1955 Lincoln Capri

Palm Spring, California | C.1955

Photo Credit: Paul Fuentes

By the 1940s, the Ford Motor Company found itself in the midst of great uncertainty. Company president Edsel Ford had passed away in 1943, leaving the brand without leadership, until company founder Henry Ford (yes, that Ford) stepped in as president for a short two years. Shortly after, the company’s luxury brand Lincoln was in need of a reset. Enter the Lincoln Capri, launched in 1952 – or as the car would become known as: “the nearest sensation to flying”.

Created to serve as the premium luxury Lincoln model, the Capri quickly surpassed the two-door Lincoln Cosmopolitan. A full-size luxury car, 1,487 Lincoln Capri convertibles rolled off the assembly line in 1955 – perfect for transporting large items (like delightfully trimmed Christmas trees).

During its time on the market, the vehicle performed highly both at home and on the raceways. Lincoln entered several Capri coupes into the stock class of the 1952 Carrera Panamericana, an approximately 2,100 mile open-road sports car race spanning the north and south borders of Mexico. At the time, the competition was considered the most dangerous race in the world. In 1953, Lincoln snagged first place.

Back at home, the Capri was winning with American consumers, too. At one point, the car was even referred to as the “Pullman of the highway” – a nod to the train cars manufactured by the Pullman Company. Ford rolled out three generations of the luxury model over seven years.

Then in 1960, despite growing popularity, the Capri was discontinued, however the nameplate lived on on various sports car models for thirty years, making it one of two nameplates to ever be used by all three Ford divisions.

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