In 1940, Lincoln offered an improved version of their Zephyr that was aimed at the top of the market. The result was a much more elegant car which is often considered one of the best of its period. It was also one of the first cars with an externally-mounted spare tire which gave this options its name.
Eugene T. “Bob” Gregorie was responsible for the car’s design. Starting with the Zephyr lines, he lowered the body and roofline which made the car much more streamlined. Furthermore, most of the chrome brightwork was removed to give the deign clean lines.
The first example was driven by Edsel Ford for his 1939 spring vacation in Florida. By all accounts the trip was a success. Not long afterward, the car was put into full production as a convertible and hardtop for the 1940 model year.