History of Lincoln
Lincoln Motor Company, or simply Lincoln, is the luxury vehicle division of American automobile manufacturer Ford. Marketed among the top luxury vehicle brands in the United States, Lincoln was positioned closely against its General Motors counterpart Cadillac. The division helped to establish the personal luxury car segment with the 1940 Lincoln Continental.
Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland, naming it after Abraham Lincoln. In February 1922, the company was acquired by Ford, its parent company to this day. Following World War II, Ford formed the Lincoln-Mercury Division, pairing Lincoln with its mid-range Mercury brand; the pairing lasted through the 2010 closure of Mercury. At the end of 2012, Lincoln reverted to its original name, Lincoln Motor Company. Following the divestiture of Premier Automotive Group (Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, and Volvo) and the closure of Mercury, Lincoln remains the sole luxury nameplate of Ford Motor Company.
Originally founded as a freestanding division above Lincoln, Continental was integrated within Lincoln in 1959. For 1969, the Continental-branded Mark series was marketed through Lincoln, adopting the Lincoln name for 1986. The Lincoln four-point star emblem is derived from a badge introduced on the 1956 Continental Mark II; the current version was introduced in 1980.
The current product range of Lincoln consists of luxury crossovers and sport-utility vehicles. Throughout its entire existence, Lincoln has also produced vehicles for limousine and livery use; several examples have served as official state limousines for Presidents of the United States.
In 2017, Lincoln sold 188,383 vehicles globally. Outside of North America, Lincoln vehicles are officially sold in the Middle East (except Iran and Syria), China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), and South Korea.
Lincoln Sport Victories and Racing
Like all American brands of the 1950s, Lincoln participated in NASCAR's Grand National Stock Car series, winning the first race in that series. Lincolns were campaigned in NASCAR through 1953.
The Continental Mark VII was raced in the Trans-Am Series in 1984 and 1985 without success, with the best result being a ninth-place finish (at the 1984 Watkins Glen Trans-Am race
In 1992, a Lincoln Mark VIII prototype was built as a land speed record car, setting the top speed record for a stock car with an engine under 5 liters at 182 mph (293 km/h).
The Mark VIII was tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1996 as a potential replacement for the discontinued Ford Thunderbird, but the car was rejected by NASCAR due to a lack of wind tunnel testing and not getting the serial numbers of the parts to ensure they were stock components, as well as Ford not wanting to give Lincoln, traditionally a luxury brand, a racing image; Ford ultimately replaced the Thunderbird with the Ford Taurus.
Lincoln is Ford's Luxury brand, and it lives up to the reputation. Their lineup of luxury SUV's includes the Navigator, the Aviator, the Nautilus, the Corsair and two new EV concepts the Star and the L100.