Dial “L” for Lincolns at Irvine Lincoln and Lattes!

An amazing timeline row of LCOC-owned Lincolns through the decades coupled with some custom Lincolns forming an “L” was the centerpiece of Saturday’s Lincoln and Lattes (L&L) event at the Lincoln Design Center, Irvine.

With the threat of rain lurking, our intrepid owners braved the early a.m.start time, commuting in darkness, rain showers in spots and the usual anxiety in getting these beautiful, but sometimes balky, classics on the road.

They came from as far away as Palm Springs and San Diego to star in a special show organized by Ford Motor Company. it was a day to celebrate everything Lincoln with models ranging from the 1920s to the very newest members of the family. Lincoln representatives were on hand to introduce the beautiful new cars to everyone on hand, as the guests took a day to celebrate this iconic brand’s 100 plus-year heritage as well.

Owners really got busy with their buffers and towels ahead of this event as the 20 Lincolns in the timeline glittered in the early morning sunshine. Our thanks to JIm Ayres for the photo medley below and to the Means family for being so darned cute.

Grand Dame of the timeline was Gregg Bunch’s 1938 Lincoln, which chugged in under its own power. Look closely at the photos and you’ll notice the iconic center opening doors in this model 25 years or so before our ’60s slabside Lincolns. Nearly 40 Lincolns formed the L, with even more early and celebrity-owned examples gracing the exclusive Salon area. More about this in a 2nd post.

Aside from show organizer and maestro John Clinard, perhaps the biggest hero of the day was Aaron Leider, who brought his elegant 1948 Lincoln about 200 miles roundtrip to attend. Yikes! Thank you so much Aaron! She’s a beauty.

Later models parked curbside closer to the Salon display showcased some of LCOC’s more recent Lincolns. These included Tony Mondini’s 2022 Corsair Hybrid, Ron Doyle’s 2017 Continental Black Label and Matt Means’ newly purchased 2023 Aviator Black label.

Besides the 1938 and ’48 models, the full roster of timeline participants included 1956 Premiere convertible Jim Davidson; 1956 Premiere Coupe Gary Carr; 1960 Mark V Matt Means; 1961 Continental convertible John Aguilera; 1962 Continental convertible Peter Scofield; 1964 Continental convertible Elayne Bendel; 1965 Continental convertible Brian Bernsen; 1967 Continental sedan Bazil LaRoche.

Also, 1970 Mark III Don Torrence; 1971 Mark III Jack Russell; 1971 Mark III Dale Derstine; 1975 Mark IV Stephen Fredrick; 1977 Town Coupe Ron Anast; 1979 Versailles John Burge; 1979 Mark  V  Alex Hart; 1979;1988 Mark VII Jim Ayres; 1995 Town Car Joe Aguilera; 2000 Lincoln LS Russell Harmon; 2017 Continental Black Label Ron Doyle; 2022 Corsair Tony Mondini and 2023 Aviator Black Label Mrs. Matt Means.

Not everything was perfect. An intrusive Tesla left overnight in our reserved area slightly marred our timeline. But a black car cover quietly made it disappear. 🙂 Mike Steiner also made quick work of a a loose clamp on his 1979 Versailles.

Forming the base of the “L” were cars from the Suicide Kings and Rattys whose vehicles highlight Lincoln’s slabside era of the 1960s.

A highly customized 1963 permanent roadster owned by Steve Santillan in this lineup portrayed the owner’s impression of, “what this car might be if it had been introduced today.” We thank both Roberto Tamayo of the Rattys, Alex Melendrez of the Suicide Kings and all the owners for assembling this group of special Lincolns.

L&L is billed as a show where every car has a story and Saturday’s event was no exception. Joining our late model Lincoln lineup was a 1998 Chinese-built Hongqi CA7460. While at first glance you may ID it as a Lincoln Town Car, instead, this rare vehicle is one of only 200 ever made in China in a collaboration between Lincoln and Hongqi in 1998. Owner Yang Cao is a Transportation design student from ArtCenter, College of Design in Pasadena.

Click the photos below to enlarge the views. Note the unusual hood ornament and license plate, Chinese national symbol on the wheel covers and the model number on the rear deck in Chinese writing. No Lincoln was ever like this. Thanks to Tony Mondini for the hood closeup.

Next: The exclusive Salon display and the amazing cars from the rest of the show!

Next was Aaron Leider’s 1948 Lincoln.

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