In 1922, Henry and Wilford Leland's Lincoln Motor Company was purchased by the Ford Motor Company. The LeLands had gone into business in 1917 building Liberty airplane engines. When the war ended they eventually switched to luxury automobile production but financial calamity forced the sale to Ford.
Edsel Ford took the helm with an eye towards upgrading Lincoln styling. To that end he enlisted the finest American coachbuilders to produce stylish new bodies for the company. Edsel had always been influenced by European automobile styling. He began working with the designer E.T. Gregorie, Jr. to bring his ideas into fruition. After building two prototypes the company set up a special assembly area where stock Lincoln Zephyrs were lengthened, lowered and modified to create a design that has become a timeless exercise in automobile styling.
Noted architect, Frank Lloyd Wright considered Gregorie's Continental 'the most beautiful car in the world.' Utilizing very little chrome trim and emphasizing the long low clean shape, the Continental was far ahead of its time and set a standard few cars could match. By 1941 small details were changed; the grille and door handles for example. Otherwise the design remained the clean pure design envisioned by Edsel and Gregorie.
This example is the oldest surviving 1941 Continental. The original owner was a professor at Virginia Military Institute. The second owner was a physician in Martinsville, Virginia. The current owner is the third owner.