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And you thought the Lincoln Continental was dead? It is, but Lincoln still has a bunch of them languishing in dealership lots. And it is slowly finding buyers for them, as just last month it sold a whole 14 of the brand-new classy sedans. They’re the last of a breed, so get ‘em while they’re still taking up the space an SUV could be sitting in.

Lincoln stopped making the Continental a year ago

Lincoln Continental
2020 Lincoln Continental | Getty

It’s been almost a year since Lincoln stopped making the Continental. Ford put down the gauntlet and doesn’t make cars anymore; save for the Mustang and GT. It’s a sad end to a grand old marque. 

That said, do you think Lincoln dealers are glad they still have some of these lying around with the chip shortage killing production of everything else? We wonder how many they might have sold if SUVs and trucks were flooding the lots like in normal years? 

Did these Continental buyers come to the dealer for an SUV first?

Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Continental | Getty

And we also wonder if the customers that bought these 14 Continentals went to the dealer to buy an SUV or pickup? If they specifically came for a Continental, why now? Why not buy one when they were fresh, even though these are new cars? Maybe they got nostalgic for the days when a Continental meant something. Now, nobody knows what it was or is.

This last iteration hit the market in 2017. Based on a highly acclaimed concept, in production, it didn’t completely translate from that concept. It was very similar but lacked the crispness and size. So Lincoln got four years out of a brand that it had killed off more times than just now.

The Continental goes back to 1940

Lincoln Continental
Rita Hayworth photographed in front of her bungalow leaning against her new 1941 Lincoln Continental | George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

The first time the Continental got axed was in 1948. It wasn’t until 1956 that the low-production Continental Mark II arrived. An overly-styled Mark III replaced the Mark II before it too was replaced with the cleanly-styled Continental in 1961. The Continental continued, morphing into the long hood, long overhangs, and short wheelbase models of the 1970s. 

The eighth and ninth generations ran from 1988 to 1994 and 1995 to 2002. Then Ford cut the Continental from Lincoln’s roster. A number of interesting concepts were hung out to gauge interest or something, but it wasn’t until this latest model debuted in 2017 that the Continental was back. 

Lincoln never really tried to make a Continental to compete with the Germans

Lincoln Continental
RMD Garage’s 1962 Lincoln Continental outside of the Playboy Social Club in Palm Springs, California | Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

It seems that, unlike Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler could never compete with their European counterparts. Then the same became true for Japan’s Lexus and Infiniti brands. Unfortunately, the lure for the American brands to produce lower-priced cars keeps them from becoming a Mercedes or BMW. 

Even Cadillac fell victim to cheapening in the 1970s and 1980s. It has played Hell trying to extinguish those sad cars from buyers’ minds today. Though the Continental tried to erase that reputation with this last model, being on the smaller platform never gave it the luxury ride or the sporting handling it deserved. 

Lincoln tried to build the ultimate luxury car back in 1956

1956 Lincoln Continental Mk II
1956 Lincoln Continental Mk II | Getty

So the old saying “death by a thousand cuts,” is appropriate here. Ford could never produce an all-out Mercedes beater. In 1956 it tried. Almost a hand-built car, Ford only produced 3,000 of them over two years. But that was expected. It was more about establishing it could build the best than about price.

That was no more evident than with the base model price of $10,000, with those in the upper ranges were over $13,000. You could buy a loaded Lincoln Premiere for under five grand. But again, the price wasn’t an issue. Ford couldn’t relive those days in this environment, but it could have done a lot more for the storied brand than it did.