As good looking as the ’56 Continental Mark II was before it, and as classic and clean design as the ’61 Continental that followed, the 1958 Lincoln Continental Mk III was an ugly amalgam of every styling cliche found in the 1950s. The ’58 Lincolns were so ugly that they almost killed the brand. Robert McNamara, Ford’s president at the time, seriously considered shuttering the Lincoln brand because sales had dipped so far. Fortunately, he saw Elwood Engel’s proposal for the 1961 Thunderbird, and he suggested making it a four door and selling it as a Lincoln. Though McNamara was not a car guy, he had good business instincts and the ’61 Continental revived the Lincoln brand and is today considered one of the classic car designs of all time. Regardless, the 1958 Lincoln was still quintessentially ugly. (Photo taken at the 2011 Eyes On Design show).
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