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Ford is ending production of the Lincoln Continental. Here's a look at the car's history.

Ford Motor Company announced this week that it is ending production of one its most famous cars: the Lincoln Continental. Ford will stop manufacturing the luxury sedan at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant at the end of this year.

For a look at the car's history, Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou spoke with Ken Fischang, the director of commercial operations at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Mich. In addition to working for the museum, Fischang has owned more than 25 Lincolns over the years.

You can hear the interview at the top of this page. 

Ford also announced that the 2021 Continental, the last model year, will be sold only in China. When production of the Continental ends, the Lincoln brand's lineup will no longer have any cars and will be made up entirely of SUVs.  

Early history of the Lincoln Continental 

1917 - Lincoln is founded by Henry Leland. Leland had previously been one of the founders of Cadillac. Unlike many of his contemporaries in the auto industry, Leland chooses to name his company for someone else: former President Abraham Lincoln.

1922 - Henry Ford and his son, Edsel Ford, purchase Lincoln for $8 million. 

1939 - The first Continental, called the Lincoln Zephyr Continental, is produced. Edsel Ford oversees its design and marketing.

1940s - The Continental goes out of production during World War II. The Continental returns from 1946 through 1948 before production stops again. 

1955 - Production of a new Continental begins. This generation of the car is also known as Mark II. 

1963 - President John F. Kennedy is riding in a customized 1961 Lincoln Continental when he is assassinated in Dallas. After some modifcations, the car is put back into service and remains in a rotation of limousines into the admininstration of President Jimmy Carter.  

Read more: 

"The Origins of the Lincoln Continental – The story of the creation of a design classic." - Ford Motor Company

"A Brief Lincoln History" - The Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum at the Gilmore Car Museum

Doug Tribou joined the Michigan Radio staff as the host of Morning Edition in 2016. Doug first moved to Michigan in 2015 when he was awarded a Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
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