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1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan



  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,054
    I think the clean, smooth sides of the Lincolns, with their integrated rear fenders, do give them a modern look compared to a 1949 Cadillac or Chrysler/Imperial, both of which still had bolt-on rear fenders.

    Still, by 1949 a lot of cars had that look. The "pregnant" Packards, Kaiser/Frazer, and Nash were doing it. Studebaker didn't quite have them integrated yet, but still had a smooth, modern looking package. And the Hudsons looked downright futuristic by 1949 standards.

    The 1949-51 Mercury always stands out in my mind as being modern looking for the time too, but I think my mind is clouded by the multitudes of customized Mercs I've seen through the years. Seems like they outnumber the stock survivors enough that I sort of forget what they look like. The customized models often look futuristic and sleek, sometimes a little garish, depending on how well of a job was done. But in stock form, I don't think they really have anything on a Buick or Olds from that era. Now a 1949 DeSoto, its closest Mopar competitor, is downright old-fashioned looking in comparison.

    The 1949 Ford was probably the most modern looking of the Dearborn bunch though. I think the combination of smooth, integrated rear quarters, as well as tall, almost hood-height front fenders made it look more futuristic than a 1949 Chevy or Plymouth.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    Most automotive stylists would agree with you I think. Good design is often not a matter of how "pretty" the car looks, or interesting, but rather how harmonious and coherent the entire design is. A car can have an attractive front end and a pleasing back end but the two clash with each other, or are not connected by the lines of the car.

    But I like the Lincoln design as well. I'd call it "period attractive" for sure.

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  • No question that all the Ford products of 1949 were a departure from the 1948 models. Fenders were more integrated into the body, running boards disappeared, and this resulted in the "slab side" smooth look. The Cosmo, IMHO, was innovative as it used these features in addition to the largest and most powerful motor available at 160HP; Ford & Merc used the same basic flathead motor with enhancements. Because of the body changes, it also featured more interior room than previous Lincolns. The Cosmo seems to have a low & sleek profile for such a large car.

    Granted without hesitation that the GM cars were using overhead valve V-8's instead of the flathead design, and this is the only true drawback I can see to the Ford/Mercury/Lincoln offerings for '49-'51.

    '49 was a year of big changes for Ford in their body designs. And an interesting side note is that the '49 models for Ford were the last ones personally approved by Henry Ford himself.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    Aside from the OHV engines, GM had a much better automatic transmission as well, (starting in 1941!) and pioneered the 2-door hardtop design. I'd say that in '49 at least GM had quite a good edge on Ford. Also one-upped them with the '53 Corvette

    '55 was a good year for Ford-GM head to head competition IMO. After that, GM slapped Ford silly until the Mustang. Maybe not in sales, but in design, quality, etc, no doubt in my mind at least.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "...GM had a much better automatic transmission as well..."

    Lincoln used GM's 4-speed Hydra-Matic, an excellent transmission, in its '50-'54 models. Buick introduced Dynaflow in 1948 (ultra smooth but very inefficient in terms of gobbling power and poor gas economy), and Chevy made its Powerglide available in its '51 model.

    Ford Motor Co. introduced Fordomatic and Mercomatic (the same torque converter 3-speed design), but I think Lincoln first adopted this (Lincomatic?) transmission for its '55 model. The Ford automatics were okay - more efficient than Dynaflow and Powerglide, although less rugged, and definitely neither as rugged nor efficient as Hydramatic, but smoother. You definitely felt the shifts with the old Hydramatics, kind of like the old Benz automatics.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    Yes old Hydros were rugged. Many of them are still working without rebuilds.

    Really? Ford used a GM product? I never knew that. Any info on that somewhere?

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Here's one source, from the "Old Car Manual Project"...

    "updated November 30, 2002

    Hydramatic Transmission Manual for the 1949-1950 Lincoln

    Hydramatic transmissions (built by General Motors) were used for years in Lincoln cars. This rare factory service manual covers the Hydramatics used in the classic '49 and '50 Lincoln cars.

    Contributed by Mike Schmitt.


    Operating Instructions

    Fluid Service, Manual Linkage

    Throttle Linkage

    Band Adjustments (External)

    Valve Control Assembly - Disassembly

    Front and Rear Servos

    Reverse Anchor, Bracket Assembly & Shims Remove, Install


    Trouble Diagnosis"
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    from Wikipedia...

    "Starting in 1948 Hydramatic became optional for Pontiacs, although Buick and Chevrolet chose to develop their own automatic transmissions. One million Hydramatics had been sold by 1949. In the early 1950s various manufacturers that did not have the resources to develop an automatic transmission bought Hydra-Matics from GM. Users included:

    1950-1956 Hudson
    1950-1956 Nash
    1951 Frazer
    1951-1955 Kaiser
    1954-1955 Willys
    1949-1954 Lincoln
    In 1952 Rolls-Royce acquired a license to produce the Hydra-Matic under license for Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles. It continued production through 1967..."
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    I knew about all the others but not Lincoln. Surprising!

    The Rolls cast their own case for the Hydramatic. Probably was the best part of the car, next to the upholstery.

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  • I must confess to liking the taillights on the '49 & '50 Lincoln Cosmos MUCH more than the '51. Something about that set-in (almost frenched) circular taillight with the divider into threes that just looks too cool for words, especially when combined with the rounded rear fender.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,905
    Not to be too picky but Powerglides were available in 1950 Chevrolets.

    Ford followed up the next year with it's Fordomatic.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Ahh, you're right, isell, and thanks for clarifying that.

    In comparing Powerglide and Fordomatic, Fordomatic was the more efficient and versatile of the two transmissions, although if you left the gear lever in "Drive" the car started in second gear, thereby utilizing only two of its three gears. You had to place the selector in "Low" to start out in first. I believe the early Powerslides, whoops Powerglides, were similar to the Dynaflows, in that they started in the second of two gears, if you placed the selector in "Drive." You engaged first by putting the selector in "Low." Because off-the-line acceleration was painfully slow in Drive, Chevy changed it (in '53 or '55) so that the car started in first regardless of whether the selector was in Drive or Low. Ford didn't make that change, apparently feeling it wasn't necessary, since their automatic used two gears in normal every day driving, just like Chevy's. Another difference was that Chevy's first gear was lower than Ford's second gear, so under normal use Chevys were a little more responsive off the line, with comparable engines.

    Now when it came to durability, Powerglide was more rugged than Fordomatic. That's not to say that Fordomatics were problematic for the average owner, but Powerglides rarely failed.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,905
    I agree with you.

    In 1953, the Powerglides started shifting by themselves.

    Plymouth didn't get a "real" automatic until, I think 1954.

    Chrysler messed around with Fluid Drive and Hy Drives.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,054
    Yeah, it was 1954 when the Chrysler Powerflite was finally offered across the board. I think it actually came out in mid-year 1953, but was only offered in Chryslers and Imperials. I read somewhere that Chevrolet was selling 1/3 of its cars with Powerglides by 1950 or 1951, so the popularity of the automatic transmission caught on fast.

    How would a Powerflite compare to a Powerglide or FordoMatic? Wasn't the FordoMatic a 2-speed? One of my officemates recently bought a '62 Ford Galaxie 4-door, and he said it had a 2-speed, and called it "Fordomatic".
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Powerflite and Powerglide (from '53 on) performed similarly. Both were rugged and low maintenance, but were hampered by having only two gears, so that represented a compromise.

    Ford introduced a two speed automatic, similar to Powerflte and Powerglide, well after they offered the original three speed unit, but I don't know off hand just when that was. Maybe it was 1959, when they introduced the 1960 Falcon. The Falcon automatic was a two speed unit. That transmission was also featured in the Mercury Comet and, I believe, the Ford Fairlane and Mercury Meteor, or at least the smaller engine versions of those intermediates. They continued to make the three speed unit (Cruisomatic?) available, however, for a few or several years. The two speed was an additional Ford transmission.

    Man, I hope I don't offend anyone, but it occurred to me that we must all be a bunch of certified nuts, living in the distant past, agonizing over such trivia. Oh well, I suppose it's no different than recalling old baseball scores and related details. At least it's legal and harmless.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    Just tune in to a sports call-in radio show and you will experience levels of minutiae and useless mind-boggling trivia that will make this discussion seem like a solemn consideration of the Death of Socrates.

    "Well Yah Jerry Farnsworth came up from Triple A in February of '96 with an ERA of 2.54 against lefties but interestingly 5.57 against righties in cloudy weather conditions. He always wore one blue and one red sock...I'm not sure which one on which foot---anyone out there remember that?"

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  • This may be a bit off-topic, please excuse me but this is one of those ironies in life:

    In my high-performance days, the PowerGlide was called the "slip'n'slide" and would be thrown away as quickly as possible to replace it with a Turbo 400 as the best performance automatic. Well...I have a good friend who's drag racing, and guess what the performance auto for racing is today? Yep, the PowerGlide - with many modifications, of course. But I've seen street rods that are using the PowerGlide for high-horsepower motors, like 600+ hp! Truly strange...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868

    But yes, we are going way off topic here so either we have to steer back to the Cosmo and related areas or wrap this one up I guess.

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  • Does anyone know how many presidential Cosmo limos were made? I see them mentioned from time to time, but not sure I've seen a number of how many were actually manufactured in what years. Great looking cars, and if they aren't spendy it would be fun to have one. The red lights in the grille really adds prestige to the car.
  • Commander Cody of "Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen" 1970's swing band has his 1950 Lincoln for sale. The band did a remake of "Hot Rod Lincoln" and dedicated this car as their version of the hot rod Lincoln. Immaculately customized with a supercharged Chevy 350 and all the classic custom goodies: ry-Lead-Sled_W0QQitemZ320310166263QQddnZCarsQ20Q26Q20TrucksQQddiZ2282QQcmdZViewI- tem?hash=item320310166263&_trkparms=39%3A1%7C65%3A7%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p4506.c- 0.m245
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