Once upon a time in the early 1950’s, all the major American Luxury Brands retreated from reaching for the highly bespoke luxury stratosphere. Informed by World War II solidarity and Korean War rationing, long gone were the days of custom bodied cruisers for the rich and famous.
All Luxury cars proved much more of their worth in terms of tangible features and performance. Notably, Lincoln, like Packard moved slightly down-market, to be considered in choices alongside Oldsmobile Ninety Eights and Chrysler New Yorkers alongside their traditional Cadillac and Imperial contemporaries.
Moving from the bath tub shapes of the first truly Post War Lincolns, the 1952 redesign of Ford’s finest pulled them not only in sync with styling of the Mercury cars, but the Ford line up as well. This filtering of fine car styling through the whole line-up had done a great deal of unification between Chrysler and General Motor products, but for Lincoln it did dilute some of the brand prestige that they formerly held.
Under the hood however lay newfound power and prowess in the form of a deep skirted “Y-Block” 317 Cube V8 ready to rumble in the horsepower war well underway in the early 1950s. Starting at 160 horsepower in 1952, it soon boasted 205 horsepower, putting it in the thicket of competition between luxury brands with sparkling new Overhead Valve V8s in the early 50’s.
Quite often in the 1950’s that new vim and vigor meant your brand went racing. Lincoln was no different. This doesn’t look like your prototypical race car. However from 1952 through 1954 Lincoln took the top spots in the Pan American Road Race with these solid running luxury boats.
Like Hudson and Oldsmobile especially, the reputation they secured in competition brought extra bragging rights when it came time to sell the products. The birth of Race on Sunday, Sell On Monday began with luxury brands and filtered down to more mainstream brands as the decade wore on.
Lincolns of this era are often overlooked as collectibles. That oversight is extremely unjustified considering the caliber of performance, luxury, quality and value that they presented to customers 60 years ago. This does make them slightly easier to access compared to their contemporaries as classic cars. Given a fresh overview and an understanding eye, you can see that many a luxury customer made a wise choice in choosing an early 1950’s Lincoln.