The Lincoln Continental is celebrating its 80th birthday in style, with the launch of a limited edition that features centre opening doors.

And, you guessed it, Lincoln is building just 80 of the limousines.

Following the reveal of the all-new Lincoln Aviator at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the 80th Anniversary Continental celebrates the heritage of one of America’s most beloved luxury sedans.

“This Lincoln Continental echoes a design that captured the hearts of car enthusiasts around the world,” Lincoln Motor Company president.Joy Falotico, said.

“It’s something bespoke only Lincoln can offer in a thoroughly modern way.”

Lincoln Continental began as a custom luxury vehicle hand-crafted by chief stylist Eugene T. Gregorie for Edsel Ford in 1939.

Years later, the 1961 Continental introduced the unique centre-opening doors and a chrome-accented upper shoulder line that established a signature look.

“The centre-opening doors became synonymous with the Lincoln Continental, even though they were only featured primarily in the ’60s,” design director, David Woodhouse, said.

“But they struck such a chord that they’re still remembered so fondly today.”

Woodhouse said the element is both dramatic and distinctive.

“It was truly a watershed moment for us in terms of iconic design,” he adds.

Each of the 80 units in this limited production for 2019 will have a special door sill plate featuring its number in the run. A limited number of additional Continental Coach Door Edition sedans will be available as well for the 2020 model year.

CHECKOUT: JFK death car refitted and reused

CHECKOUT: Mrs Ford drove EV (but it wasn’t his)

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.