In the past decade, Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln has suffered from an aging buyer base and a lack of defining character. Indeed, sales at Lincoln are not too hot, as there is a serious lack of interest in most Lincoln vehicles these days. They just don’t have the same drawing power that they used to. Yet one does not have to look too far back in history to see that once upon a time, Lincoln was a lot more than just a spruced-up Ford.
Did you know that during the early 1950s, Lincoln raced the La Carrera Panamericana? Not only that, but these Lincolns dominated the standings in what is often considered one of the most grueling and brutal motorsports races ever conceived. Hemmings Auto Blog has some vintage pictures from Lincoln’s successful first/second place finish in the 1954 victory in two Lincoln Capri coupes.
The La Carrera Panamericana was open to stock production cars, though some serious modifications were allowed to the suspension and engine to endure the grueling race. Lincoln sent two ‘54 Capri models to Bob Stroppe, though the 205 horsepower Y-block V8 engine was left largely untouched.
These days, racing among luxury brands is generally limited to European brands; neither Chrysler nor Lincoln field any sort of serious race cars, though Cadillac has opted to compete in the FIA World Endurance Race. But the controlled confines of a race track are a far cry from the endurance runs through Central America’s backcountry.
Wouldn’t it be cool if Lincoln put one of its modern luxury cruisers up to this grueling race once more? It might give younger buyers a reason to check out the Lincoln line once again. What do you think?