1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental

The Lincoln Continental of 1940 through 1948 wore European-inspired design elegance and a widely emulated, rear-mounted, metal-shrouded spare tire. During a trip to Europe in 1938, Edsel Ford was impressed and inspired by the styling of European cars of the time. Upon returning to the U.S., he tasked designer Bob Gregorie to design a one-off custom convertible for his own use that emulated the sporty feel of the cars he had witnessed. The design, based on a heavily modified Lincoln Zephyr was so impressive that it evolved into the production 1940 Continental.

The 1940 and 1941 Continentals had a pointed prow and curvaceous fender shape that was shared with the streamlined contemporary Lincoln Zephyr, along with the chassis size. 1942 production and sales were shortened in the U.S. due to the onset of World War II, however, the 1942 Continentals received new, more squared-off fenders, and the redesigned frontal ensemble shared with all Lincolns.

Production resumed in 1946 following WWII, and like most manufacturers, the Ford family of vehicles (Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln) wore pre-war styling with mild updates. The 1946 Lincolns continued the 1942 styling but with new die-cast egg-crate grille work. 1948 would be the final year of the first-generation design, introduced in 1940, and the last Continental until the Mark II of 1955.

The 1946 through 1948 Lincolns were the only post-WWII American cars powered by a V-12 engine. The 305 cubic-inch L-head twelve-cylinder unit was rated at 130 horsepower and backed by a standard three-speed manual transmission. The 125-inch wheelbase chassis used rigid front and rear axles supported by transverse leaf springs and Monroe double-acting shock absorbers.

The large engines and expensive price tags kept the Lincoln Continentals exclusive, with the Cabriolets having a base price of $4,746, which was more than two-and-a-half times the cost of that year's Ford V-8 convertible.

The first-generation Continental was featured in 1951 in the Museum of Modern Art, part of an eight-car exhibit honoring automotive design excellence. In 1959 TIME magazine listed it as one of the top ten best-designed commercial products in history.

The first all-new postwar Lincoln models were introduced on April 22nd of 1948, wearing modern, streamlined bodies with a two-piece windshield on the 9E-L series. The Series 9EL was based on the Mercury body but the top-of-the-line Cosmopolitan was a brand new full envelope body style. Series 9EL Body styles included a two-door club coupe, four-door sports sedan, and two-door convertible - all with seating for six passengers.


by Daniel Vaughan | May 2020

Related Reading : Lincoln Continental History

The name Continental was inspired by the 1940s Lincoln Continental powered by a large 12-cylinder engine. Bentley had used the name Continental on their model line, adding to the ambiance and prestige. In 1956 the Ford Motor Company formed the Continental Division for the production of the Mark II. Its general manager was William Clay Bill Ford, son of Edsel Ford and grandson of Henry Ford. Many....
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1948 Vehicle Profiles

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Club Coupe

The Lincoln Continental was the brainchild of Edsel Ford and executed by Ford's chief stylist, Bob Gregorie. It was introduced in 1940 as an exclusive, luxurious, handcrafted automobile for the status conscious consumer. The early Continental was rec....[continue reading]

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Coachcraft Custom
Coachwork: Coachcraft

Commissioned by Henry Ford II, this unusual Lincoln was modified by Los Angeles-based Coachcraft at a cost of $20,000. Special features included fenders that extended into the doors, a gently rounded rear deck without the customary 'continental kit,....[continue reading]

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Convertible

Chassis Num: 8H180929

This 1948 Lincoln Continental Coupe was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held at Meadow Brook where it was estimated to sell between $50,000 - $60,000. The car is powered by a 292 cubic-inch side-valve V12 engine that is capable of producing....[continue reading]

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Convertible

Chassis Num: 8H174303

After a no-expense-spared restoration, this Lincoln Continental Convertible was shown at the Classic Car Club of American Grand Classic where it won an award on its first showing. In 1982 at the AACA National Meet it was awarded a Senior National Fi....[continue reading]

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Convertible

The Original Continental was designed by Ford's chief stylist, E.T. 'Bob' Gregorie who created the beautiful machine ford Edsel Ford. It was a one-off luxury car with European styling and a stylish rear-mounted spare tire. It sat atop of a Lincoln Ze....[continue reading]

The Lincoln Continental was the brainchild of Edsel Ford and executed by Ford's chief stylist, Bob Gregorie. The Continental was introduced in 1940 as an exclusive, luxurious, handcrafted automobile for the status conscious consumer. The early Cont....[continue reading]

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Club Coupe

1948 marked the end of production of twelve-cylinder automobile engine for the United States with the discontinuation of the Lincoln V-12. This Continental coupe is one of the last 200 twelves produced. Introduced in 1940, the Lincoln Continental ins....[continue reading]

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Convertible

Chassis Num: 8H176397

Edsel Ford entrusted his favored stylist, Bob Gregorie, to design a customized Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Coupe for him to drive during a winter vacation in Florida. The car was so impressive that it was soon put into production. The result, called t....[continue reading]

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Convertible

When Ford Motor Co. president Edsel Ford wanted a special personal vehicle, he commissioned chief stylist Eugene T. 'Bob' Gregorie to create a custom design for his March, 1939 vacation. Gregorie sketched an elegant Zephyr-based convertible with a lo....[continue reading]

Convertible

Chassis Num: 8H177461

This Lincoln Continental Convertible has a split bench seat, wide whitewall tires, rear-mounted spare, fender skirts, power convertible top, power windows, chrome bumpers and grille, and a 3-speed manual transmission.....[continue reading]

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Club Coupe

This Lincoln Continental Club Coupe has an older restoration and is finished in maroon, with a burgundy leather and broadcloth interior. The odometer shows 34,720 miles, and the car retains a correct radio and dashboard clock.....[continue reading]

1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental vehicle information

Convertible

Founded by Henry Leland in 1917, Lincolns were assembled using engines supplied by Ford, Buick, Cadillac, Marmon and Packard. The first model in 1917 was powered by a V8 engine. The company suffered during the 1920's and was forced to seek financial ....[continue reading]

Club Coupe
 
Coachcraft Custom by Coachcraft
 
Convertible
Chassis #: 8H180929 
Convertible
Chassis #: 8H174303 
Convertible
 
 
Club Coupe
 
Convertible
Chassis #: 8H176397 
Convertible
 
Convertible
Chassis #: 8H177461 
Club Coupe
 
Convertible
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$925-$20,000
1948 Mark I Continental
1948 Lincoln Mark I Continental Price Range: $4,660 - $20,000

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Lincoln
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)40,762
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)27,271
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)32,574
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)28,190
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)73,507
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)7,769
1947Chevrolet (671,546)Ford (429,674)Plymouth (382,290)21,460
1946Ford (468,022)Chevrolet (398,028)Plymouth (264,660)16,645

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