Lincoln Continental was a model name for a series of automobiles produced by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company from 1939 to 1948 and again from 1956 to 1980 and from 1981 to 2002.
The flagship Lincoln model during most of its run, the Continental name conveyed special cachet in the product line. During the 1980s, the Continental was downsized from a full-size to a mid-size Ford Taurus platform; this introduced the Continental to a wider range of competition from Europe and Japan.
After a few slow-selling years, Lincoln announced the end of Continental production after 2002. The cancellation was due largely to the continued shift in the consumer marketplace away from large front-wheel drive luxury cars. With advancements over recent years in traction control, anti-lock braking systems, and skid control devices, front-wheel drive was no longer deemed a necessity in inclement weather areas.