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Phil Knapp

The differences between 1940 and 1941 Lincolns

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1940 and 1941 Continentals are very similar in appearance but VERY different mechanically.

I'm sure there are other differences between 1940 and 1941 Lincolns, but this is a start.

ONLY 1941 Lincolns have 16x5 inch wheels. Previous years are 16x4 inches. Later years are 15x5 inches. This makes 1941 Lincoln wheels unique, desirable, and VERY expensive.

1941 Lincolns have a 2 1/2 inch wider tread and heavier suspension components. In effect, a sturdier post-war chassis while retaining the classic pre-war styling - the best of both worlds!

1941 Lincolns have stouter front and rear bumpers than 1940.

1941 Lincoln front brake drums have no offset. Earlier and later Lincolns have a deep offset. This makes 1941 Lincoln (Bendix) brakes a direct replacement for early Ford (Lockheed) brakes.

1941 Lincolns offered TWO types of overdrive. 1941 was the LAST year for the Columbia 2-speed axle and the FIRST year for the Borg-Warner transmission overdrive. 1941 Lincolns could be (and were) ordered with BOTH overdrives. The car must have been a REAL slug in compound overdrive!

1941 Lincolns are the first Lincolns to have turn signals. The introduction of turn signals caused a SINGLE brake light to be located in the center of the spare tire. Kind of dangerous in today's traffic. Too bad Lincoln hadn't figured out how to integrate turn signals and brake lights into the tail lights yet.

1941 Lincoln convertibles use electric top operation. 1940 Lincolns use vacuum operated tops. Later Lincolns use hydraulic tops - a better choice.

1941 Lincolns are the first Lincolns to have push-button doors.

1941 Lincoln Continental front seat backs tilt inward to provide easier access to the rear seat. 1940 Lincoln front seat backs tilt straight forward.

The1941 Lincolns operate the hood latch from a cable INSIDE the car. (A nice theft deterrent). 1940 Lincolns use the "ball & spear" hood ornament as the hood latch.

Some, but not all, 1941 Lincolns use a different type of shock absorber adjustments from earlier and later cars.

1941 Lincolns have a horn ring. Earlier models use a horn button.

Since there were three Lincoln models in 1941 (Zephyr, Continental, and Custom) the hubcaps were changed to read "Lincoln 12" instead of "Lincoln Zephyr".

One change that didn't make it into the 1941 Continentals was the trunk lid supports. In 1941, they fold IN. This causes the trunk lid to bounce off your head if you happen to bump the supports. Post-war Continentals have the trunk lid supports folding OUT, thus saving a lot of bumped heads!

If you want a scale model of a 1940 Lincoln Continental, get a Franklin mint "1941" Lincoln Continental. The only 1941 parts on this model are the front fender mounted turn signals, grille, and the "Lincoln Continental" script on the hood sides! Everything else on this model is 1940, including the seat pattern, steering wheel, bumpers, and license plate light.

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41'S have frame insulators which adds an additional layer of rubber between axles and body.

Shocks and sway bars are larger..

Radio offered foot control to mute speaker and change stations.

Continental became an individual model..

41 had a center mounted stop light, 40 used tails.

41 offered automatic choke.

41 had rotational door latches 40 had retracting ford style.

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40 and 41 lincoln Continentals and Zephyrs used the same radiator 06H 8005C which used a wider radiator filler throat opening. The radiator was changed to a smaller filler throat  and part number 26H 8005A. Different radiator caps also. Per Lincoln Chassis part catalog. The Lincoln parts “bible”. A MUST have parts catalog for Lincoln owners. Available from the Lincoln parts vendors.

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