Lincoln is one of the oldest American car brands, having been founded in August 1917 by Henry Leland and his son Wilfred Leland. The name of the company was chosen to be that of the American president Abraham Lincoln. Henry Leland had an emotional link to President Lincoln, as he was the very first candidate Leland had ever cast a vote for, back in 1864.
The first contracts came from the military, as the United States was involved in World War I. At first, the new company assembled V12 aircraft engines, using cylinders supplied by Ford.
The first Lincoln automobile was produced in 1917 and was named the Model L. The founders of the company wanted to compete in the luxury segment of the market, so Model L was powered by a V8 engine and competed against Cadillac models.
In the early 1920s, Lincoln ran into financial troubles. The old and expensive Model L was part of the problem, as the company sold produced only about 100 models per year. In early 1922, Lincoln was declared bankrupt and sold off to Ford. For Henry Ford, who had a personal dispute with Leland, the acquisition was not only a smart business move but also a revenge.
Lincoln became the premium brand of the Ford group, a distinction that it has kept to this day. After a less than glorious period in the 80s and 90s, the brand is currently experiencing a sort of revival, as new up to date models are being released.