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Classic Lincoln Continental Limo is a model name for a luxury car marketed by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company. Along with the Zephyr, the Continental is a Lincoln nameplate that has seen use in a sub-division, the short-lived Continental Division of 1956–1957. As a Lincoln, the Continental nameplate saw use for 49 years, from 1939 to 1948 (skipping World War II) and from 1958 to 2002 (skipping 1981)
Serving as the Lincoln flagship for its first three generations, the Continental name conveyed special cachet in the product line. In the 1961 redesign of the Lincoln line, the three-model line was consolidated down to the Continental, which served as the sole Lincoln sedan for the next 16 years. With the exception of the Lincoln Mark VIII, all versions of the Lincoln Mark Series of the personal luxury cars are based on a corresponding generation of the Continental.
In the early 1980s, the Continental changed from its traditional role as the full-size Lincoln (taken over by the Town Car) to a mid-size sedan as Lincoln sought to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. In an effort to better compete with imported automakers, the Continental adopted the platform of the Ford Taurus in 1988, which it used until 2002.
After the 2002 model year, in an effort to simplify its model lineup, Lincoln discontinued the Continental and its role was largely taken over by the Lincoln LS and the later Lincoln MKS. In March 2015, an all new version of the Continental was unveiled at the New York Auto Show as an eventual replacement for the MKS; it is expected to go on sale in the fall of 2016 as a 2017 model.