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January 11, 2024

30 Wonderful Vintage Lincoln Ads From the Early 1950s

Lincoln Motor Company, or simply Lincoln, 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.

As a practical means of communication, photography is about as old as the automobile. But into the 1950s, automakers predominantly entrusted artists to idealize their products in advertising. Lincoln’s first all-new postwar design for 1949 drew criticism because the cars were difficult to distinguish from the Mercurys with which they shared architecture, so the advertising art renders the smaller, sleeker cars to look longer and lower.

As Lincoln entered the 1950s, Ford Motor Company sought to increase the differentiation between the Mercury and Lincoln model lines. For 1952, to add interest to the brand, Lincoln returned to model names for the first time since 1942, with the Lincoln Cosmopolitan becoming the standard Lincoln model, with the Lincoln Capri becoming the flagship model line. In a return to (small) pontoon rear fenders, Lincolns shared a body with the Mercury Monterey. Mechanically, Lincoln differed from Mercury, as the Ford truck V8 was replaced by the Lincoln Y-block V8 with a Hydramatic transmission. For the first time since the discontinuation of the Model K, Lincolns were produced with front-hinged rear doors.

For 1956, the shared Lincoln-Mercury body underwent a redesign for the final time, with Lincoln adopting elements from the Mercury XM-800 and Lincoln Futura concept cars. Slotted above the Lincoln Capri, the Lincoln Premiere adapted features of the Continental Mark II, including its ducted air conditioning.

During 1956, Lincoln-Mercury was reorganized slightly, following the creation of the free-standing Edsel and Continental divisions, Lincoln-Mercury was changed to Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln (MEL), with Edsel slotted alongside/below Mercury and Continental above Lincoln, as the flagship of all of Ford Motor Company. By the end of 1959, Continental was integrated into Lincoln, and Edsel was withdrawn.


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