Auctions and Brokerage
1940 marked the first use of the Continental name on a Lincoln product, and in spectacular fashion. The newest offering from the division was the brainchild of Edsel Ford, who tasked E.T. Gregorie with the creation of a completely new one-off, low-profile convertible for use at his Palm Beach home during his 1939 visit. Fortuitously, a lack of trunk space in the design led to the now famous “Continental” spare wheel. When it arrived at his Florida compound, many of Mr. Ford’s friends – several being captains of industry themselves – admired the Lincoln’s elegant, modern lines so much that they essentially demanded it go into production. A power-operated convertible top, gold-tone interior fittings, and an ultra-smooth V-12 coupled with an overdrive gearbox and Columbia two-speed rear end ably proclaimed the Continental’s superiority. Since much of the tooling for the new model was not yet ready for the production line, the 350 Continental Convertibles for 1940 were largely hand built and are understandably coveted to this day.
The Continental Convertible on offer is simply gorgeous, finished in deep blue with a cream canvas top and a rich burgundy leather interior. Prior owners Johnny and Sara Snyder earned the Ford Motor Company Trophy (1939-1942 Lincoln Continental) at the Western National Meet of the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club in 1996, and the E.T. Gregorie Trophy for Best in Show at the following year’s meet. The rare Continental joined the consignor’s collection in 2009, making an appearance at the Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance in Palm Springs, California, that same year. Since then it has been kept in show-ready condition by his collection staff. A CCCA Full Classic, the sophisticated open Continental was an unbridled success for the Lincoln brand and has earned its place as one of the most definitive and pivotal designs in the company’s history. Accordingly, this outstanding, restored example deserves pride of place wherever it goes.