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Lincoln is an American luxury automobile brand, operated under the Ford Motor Company. Founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland and acquired by Ford in 1922, Lincoln has been manufacturing vehicles intended for the upscale markets since the 1920s. Leland named the brand after his longtime hero Abraham Lincoln, for whom he had voted in the first presidential elections for which he was eligible.
The company was founded in August 1917 by Henry M. Leland. Leland, one of the founders of Cadillac (originally the Henry Ford Company), left the Cadillac division of General Motors during World War I and formed the Lincoln Motor Company to build Liberty aircraft engines with his son Wilfred. Total vehicles produced during the five years under Lelands leadership were less than 3,000. After the war, the company's factories were retooled to continue to manufacture luxury automobiles.
The company encountered severe financial troubles during the transition, coupled with body styling that wasn't comparable to other luxury makers, and after having produced only 150 cars in 1922, was forced into bankrupcy and sold for USD$8,000,000 to the Ford Motor Company on February 4 1922, which went to pay off some of the creditors. The purchase of Lincoln was a personal triumph for Henry Ford, who had been forced out of his second (after Detroit Automobile Company) company by a group of investors led by Leland. Ford's company, renamed Cadillac in 1902 and purchased by rival General Motors in 1909, was Lincoln's chief competitor. Lincoln quickly became one of America's top selling luxury brands alongside Cadillac and Packard.