Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lincoln Sedan—Town Car or Continental?

Oh yes, I've chopped another Lincoln sedan from the MKT. I'm just not sure if it's a new Town Car or a revived Lincoln Continental.

C H O P — Starting with my new favorite car to chop, the MKT, I took quite a bit of height out of the middle of the car. Since this rendering is meant to show the spirit of a new sedan, forget the actual MKT's dimensions. I'd say the wheelbase of this car would be 120-22 inches, similar to the regular S class, 7 series and XJ these days. I've made the grille wider and shallower in relation to the lower horizontal grille, and cut the fenders down as far as possible, crating subtle fender humps. Instead of the rather abrupt beltline bump on the MKT, which I believe is modeled after the incomparable '61 Continental, I've made it much more gradual in the manner of the gorgeous 1970-71 models. I've used a slim vertical C pillar window, patterned after the '80s and '90s Town cars, too. Relative to the lower body, the wheels are perhaps 20s or 21s and I've made the rear overhang longer for a sedan. The front overhang was shortened by moving the front wheels forward by about 6 inches relative to the crossover donor. A very minor change from the MKT is the hood's cutline. Instead of cutting across the front of the car above the Lincoln logo, I've dropped it below it, in line with the bottom of the grille openings. The twin grilles would lift with the hood, in the same way many "fine" luxury cars do. I think the cutline on the MKT hood is one of the very few 'mistakes' they made. It dilutes the strength of the body colored central divider, and it looks a bit cheap to me, 

This rendering is a bit over-the-top, a bit too low—the William Townes outrageous mid '70s Lagonda comes to mind—but I'm in love with the vintage stylized renderings that Harley Earl's and Bill Mitchell's studios created in the thirties, forties, and fifties. In the back of my mind, those are what I'm trying to evoke. Yes, my chops are photographic to start with instead of hand drawn sketches, and are already production cars for the most part, but I like to think of Photoshop as just a better pencil I'm privileged to be able to use. Think of chops like this hung up all around the studios for the styling heads to peruse and discuss. I also like to add to the backgrounds and create the atmosphere I'd like see the imaginary marketing departments shoot for.

So the question is: Would this make a better Town Car or should the classic Lincoln Continental nameplate make a comeback? I really can't decide!

I've also created this Lincoln Town Car chop in the past couple of weeks, based on the same MKT, but in profile instead of front 3/4. The greenhouse is totally different, as are most of the proportions. This shows the power of Photoshop. Starting out with the same vehicle, you can really do anything you want with software and an Apple single-click mouse growing out of your right hand, lol—I really don't care for the new multifunction ones.

I really liked the earlier one when I did it, but now I think I like this newest version, lol. Reminds me of when I'm working on my 'other' art: My favorite art piece of all time is always the one I'm working on at the time. 

Have a great day/afternoon/evening/all three!


  1. After a thorough analysis of both designs - I am a Virgo, after all - I went back and forth and finally agreed with you that I prefer this "new" Town Car design to your original. The beltline change and the "opera" window win in my book and I think it should be christened a "Town Car".

  2. thanks! there was some trouble with the comments section here today-I received a couple of emails from people that couldn't get through. I'm glad to see you had no trouble. Consensus is it's a Town Car also. I'm still loving this one over the previous one too.

    besides my gemini, i'm a virgo rising, whatever that means. i'm pretty much out of my sphere after that, lol.

  3. THIS is the car Lincoln needs to build. I'm starting to see WAY too many 300's being pressed into livery service. Driver's hate it. Town Car's are good for 300,000 everytime. I know a guy who has 500,000 on one and it drives like a dream. I would buy your chop Casey in a heartbeat. If Lincoln would build this and Caddy the Sixteen, the world would be righted. --But is there any chance of getting it in a ragtop and calling it a Continental? If so, I'll take a light steel blue one with Palimino top and guts! [hint-hint...]

    Full size American luxury with '35-'65 exagerated flair is what this country needs to remember who we are and where we came from. Style often times is just as important as measurable performance. There was a time when I was younger that you couldn't tell the richest man and the poorest man apart at church because everybody had style and cared about how they looked. I don't think it was vanity as much as it was respect for society. We need those days again. I'm only 44 but I wear my Grandfather's fedoras every chance I get. I believe that Fedora's, Continental's, sportcoat's AND ties and music with piano & a horn section could save this Country.

  4. love your post about style and fedoras! i owned an '85 Town Car for 9 years and 175,000 miles. I can't tell you the abuse I put that car through—i was only 29 when i bought it. I literally drove through a construction barricade one night around 3am and flew off a bridge that wasn't there anymore, lol. it was a highway bridge, no water, and landed about 50 feet past the barricade having dropped a good 10 feet in the process onto another cement road and kept going. there were sparks for a couple of bounces, but no lasting damage! I also used to regularly 'race' BMWs, but those were the '80s when Bimmers had about 200hp at the most, and my LIncoln had the 5.0 V8. It only had 170 hp in the manual, but it had ballz, and had a good top end. That car lived through my punk period too...

    fun times!

    here's post link with old polaroids of my Town Car:

  5. Hey Casey,

    It's RW from Scottsdale, AZ...

    That was me above, forgot to sign it. I wrote into Lincoln and told them to hire you and produce yor Town Car chop. I showed your chop to 2 Limo owners and they said that they both LOVED it but one guy said it's too nice for a limo, he just wants to buy it now for the wife.

    Time to put on a fedora and grab some sushi my friend. Have a good weekend.

    RW, Scottsdale, AZ

  6. Suicide doors? Gotta be a Continental. (My grandparents had a Town Car. Drove it once. Best way to describe the driving experience: "Ponderous.")

  7. Hello, I am a bit of a Lincoln fan. quite a bit. This car is definitely the Continental. I believe that the loss of the Town Car is a complete tragedy. I have noticed the European sedans are growing and the American large car is dying. I have a new design that I wish to place upon you and see how you put it to work. Its been sketched out for some time. Please contact me and then maybe add this to your blog. How may I be in contact? -Shawn Bryar

  8. Casey, If you are still around monitoring this post, please contact me. I own a customization shop and build very custom and specialized vehicles. I have been contracted by a funeral home owner to build a series of Town Car based flower cars from his existing Town Car fleet due to his dislike of the only available ones being Cadillac. I am interested in discussing your design and possibly enlisting your assistance in design assistance with this project.

  9. OMG...I love this!!!!! Wish I could get one now