LA Auto Show: Lincoln looks back before moving forward with new design

Lincoln is approaching its 100th anniversary (the company was founded in 1915), and the iconic carmaker is taking one of the most unique approaches at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s showcasing its past before it showcases its future.

On the first of two media days on Nov. 28, Lincoln is presenting seven of its iconic cars, a 1956 Continental Mark II once owned by Elizabeth Taylor to a 1937 Zephyr to a 1932 Lincoln KB Lebaron.

Vintage Lincoln at the LA Auto Show. Images © James Raia/2012

On second media day and when the show opens to the public Nov. 30, the vintage Lincolns will be replaced several MKZ models.

“We have new design team and Lincoln is moving forward,” said a Lincoln spokesman. “We got rid of Mercury to focus on Lincolns.”

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II

The company was founded by Henry M. Leland, one of the founders of Cadillac (originally the Henry Ford Company) and named it Lincoln Motor Company, named after Abraham Lincoln.

The Lincoln Motor Company was purchased by Ford Motor Company 1922 but continued to operate somewhat as a separate company from Ford until April 30, 1940. The following day, it became the Lincoln Division of Ford Motor Company.

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II once owned by Elizabeth Taylor

“We’re re-introducing the Lincoln to the West Coast,” said the Lincoln spokesperson. “A lot of people think of it as an East Coast car.”

The star of the vintage Lincoln display is no doubt the 1956 Continental Mark II. Once owned by the famed actress is on a circular display and is shimmers with a custom blue exterior paint. Elizabeth Taylor apparently ordered the custom paint and the car is now owned and stored in Thousand Oaks, California.

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