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1942 Lincoln Continental Is a Pre-War Gem Wearing Desert Combat Duty Colors

Back in 1942 the United States was experiencing its first year as a combatant in the Second World War. Having joined the fight in December 1941, it quickly diverted all the resources that were not already involved in war production for the Allies to do so for its own use. Including the facilities of the country's major carmakers.
1942 Lincoln Continental 12 photos
Photo: Mecum
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Just to give you an idea of what that meant for civilian car production, consider the fact that from the output high of some three million units made for the civilian market in the year Japan attacked, numbers dropped to less than half that the following year - and that was mostly because 1942 model year cars started being made in the summer of 1941.

Officially, the American Department of Defense put the entire vehicle production output during the war years (that means until 1945) at just… 139 new cars.

All of America's carmakers were affected, including Lincoln. Already a brand meant for the best and richest among us, it was never one to roll out vehicles for the masses, but the constraints of war meant it only made 136 Continental models in convertible guise for the 1942 model year. And we just stumbled upon one of them.

Lincoln had started rolling out Continentals in proper numbers in 1940, but had to put a hold on production of the first generation in 1942, and only resumed it in 1946. That technically makes this vehicle an extremely rare pre-war luxury car, the kind collectors usually fight fiercely over.

The car is styled in that flamboyant, lovable style of the era, with a mix of rounded lines (on the front end, fender skirts, and rear) and sharper edges (the metal and glass around the bodywork) giving it an unmistakable look.

As if trying to make it even clearer that it's a car born in some of humanity's darkest years, it wears colors that make it look for some undercover missions in the desert – that would be something called Chetwynd Beige over a Burgundy leather interior.

The car rolls on wheels with full-size covers and whitewall tires under the power supplied by a 305ci engine, which in turn is controlled by a three-speed manual transmission.

It's a new powerplant, as Lincoln only offered a 292ci unit back then, and it shows no miles of use since being fitted under the hood (total mileage is just over 62,000 miles/99,700 km).

The car as it looks today is clearly the result of restoration work, with the tan top, the carpeting, and paint being new. As touches of uniqueness and luxury, it boasts an in-dash clock and gold instrumentation.

The car is listed for sale by Mecum during its Fall Special auction in Indianapolis in early October. No mention is made as to how much it is expected to fetch, and as far as we can tell this is the first time the car is going under the hammer.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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