Lincoln Continental

For the Kennedy White House, the Secret Service purchased a convertible parade limousine custom built by Hess & Eisenhart of Cincinnati, Ohio. This model was created from a 1961 Lincoln 4-door convertible. It was known by the code name SS-100-X, and sadly it was in this car that JFK was riding in when he was assassinated in 1963. By that time, the front of the car had been updated with the grille, headlights and bumper assembly from the 1962 model. After the assassination, the limousine was returned to Hess & Eisenhart, where it was repaired and retrofitted with full armor and a fixed roof. It subsequently continued in service for the White House for many years. This world-famous car is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Lincoln Continental is a model name that has been used several times by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company for a line of luxury cars. For most of its lifetime, the Continental nameplate referred to the four-door Lincoln flagship. In 1981 the Continental's supremacy as the Lincoln flagship ended when the Town Car, which was a trim level up till then, took over as the new flagship. The Continental continued as a midsize model, competing mainly with the Cadillac Seville until production ceased. The first Lincoln Continental was designed initially as Edsel Ford's personal vehicle, though it is believed he planned all along to put the model into production if it was successful. In 1938, he commissioned a custom design from the chief stylist, Bob Gregorie, to be ready for Edsel's March 1939 vacation. Gregorie allegedly sketched the design out in an hour from the Lincoln Zephyr blueprints. He did make changes, and the product was an elegant convertible with a long hood covering the Lincoln V12. It had a long front fender and a short trunk and included what would later become the Continental series' trademark, the externally mounted covered spare tire.