MotorCities National Heritage Area
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2023

by A. Wayne Ferens
Photos from the Ferens Collection, Dave Friedman Collection, Robert Walker Collection, and Lynn Park Collection
Published 12.27.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 12.20.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of Tom Hale/Automotive Illustrations
Published 12.13.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Chrysler Archives and the Robert Tate Collection
Published 12.6.2023

By Jeffrey D. Brasie
Images Courtesy of the Author 
Published 11.29.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of GM Media Archives
Published 11.22.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Chrysler Archives and Walter P. Reuther Library
Published 11.15.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Cragar Industries/Gary Gabelich Blue Flame Rocket Engine
Published 11.8.2023

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives, Wayne Ferens Collection
Published 11.1.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of General Motors Media Archives
Published 10.25.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of R.M Sotheby’s Car Auctions and The Robert Tate Collection
Published 10.18.2023

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car front end R.M. Sotheby RESIZED 4The front end of the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car (R.M. Sotheby)

For many years, show cars have represented a vision of the future for automakers, with designs showing where they were thinking for new and upcoming models.

In 1955, the Lincoln Indianapolis show car made its debut at the Turin, (Italy) Automobile Salon as a unique and different automobile design. Today, the car is a mostly forgotten design.

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car R.M Sotheby Car Auction RESIZED 1The 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car (R.M Sotheby Car Auction)

The Lincoln Indianapolis show car was designed in collaboration with Carrozeria Boano Turino. Ford Motor Company’s design team had nothing to do with the vehicle, as the styling was commissioned to Italian Fiat designer Gian Paolo Boano, who had also coined the concept vehicle’s American-sounding name. Because of this, many automotive historians have said that, in no way was it a Lincoln show car. 

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car R.M. Sotheby car auction RESIZED 3Another view of the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car (R.M. Sotheby car auction)

The 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis was designed to compete with jet age and Buck Rogers-esque space age designs unveiled during the 1950s. The project began with a Lincoln chassis provided by Ford CEO Henry Ford II. The styling featured a jet aircraft look with its pointed nose, rear fenders, great looking fender intakes, and those high marked fins. The interior was designed for two people with leather bucket seats and a divided console. This futurist streamlined aircraft-like design was supposed to represent 1930s Le Mans racing cars. However, I don’t think that worked out.

1955 Auto Age Magazine Robert Tate Collection 2A 1955 issue of Auto Age Magazine (Robert Tate Collection) 

The Indianapolis show car had some success with the Turin show, and a 1955 issue of Auto Age magazine put the car on its cover with the question “Is this the next Lincoln?”

Some auto enthusiasts did not like the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis show car, and historians have said the model left much to be desired. Some did not like the orange paint color finish, along with the front end and hood design. Ultimately, this was not the future design for Lincoln production as the 50s continued.    

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis museum display R.M. Sotheby car auction 5The 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis on display in a museum (R.M. Sotheby car auction) 

After Henry Ford II purchased the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car, it was later sold to Thomas Kerr, a prominent Packard collector. Kerr looked to undertake a total restoration project for the car, which included the engine and body enhancements as well. Some automotive historians have reported that the restoration led to numerous awards at prestigious events around the country, like the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance and the Greenwich Concours.

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car interior R.M. Sotheby car auction 6A glance at the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car's interior (R.M. Sotheby car auction)

The 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car had many owners over the years. When it was part of the Andrews Collection, it was displayed at various automotive museums. The car was also a part of the Automotive Renaissance collection for a time.

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis interior panel R.M. Sotheby car auction RESIZED 7A view of the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis interior panel (R.M. Sotheby car auction)

In 2013, the fully restored 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car sold for $1.21 million dollars at RM’s Andrew Collection sale in Fort Worth, Texas.  

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car engine R.M. Sothebys car auction RESIZED 8A look at the engine of the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis concept car (R.M. Sotheby)

In conclusion, Lincoln Indianapolis concept car was introduced to the public in 1955. Featuring a stacked head light design, it was a car that automotive enthusiasts would not talk about for many years. However, this concept is still an intriguing part of our auto history.

  

Bibliography

Ernst, Kurt. “Straight from Pebble Beach: Lincoln Indianapolis Boano Coupe Heads to Auction.” Hemmings.com, September 13, 2013.   

Newton, Andrew. “Sadly, This Gorgeous 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis was Only a Pawn.” Hagerty Media Car Profiles, July 19, 2019. 

Auto Age Magazine. “Henry Ford Boano Lincoln.” November 1955.

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of GM Media Archives, Wallpaper.com
Published 10.11.2023

by Bob Sadler, MotorCities Director of Communications
Photos by Bob Sadler, the Robert Tate Collection and the Automotive Hall of Fame
Published 10.4.2023

by Brian Yopp, Deputy Director, MotorCities
Images Courtesy of MotorCities, Robert Tate Collection
Published 9.27.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Jay Leno Collection
Published 9.20.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the GM Media Archives
Published 9.13.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives, Chrysler Archives, GM Media Archives, Mecum Auctions and the Robert Tate Collection
Published 9.6.2023

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images Courtesy of the Ferens Collection
Published 8-30-2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 8.23.2023

By Brian Yopp, MotorCities Deputy Director
Images Courtesy of MotorCities and Visionalist Entertainment Productions
Published 8.18.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Zippo Manufacturing Corporation
Published 8.16.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Robert Tate Collection/Chrysler Archives
Published 8.9.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Automotive Hall of Fame
Published 8.2.2023

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images from Ford Motor Company Archives and the Ferens Collection
Published 7.26.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Packard Archives, Moment Auctions, Hershey Auctions, the Robert Tate Collection
Published 7.19.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of GM Media Archives, Ford Motor Company Archives, Chrysler Media Archives, Shorpy Historic Archives
Published 7.12.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of GM Media Archives
Published 7.5.2023

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images Courtesy of the Ferens Collection
Published 6.28.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy Studebaker Museum Archives, Mecum Auctions, the Robert Tate Collection
Published 6.21.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives/Robert Tate Collection, ClassicCar.com
Published 6.14.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives/Carroll Shelby Collection
Published 6.7.2023

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images Courtesy of The Henry Ford, Ferens Collection
Published 5.31.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Various Auto Collectors, the Robert Tate Collection
Published 5.24.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
1917 Dodge artwork courtesy of the Robert Tate Collection
Published 5.17.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Chrysler Archives and Ron Konopka
Published 5.10.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of GM Media Archives
Published 5.3.2023

by Brian Yopp, MotorCities Deputy Director
Images Courtesy of Don Nicolson
Published 4.26.2023
  

EDITOR”S NOTE: As Autism Awareness Month draws to a close, our Deputy Director Brian Yopp recently conducted an interview with Don Nicholson of Westland, whose son Edward is in the autism spectrum.

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of General Motors Media Archives
Published 4.19.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives, DragTimes.com, Barnfinds.com, and the Robert Tate Collection
Published 4.12.2023

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 4.5.2023

By A. Wayne Ferens
Images the Wayne Ferens Collection
Published 3.29.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Chrysler Historical Archives, Studebaker Museum, Ford Motor Company Archives, Classic Mini Archives, and Walter Chrysler Museum
Published 3.22.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Scottish News, and Various Other Websites
Published 3.15.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of General Motors Media Archives, ClassicCars.com
Published 3.8.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Nellie Goins, Ebony magazine, NHRA
Published 3.1.2023

by Brian Yopp, MotorCities Deputy Director
Photos Courtesy of MotorCities
Published 2.24.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Chrysler Archives
Published 2.22.2023

by Brian Yopp, MotorCities Deputy Director
Photos Courtesy of Ford Motor Company, MotorCities
Published 2.17.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the US Office of War Information, Tamiment Library NYU, The National WWII Museum, National Park Service photo/Luther Bailey and many others
Published 2.15.2023

by Brian Yopp, Deputy Director, MotorCities
Images Courtesy of MotorCities, Robert Tate Collection
Published 2.10.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Don Radbruch Collection, Podurgiel Collection
Published 2.8.2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, we begin Black History Month by sharing an interview recently conducted by Brian Yopp, MotorCities’ Deputy Director, with Crystal Windham, Executive Director of Global Industrial Design.

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company Archives & Roy O’ Brien Ford
Published 1.25.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of GM Media Archives and Mecum Auto Auctions
Published 1.18.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 1.11.2023

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of GM Heritage Archive, Newport Car Museum, Wallup.net
Published 1.4.2023