In the rarefied world of collectible cars, the very act of collecting implies dedication: to history, to the integrity of the vehicle, and to culture. It can also serve to bring families together. For Norman Hoskins, his 1941 Lincoln Continental is more than just a collector’s vehicle — it’s a direct link to his father.
“My dad, Norman Hoskins, Sr., won the Continental Owners Club event back in ’59,” Norman says. “I was 12 years old, and it was a big day for me because it was something that I got to share with him.”
That win was all it took to cement the passion Norman had discovered early in his childhood,watching his father lovingly care for and show his Continental. Now, more than 55 years later, his childhood fascination with his father’s car lives on, in the form of a nearly identical version of his very own.
Norman had previously owned other classic Lincoln vehicles, including a 1950’s Mark II — his favorite model as a child. But when the time came to purchase a new antique car, there was only one model he had in mind: a 1941 Lincoln Continental strikingly similar to the one that brought his father that long-ago victory.
Like his father’s prized car, Norman Jr.’s also features a V12 flathead engine with polished aluminum heads and manifold for the carburetor, which are more commonly made of steel. The long, sleek hood is topped with what Norman proudly calls “the Art Nouveau hood ornament” — a feature unique to the ’40-’41 models. It also features a dignified color palette: a rich, deep maroon exterior with gold-trimmed interior details, compared to his father’s inky black edition.
The Continental was first produced in 1940, but the ’41 edition was the first model officially branded under the Continental name — making this particular car one of the earliest of its kind. Adding to its lore, this model was the chosen ride of Hollywood stars of the era, thanks to eye-catching accents like wide whitewall tires and the aforementioned 14-karat gold detailing on the dash,“In 1941, it was the ultimate glamour car,” Norman says. But for him, no amount of Hollywood glamour is a match for his father’s legacy — a legacy that calls for a thoughtful approach to the car’s future.
“I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to keep it preserved or if I’m going to restore it,” Norman says. “There have been some things done to it over the years, but we’re working on it little by little.”
To Norman, taking his time and savoring each step of the process seems almost like a form of meditation. Each aspect he turns his attention to calls up memories of his father, and in the process, days long past feel alive in the present.
In the trunk of his Continental, Norman still keeps his father’s trophy, alongside an old photograph of his dad. “1959. San Diego. I’ve had it for all these years,” says Norman, as he proudly holds his keepsakes up next to his own real-life version.