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1949 to 1951 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

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Anybody collect these? I have spotted a couple of Cosmos 4 door models that I think have good proportions. I spotted a wreck of a convertible about 7 years ago at a dealer in South Dakota. But I don't see many except on ebay and don't see a lot of discussion here on them, at least.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I for one think they are an under rated car. They seem to be overlooked because they fall between the "classic" era and the "chrome and tailfins" era.

The fact that they had a flathead engine when the trend was to overheads didn't help.

The first 49s had some build quality problems, other than that I believe they proved out well. Have heard they were especially good hiway cruisers, and with the available overdrive transmissions gave impressive gas mileage. In fact they won prizes for their fuel economy.

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Thanks Rusty. I figured the lack of response meant few are collected. I see very few advertised. Those that are - are typically the high value cars, the convertibles.

I have located two of what I believe are called the "sport sedans". One is offered by a commercial AACA advertiser in Missouri offered for $5400, the other is from a commercial seller in South dakota for $2500.

This particular model has a semi-fastback roof profile, suicide doors and is well balanced visually. I for one think Lincoln did a great job in styling. You had to have something different in those days and the recessed headlights and chromey grille are nice to me.

The weak point has always been the glob of stainless they tacked on over the front wheels. Makes no sense and they corrected that by 1951.

I have no interest personally in the 'baby' Lincolns that were nothing but glorified Mercs. I would love to have a 49 Lincoln Cosmo convertible project but all I have seen are restored and I can not afford a restored one. Thanks again.

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BJM has obviously not driven a 337 Lincoln, they are a whole lot more than a 255 Mercury. My Dad was considering a new luxury car in 1949, and I read up on all of them in Motor Trend magazine, I recall Tom Mcahill, at the time a writer for MT, describing the Lincoln as "fast and thirsty", my dad never, a Ford lover, went with the Cadillac over the boxy, poorly syled Chrysler that year, and stayed with Cads all the rest of his life

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No, I've never driven, rarely seen (maybe once or twice) The Cadillac was a nice looking car in 1949 but comparable to the Lincoln Cosmopolitan, they took less chances with the four door.

I think the Cosmo was designed to be a four door, very balanced and good proportions. I know the Cadillac was designed to be a 2 door model, and four door models, though nice, sprang from adding extra length.

The big problem I have with Lincoln is that they did "about faces" every three years. Whereas Cadillac you could see a design progression throughout the fifties.

So buyers "might have" gotten used to the Cosmo look front and rear but then Lincoln went in a different direction in 1952. So buyers had to relearn Lincoln styling, which was then again changed in 1956.

Cadillac had the same grilles/side profiles and of course tailfin from 1948 to 1957 with tweaks of course.

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The 337 Lincoln flathead V-8 was also used in Ford big trucks with solid lifters instead of the hydraulics in the L's. My Dad and I seldom agreed about anything, and notably Cads, he liked the Kettering engine, but he never kept them long enough to have the rest of the car start giving all the problems they were so prone too, a vastly overated car to my mind, then and now, Dad had a '72 Eldorado when he passed in '74, he used to say, "with 500 HP, who cares about gas mileage". My favorite late L's were the '53-'56 Capri's, nice looking cars

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Cars of the late 40s and early 50s generally sell for lower prices than prewar cars or even newer cars of the mid to late 50s.

I am thinking in particular of the 48-54 Hudson, 49-51 Lincoln, 48-50Pckards, 49-up Nashes. The inverted bathtub styling did not wear well, though it was much in vogue at the time.

I noticed that since the car makers went to a rounded bean shaped profile (thru the late 80s-90s) the old jelly bean cars don't look so bad anymore. I like them anyway.

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I agree. Those bathtub cars are not my choice new but in collecting cars, we have the fun of getting time capsules that we can explain to car show folks what was going on at the time. The bathtub Packard is still kind of homely in my opinion, but I'd love to have a 356 equipped Custom 8 with the eggcrate grille.

I went to a project car auction 1st of October where they have a 51 Nash Ambassador and I wanted it for it's oddballness. Interestingly, it went to a pair of eager young kids, about 20 years old, for $300.

I thought my wife would kill me if I bought it and brought it home. But think about it, you can't get much in the way of a GM project from the early 50's for $300. This car needed work, but when you start at $300, it doesn't seem so bad. Those kids and play around with it and do OK.

The Lincoln, at least the Cosmo, was in my opinion not so bathtubbish. The Hudson also I would say was not so bathtubbish but the Hudson had a lot more "body" and they look almost chopped from the factory.

There are similarities in the Hudson and Lincoln, and maybe Lincoln stylists noted that and decided to go with the "radical" headlight frenching, which now we know in a second when we see one "That's a 49 to 51 Lincoln"

Of course everybody wants a Convertible but besides that I trult would purchase the "Sports sedan" next as it had perfect proportions front to back, it's a 6 window, and flows semi-rakishly back to the trunk.

I am pretty sure in retrospect that Lincoln and Ford were still just buying time on that design. They never intended to create a Lincoln "look" like Cadillac did with it's tailfins and Dagmar bumperettes.

They just knew they had to have something fresh, the market wouldn't wait. But in 1952 they went in a totally different direction. Enginewise too.

The car I want is a 1950 Cosmopolitan sports sedan offered for sale at an old car dealer in western South Dakota.

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BJM, Check with Tim Howley. He is active as the historian of LCOC that deals in modern post war lincoln cars. The club has an emphasis in late 50's to present day Lincoln's but I know Tim has an affection for the mid-50s Lincolns and possibly earlier. I do not have his # but he lives in Escondido, CA. You can track him down through San Diego, CA 411 directory but

you might reach his son. He'll forward the message. Good Luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My understanding was that Ford's 1949 line was laid down in the early 40s and was supposed to go into producion in 1943.

When they finally costed them out they found they were far too expensive to build, for them to sell in the price bracket planned for them.

So they kept the Lincoln as the Lincoln Cosmopolitan, turned the Mercury into the Lincoln Capri, and made the Ford into the Mercury.

Then they had to come up with a new Ford.

This explains why the 49 Ford is so different from the rest of the line, it represents the new trend in design that was just coming in then, while the others are the culmination of the older streamline school of design.

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I was 16 - 17 early 60s and shopped for car parts at a Pete's auto salvage.. I made the mistake of pokeing fun at a 51 Hudson Hornet.. Pete and his partner CHEWED me out and almost threw me off the property.. seems some people liked the bath tub style but more importent they let me know the old Hudsons had a great dependable engine.. Pete later tried to get me to take home for $15.00 (going price then for salvage cars) a 1927 Buick a man had driven from a barn to the salvage yard. It was actually in good shape My father would not let me put the car in the yard.. Pete's only choice was to crush it for salvage. I guess that one loss sparked my intrest in old cars

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That makes me cry. That old Buick story. especially since I collect Buicks BUT that's the way it was back then.

I like the Hudson styling circa 1948-50. When I look at one they almost look chopped to me with all body and less glass. It's proportioned so much better then the Packards and Nashes.

But these are time capsules now and no need to say which is better. It's true 99 per cent of people collect what they love but I wouldn't mind an oddball collection either.

I like the 48-49 Frazers, not Kaiser so much, but try to find one now - tough. I'm going after that 50 Cosmo Sport Sedan. I'll update when I get it.

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  • 12 years later...

Owing a "Bathtub" Lincoln in 2020


My wife and I have a 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Sport Sedan - that we purchased from an elderly friend - back in 2008 for $2,500. It doesn't run - but it's all there. 

Looking at classic cars today (2020) - I've noticed that the "bathtub" shaped cars are coming in. Modern cars look so different to the "bathtub" shaped cars of the 1950's.

The cars of the 1950's, that had lots of chrome and large fins, are now selling between $50,000 to $140,000 dollars. And muscle cars of the 1960's to the 1970's - for even more.

The collector genre has remained the same - muscle cars and convertibles tend to fetch more at an auction. But the overall starting price on an old car has gone up!

Sadly - this is making it more difficult for car enthusiasts like myself to find a car that can be driven - and purchased at a reasonable price.

I've noticed that most cars today (2020) start around $7000 if you're hoping to find one that goes.

We have two Lincolns - a 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Sports Sedan - and a 1970 Mark III Continental.

Continentals are now selling for $5,000 - $10,000 more than they used to in "2007."

For example - $6,000 in 2007 would get you a tidy drivable 1969 - 1979 Lincoln/Continental.

Today (2020) - a car in the same condition is now selling for $15,000 - $35,000 - a big jump in prices.

For investors that's great news, for the low budget car enthusiasts like myself - it's making it financially impossible to invest in an old car as a hobby.

"Bathtub" cars of the 1950's can still be found at "affordable prices" - and I personally think they look better in local car parades. "They washout the competition." 👍


My wife and I definitely like our Lincolns/Continental.

Edited by donndolly2
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  • 7 months later...

Richard, to find your parts, you can try:

Posting a wanted ad on this site

Google "parting out 1949, 1950, 1951 Lincoln"

Use      https://ownster.com/

to search for parts, It searches Ebay and Craigs list across the country

Join the Road Race Lincoln Register and post an ad their magazine

Join the LCOC and post an ad in their magazine

Post an ad in Hemming Motor News.


Good Luck as they did not make very many of these. Is the part the same as the Mercury? The part number prefix should help there.

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