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The Lincoln Motor Car Company was started in 1920 by Henry Leland, who in 1902 built the Cadillac Motor Car Company out of the remains of the failed Henry Ford Company. Lincolns quickly earned a reputation for their outstanding quality but their conservative styling didn't attract many buyers. By 1922 Lincon was on the brink of bankruptcy and was sold to Leland's former nemesis, Henry Ford in November of that year.
Under the direction of Edsel Ford, Lincoln became a very stylish automobile with pproduction designs from the masters of American coach building.
Lincoln was a robust car and was favored by police departments and rum runners alike.
Lincoln clearly established itself as a producer of luxury cars equal to the finest in the world but with Cadillac's introduction of their V-16 engine in 1930, followed by a V-12 in 1931, the multi-cylinder race was on. Any company hoping to compete in the luxury car maket would also have to offer a similar engine and so it came as no surprise when Lincoln introduced its V-12 in 1932.
Beginning in 1933, Lincoln would sell nothing but twelve-cylinder automobiles for the next fifteen years.
The Continental name has meant luxury and performance to several generations of automobile buyers. The nameplate set a new standard for quality when Ford re-introduced the marque with the 1956 Continental Mark II. High costs ended production after only two years. However, the name returned in 1968 with the new Lincoln Continental Mark III. (There never was a Mark I.) The Mark IV debuted in 1972 as a large and luxurious two-door hardtop sporting twin comfort lounge front seats, opera windows and a Cartier clock. The Mark V carried on this tradition from 1977 to 1979.