Greenlight 1:43 Lincoln Continental 1941

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Here we have Greenlight 86324 1941 Lincoln Continental diecast in China for the US. My model is in Mayfair Maroon, but it is also available in Cotswold Gray Metallic. The model also features in their movie related series in black as it appeared in The Godfather. As cars of this pre-war period era are not common, the US entered the Second World War at the end of 1941, I hope that their lovely 1:18 scale Packard Super and Duesenberg SJ are also produced in this scale.

The Lincoln Continental originated with a personal vehicle designed by Eugene T. ‘Bob’ Gregorie for Edsel Ford‘s vacation in March 1939. This was based on styling cues from the Lincoln-Zephyr and was a convertible. Keen to revive Lincoln’s successful earlier line of coupés and convertibles with modern models with more European styling the one off personal car influenced the creation of the Lincoln Continental range.

Lincoln Continentals from 1939 to 1941 were largely unaltered except in details and for purists are the classic Continental with the lovely, simple grille profile. From 1942 the car got a huge wide front grille assembly and lost its restrained beauty. The only choice the buyer had was between a coupe and a convertible and all were fitted with a 4.8 Litre V12 engine from the Lincoln Zephyr. The famous ‘Continental kit’ of a covered externally mounted spare wheel at the rear came about because of the long bonnet pushing the location of the passenger compartment back leaving only a small boot. The spare wheel had to be fitted externally to make the maximum room for luggage.

And so to the model. The base has Lincoln Continental 1941 embossed on it, and Greenlight details are only printed on in silver. The baseplate is largely flat, and from appearances it looks highly likely to me that this model has been made by Universal Hobbies for Greenlight. Looking at details of a 1941 Lincoln Coupe recently sold on the web the model has caught the shape well and the maroon paintwork appears to be fairly close to the colour of Continentals painted that colour seen on the web.

The front of the model is pretty good, although like many cars at a cheaper sales point the grille has no black wash which would have improved the excellent plated plastic mouldings. The wipers printed on the front screen are too high and have no modelling at all. Frankly they would have been better left off rather than printed on in such a heavy handed manner. The lights and sidelight fitments are good. and the vertical strip in the centre of the front has been neatly printed with the red accented V12 badge incorporated. The bonnet panel gap is almost non-existent which is a shame as it’s swooping line is an important part of the appearance of the real car. The bumper is largely accurate with the small red painted inserts all included. The twin sections in the middle of the bumper are rather thicker in appearance than those on the real car but this may be a compromise to make sure they are moulded consistently and not too fragile to handle on the assembly line.

At the rear we have nice separate lights in silver with the red lenses printed on. The rear mounted wheel and cover are also in plastic with a nicely detailed number plate, though it has no companion at the front. The raised script ‘Lincoln Continental’ that appears on the real car on the chrome centre of the spare wheel cover is missing on the model which just has the red Lincoln print like the centre of the hub caps on the wheels. The rear bumper is neatly modelled, again including the red details painted in, and the boot hinges and catches are all well printed over raised mouldings though the boot lock is not moulded in or highlighted.

Viewed from the side the thinness of the casting around the roof area becomes apparent and the chrome rain channels are cast well and printed finely. The windows are flush fitted and the window surround raised and chrome and body colour printed giving the same effect as a photo-etched insert but without the issues of keeping it glued flat. The door locks and handle are printed on raised mouldings and are quite effective as is the printed ‘chrome’ strip round the bottom of the car. The wheel covers securing bolt to the rear is moulded in but is not picked out, and the protector is present on the leading edge of the rear wing, but it may be a bit smaller than the one fitted to the real cars. Finishing the side off is the gold Lincoln Continental script on the side of the rear of the bonnet which looks to be rather overscale but that seems to be a convention amongst model makers as printed at real size it would be practically invisible. The wheels are neatly done with a body colour painted area, though the wheel embellishers may be a bit large. The small hub caps have the Lincoln script in red printed on them.

Inside the model shows its budget origins the tub is all a basic brown colour the same as the seats. The door cards are the same colour and have some moulded and highlighted fittings. It is nice to see that the dashboard has been moulded in some detail and the gold rims of the instruments and other fitments have all been printed as have faces for the instruments. The steering wheel is neatly moulded and highlighted and has the levers fitted to the steering column.

It is nice to have a model of a coupé for a change as so many models of this classic Lincoln are of the convertible version. This Greenlight model has a few small detail issues and omissions but none that spoil what is a very good basic replica of this car. That these 1:43 scale Greenlight models sell in the US for under 20 US dollars makes them a real bargain. Sadly when imported into the UK they cost much the same as a Corgi Vanguards model but even at this price they are still worth getting if you like the subject.