Summer of Lincoln Love Weekend: 1957 Lincoln Premiere

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The 1957 Lincoln gets kind of lost in the shuffle by collectors and enthusiasts. The ’56 Continental Mark II is today considered a landmark car, with classic proportions, a perennial favorite on lists of the best looking cars of all time. The ’58 Continental Mark III, in contrast, is about as garish and ugly as 1950s cars could get (sorry if you’re a fan of the ’58, different strokes for different folks). While the ’57 Lincoln’s “face” is a little bit odd by today’s standards, it’s not too bad by ’50s standards and from the side it’s a rather attractive car. In profile I think the car has lines as clean as some of the nicer examples of Virgil Exner’s Forward Look Chryslers. Maybe the ’57 is a bit too nondescript for folks to get excited about it, because the car is certainly understated compared to what followed. Also, there was a deep national recession in 1957, in part sparked by the UAW’s lengthy strike against General Motors, so Ford didn’t sell very many Lincolns that year. Fewer sold mean fewer survivors today. Lincoln as a brand barely survived the 1950s, as Robert McNamara considered axing the underperforming luxury unit of Ford Motor Co. The brand was revived with the classic ’61 suicide door car and his Lincoln Premiere, in white with a really nice looking blue and white interior, has also survived and was at the 2011 Eyes On Design show.

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