1950 Lido and Cosmopolitan Capri: Lincoln’s Special Sporty Offerings

A well-known tale among fans of vintage cars is that Ford introduced the Crestliner in 1950 to compete with General Motors’ luxurious pillarless hardtops. What may be less familiar is that this effort extended across all three Ford Motor Company brands, with Mercury presenting the Monterey and Lincoln offering two special models: the Lido and the Cosmopolitan Capri.

Lincoln, benefiting from having two distinct product lines at the time—the Lincoln Cosmopolitan (0EH, 125-in wheelbase) and the smaller Lincoln (0EL, 121-in wheelbase)—introduced the Lido and the Cosmopolitan Capri, counterparts to the Crestliner and Monterey, respectively. Sharing the same general theme and features, these models aimed to compete with GM’s stylish hardtops.

In the absence of pillarless hardtops in its product lines, the Lincoln Lido sought to replicate the convertible look by using a padded vinyl top cover. Fender skirts, typically an optional feature, were standard on the Lido.

However, the true uniqueness of the Lido lay in its interior, which was adorned with fine wool and leather in an exclusive two-color pattern. Priced at $2,721, the Lido commanded a $145 premium over a standard Lincoln coupe.

On the other hand, the larger Cosmopolitan Capri followed a similar template with a fabric-covered roof, fender skirts, and deluxe upholstery. Priced at $3,406, it carried a $239 premium over the standard Cosmopolitan coupe. While specific production numbers for the Capri and Lido are not detailed, reports suggest they were not high-volume sellers, possibly reaching only a thousand or two units. These specially trimmed models failed to make a substantial impact on GM’s hardtop sales, especially considering that Lincoln’s four-door sedans were the brand’s best-sellers at the time.

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Produced for two years, from 1950 to 1951, the Cosmopolitan Capri and the Lido faced a shift in 1952 when Lincoln introduced a genuine pillarless hardtop in its lineup. As the model line underwent reshuffling, the Cosmopolitan became the base model, and the Capri name gained deluxe status, remaining a Lincoln model through 1959. The Lido name, however, faded into obscurity, not reappearing at Lincoln unless considering Lido Anthony Iacocca, more famously known as Lee Iacocca.

The brief existence of the Lido and Cosmopolitan Capri reflects the challenges faced by Ford in competing with GM’s hardtop models and how, over time, Lincoln adapted its lineup to meet changing automotive trends and consumer preferences.

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