Alongside Lincoln-Zephyr from the late 1930s, Continental is a nameplate of Lincoln that became the namesake of its own division of Ford Motor Company. From 1956 to 1957, the Continental Division was the worldwide flagship of Ford before its merger into Lincoln. Beginning life as one of the first personal luxury cars to enter mass production, the Lincoln Continental has been produced as a two-door coupe and convertible alongside two-door and four-door sedan bodystyles.
In production for over 55 years across nine different decades, Lincoln has produced ten generations of the Continental. Within the Lincoln model line, the Continental has served several roles ranging from its flagship to its base-trim sedan. From 1961 to 1976, Lincoln sold the Continental as its exclusive model line. The model line has also gone on hiatus three times. From 1949 to 1955, the nameplate was briefly retired. In 1981, the Continental was renamed the Lincoln Town Car to accommodate the 1982 seventh-generation Continental. After 2002, the Continental was retired, largely replaced by the Lincoln MKS in 2009; in 2017, the tenth-generation Continental replaced the MKS.