The Lincoln brand was purchased by Ford Motor Company in 1922, and was immediately set up as a design-forward locus within the company’s headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan. In fact, Lincoln head (and family scion) Edsel Ford created the company’s first in-house design studio mainly to serve the advanced needs of Lincoln, which was intended to be a luxury brand, meant to compete with Cadillac and other top-tier marques.
Lincoln thus became a locus for experimentation within the relatively staid Ford organization. To celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary, we took a walk backwards through the most outré of these ideas, with brand archivist Ted Ryan as our guide. Here are nine exemplars of this spirit of innovation.