The 1961 Lincoln Continental was a sales success — check out the ad

(November 1, 2013) In 1961, the Lincoln Continental was completely redesigned and for the first time, the names Lincoln and Continental would be paired together outside the Mark Series. Originally intended to be the 1961 Ford Thunderbird, the design was enlarged and slightly altered before being switched to the Lincoln line by Robert McNamara. One of the most striking features of the new Continental was its size. It was 14.8 inches shorter than its predecessor.

Lincoln desperately needed a sales infusion, and the new downsized Continental turned out to be the right medicine. Lincoln sales shot up with the '61 Continental. Including the sedan and convertible, 25,060 units were sold in 1961. Another 31,000 left dealerships in 1962, and another 31,233 in 1963.

The new Continental's most recognized trademark, front-opening rear "suicide doors," was a purely practical decision. The new Continental rode on a wheelbase of 123 inches, and the doors were hinged from the rear to ease ingress and egress.

When the Lincoln engineers were examining the back seats that styling had made up, the engineers kept hitting the rear doors with their feet. Hinging the doors from the rear solved the problem. The doors were to become the best-known feature of 1960s Lincolns. To simplify production, all cars were to be four-door models, and only two body styles were offered, sedan and convertible.

The 1961 model was the first car manufactured in the U.S. to be sold with a 24,000 mile or two-year bumper-to-bumper warranty. It was also the first postwar four-door convertible from a major U.S. manufacturer.

Some information taken from Wikipedia