars for ever. I never considered the brand much through my 20’s and early 30’s but now nearing 40 I have an MKT my wife drives and a 74 MK IV. I think we’re the demographic that has kept Lincoln for 100 years.


I have three Lincoln Town cars all from the 90’s. I managed to get 345,000 miles on one of them. They are the best cars, and I have had very little trouble with them (outside of routine maintenance). Comfort and luxury unsurpassed! I’d buy more if I had a garage. You couldn’t pay me enough to drive the egg-shaped bots they call cars these days.


I’m wondering if there’s a centennial celebration similar to the Ford Motor Company centennial celebration in Dearborn, MI back in 2003? It would be nice to recognize the Lincoln nameplate and even nicer to coincide with the restoration of my triple white 1965 Lincoln Continental Convertible. If there’s any information regarding upcoming Lincoln’s 100 recognition, I’d love to know from those in the know.


@dlokon221 Right on both the Navigator and Aviator. We’ve updated the story.


The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 to build Liberty motors for World War One. At the end of the war, with its government contract fulfilled, the Lelands were left with a large, new factory. A new company was formed in 1920, also called the Lincoln Motor Company, to build automobiles. The first Lincoln was produced at the end of 1920, essentially a 1921 model. The 100th anniversary of the Lincoln automobile is 2020. That’s the date recognized by the Lincoln Motor Car Foundation, which oversaw construction of the LIncoln Motor Car Heritage Museum, and I have to believe that Ford Motor Company will recognize that date, as well.


Not much mentioned about Mark VIII’s. They had many new , and 1st ideas for automobiles. 32 valve ohc engine, ( many think it’s a mustang engine), full air suspension that lowers at highway speed, (mileage), HID headlights, etc. These cars have plenty of power, and great mileage. A luxury sports car. I was going to get a Blackwood, but only came with 2 wheel drive.


@onlytony Also chain-driven camshaft with 100,000-mile engine service interval.


I think there are several other mistakes in the article. In the second sentence of the second paragraph: “While Ford respected Lincoln’s manufacturing abilities” should I assume be Leland’s not Lincoln’s. And I don’t think the original Continental had 9 model years. Because the war interrupted all automobile manufacturing I believe it was 7.


Since I was very much involved in the design turn around for the '61 Lincoln Continental, the design of the Mk III and the '90 TownCar, I’d love to read more about these three models HP.


@wilsonspapa Thanks for pointing it out. Don apologies for the mistakes. We’re updated the story.


Hello Mike, I purchased my 1969 Lincoln Continental two door coupe, not a Mark, in October of 1969. I still have my 5300 pound coupe. At 180,000 miles in 2010 I had a C6 truck transmission, fit right in, installed and drove to Washington state to tow a 36 foot catamaran sailboat on trailer back to MN. The load was 9200 pounds. No problem over the Rocky Mountains. How can I attach a photo of my 1969 baby?. Maybe this worked. Marlin