Ford’s Lincoln brand has been marketed and managed under a number of different divisional titles over the years, but when in 2012 the name was changed back to the original—the Lincoln Motor Company—it gave us a smile. Note the name: Motor Company. When Henry and Wilfred Leland founded the company in 1917, it was to build Liberty V12 aircraft engines for the American war effort. Cars for the consumer market would come a few years later. Personally, we think the whole retro-tradition trend in automotive marketing has been overdone, but here the tribute is fitting. Lincoln has a long, proud history, as this brief historical video demonstrates.
Produced for Ford in the early ’90s, the video has a number of nice moments, but our favorites are those that include some wonderful home movie footage of Edsel Ford and family. The only son of Henry Ford and the father of Henry Ford II, Edsel died in 1943 at the age of only 49. But more than any other single person, he was responsible for the survival and success of Lincoln—and he was also the creative force behind one of America’s most distinctive cars, the Lincoln Continental. Edsel Ford is as essential to the story of Lincoln as the company’s founders, Henry and Wilfred Leland, and it’s wonderful to have this rare personal glimpse of him here. Video below.