FROM THE MISSOULA AUTO MUSEUM COLLECTION: Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale WITHOUT RESERVE and SOLD to the highest bidder January 19th - 22nd, 2017 at Russo and Steele's 17th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Please contact us for more information. Following his return from Europe in 1938, Edsel Ford was captivated by his concept for a "special convertible coupe that was long, low, and rakish," incorporating many advanced design cues from the Continent. Ford designer E.T. "Bob" Gregorie quickly sketched the outline of the new car's two-door, four-seat body, based on the general theme of the celebrated Lincoln-Zephyr that revitalized Lincoln upon introduction in 1935. The new car's highlights included a lowered hood line and cowl with extended front fenders, while lengthened and skirted rear fenders matched the bustle-style trunk, and the folding top featured formal, Victoria-style blind quarters. Edsel's approval was swift and enthusiastic. Work began to complete the car in time for his winter vacation in Florida, but since there was insufficient room for a trunk-mounted spare tire, the car received its signature feature, the rear-mounted "Continental" spare-tire kit. The prototype was completed in less than six months and it created a sensation among Edsel's friends in Florida. Initially called the Lincoln-Zephyr Continental, the car entered production as a 1940 model. Only 404 were produced that year - 350 cabriolets and 54 coupes - with each mostly hand-built. This early success spurred continued production for 1941, with 1,250 built in all including 850 coupes and 400 cabriolets. Film and business icons clamored for a Continental of their own and some of the era's most renowned designers of the era, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Raymond Loewy, bought Continentals, providing the ultimate form of admiration for the car. The arts community wholeheartedly agreed with the Continental's significance as a design benchmark too. In particular, New York's Museum of Modern Art held a groundbreaking exhibit in 1951 entitled "8 Automobiles." The cars exhibited were examples of Mercedes, Cisitalia, Bentley, Talbot-Lago, Willys-Jeep, Cord, MG, and of course, the Lincoln Continental. As the exhibit program stated, "The eight automobiles in this exhibition were chosen primarily for their excellence as works of art, although no automobile was considered for inclusion unless its mechanical performance met the highest technological standards. A second consideration was their relevance to contemporary problems of passenger-car design." This historic and rare 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe is powered by Lincoln's 292 cubic-inch V-12 engine with 120 horsepower mated to a three-speed manual transmission. In addition to its iconic styling, the Continental features a rich, Mahogany-finish instrument panel and "Continental" spare-tire kit at the rear of the car. Recognized as a Full Classic(R) Classic Car Club of America (CCCA), it is an essential component of any serious automobile collection. A highly desirable offering at No Reserve, this vehicle is highly rare today as one of an estimated 200 survivors from the 850 Lincoln Continental Coupes produced for 1941, this excellent example remains a great example of a 20th Century automotive design benchmark. Avidly sought after by society's elite when new, the Continental firmly re-established Lincoln's exclusivity and remains an automotive design icon today. Very well maintained, this CCCA Full Classic(R) remains simply a wonderful example of the inspired genius of the Edsel Ford/"Bob" Gregorie design collaboration.