Introduced in 1961 after a fortuitously rushed gestation that preserved the clean, distinct, unadorned concept of Elwood Engel, John Najjar and Ford's "Stiletto Studio" designers, the new Lincoln Continental quickly became emblematic of subdued but distinctive quality and good taste.
Its refinement made it perfect for formal use but its Thunderbird-based unit body construction introduced complications that made it possible for modifications to be attempted only after careful design, stress analysis and high quality construction. In the Continental's early years, Lehmann-Peterson emerged as the dominant builder of "stretch" Continentals. Based in Chicago, George Lehmann and Bob Peterson teamed up in 1962 specifically to built stretched Continentals. Their first car was tested for some 40,000 miles by Ford engineers before Ford agreed to recommend Lehmann-Peterson to Continental customers who wanted more room.
Lehmann-Peterson proudly maintained they could and w