What if you had the chance to buy a car from your childhood memories? One that your father or mother drove during your childhood, or a family car of some sort? How about the first car you drove or owned yourself? Would you? I bet most people wouldn’t because, like watch collectors, we tend to look for an upgrade when buying a new car. For most, the next car has to be just a bit better, faster, more equipped, better looking. But for some, the memories remain so strong and so positive that having the chance to obtain such a car is a chance of a lifetime.
It is precisely that scenario that leads us to today’s topic of choice, an old American sedan car owned by the Bucherer family not once but twice. This story revolves around a Lincoln Cosmopolitan Town Sedan built in 1949. The 1940s and 1950s were a glorious time for American car design, driven by seemingly unlimited possibilities and booming prosperity.
The Lincoln Cosmopolitan was a full-size luxury car produced between 1949 and 1954. At the time, Lincoln was owned by the Ford Motor Company and part of the Lincoln-Mercury Division. Coming out of WWII, the Cosmopolitan was the first entirely new post-war developed car by Lincoln (under Ford’s management). Initially, it was part of a plan to present gradually larger and more luxurious cars under each brand. The Ford was an entry-level car, the Mercury was positioned above that, and the Lincoln was the top-spec option.
Plans were changed, though, and an entirely new Ford was designed. The original Ford was rebranded as the Mercury, and the Mercury became a Lincoln “junior” car. What was initially destined to be the Lincoln became the “senior” car, the Lincoln Cosmopolitan. The car’s design was a break from previous Lincoln cars, with a pontoon-style body while Lincoln’s before it would still have running boards between the front and rear wheels. It would also be the first Lincoln branded car to feature a V8 engine.
The Lincoln Cosmopolitan was available as a 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible, and 4-door sedan. A fourth body style was produced in 1949 only, which featured a roofline that dropped down towards the rear section. This version, with a fastback body, was known as the Cosmopolitan Town Sedan.
In 1950 the Lincoln Cosmopolitan was selected as the official presidential state car. Legend has it, US President Harry S. Truman was unhappy with General Motors, Ford’s biggest rival, not providing him with cars during his presidential election campaign in 1948. As sort of an “up yours” to GM, he turned to Ford (and Lincoln) to provide him with vehicles. Ten Lincoln Cosmopolitans – in total, nine full-bodied cars and one convertible – were built to be used by President Truman’s administration.
The Cosmopolitan was revisited in 1952 with an updated design and new technology. Lincoln ditched the unique look of the Cosmopolitan to bring it more in line with other cars within the Ford-Mercury-Lincoln stable. That same year, Lincoln also introduced the new Capri, which was positioned above the Cosmopolitan.
All this history brings us back to the original question. If given the chance, would you buy back a car from your childhood memories? Or a car that was part of your family history? Many might, but just as many might not. One individual that did jump at the chance is Jörg G. Bucherer, grandson of Carl F. Bucherer, the founder and namesake of the Carl F. Bucherer watchmaking company.
Jörg G. Bucherer’s father, Mr Carl Eduard Bucherer, once owned the blue 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Town Sedan, one of only 7,302 built during one year of production only. As these things tend to go, the car was sold off and replaced by something else, not to be seen again for a very long time. The car made a lasting impression on young Jörg G. Bucherer, though. Just 13 years of age, when the car was sold by his father, Jörg G. Bucherer would be reunited with it almost 60 years later.
Now acting as chairman of the board and sole owner of the Bucherer Group, in 2013, he obtained the very same car his father had owned. What followed was a detailed restoration to return the car to its former glory. It now looks as fresh as it did the day it left the showroom in 1949. The car is finished in a very nice, period-correct light blue paint job. One of the most striking features, without a doubt, is the rearward opening back doors, so-called suicide doors for reasons that need no explaining. The inside of the car looks to be in tip-top shape as well. And, of course, the car sits on white wall tyres.
Now, while we often cover resto-mods or custom cars in our weekly Petrolhead Corner, we’re quite glad to see a car like this being restored rather than modified. And it would be very possible at one point in time this car would have been chopped up and turned into a lead sled, something quite popular with big Lincolns and Mercurys of this period. We guess Mr Jörg G. Bucherer is happy that the car hasn’t been butchered beyond the point of no return.
The compelling story of such a treasured family car has also lead to a special watch inspired by the old Lincoln. Sascha Moeri, the current CEO of Carl F. Bucherer, decided to honour it with a special edition of the Carl F. Bucherer Heritage BiCompax Annual Lucerne. The vintage-inspired watch, with a design harking back to the glory days of bi-compax chronographs, combines a compelling retro-appeal with the practicality of an annual calendar display.
The 41mm wide steel case comes with a dial that takes inspiration from the Lincoln Cosmopolitan Town Sedan owned by Mr Jörg G. Bucherer. It combines a silver base with blue chronograph registers and a tachymeter scale on the periphery. The blue tone matches the paint of the car and gives the watch a fresh, summer-ready look.
Powering the Carl F. Bucherer Heritage BiCompax Annual Lucerne is the CFB 1972 calibre. This automatic movement is based on the ETA 2894 and is fitted with an annual calendar module. The module takes the length of months into account and needs adjusting once a year on 1 March. Check the review of the Carl F. Bucherer Heritage BiCompax Annual “Orca” for the full rundown of specifications.
The Carl F. Bucherer Heritage BiCompax Annual Lucerne comes on a Milanese style bracelet, something previously unavailable for the Heritage BiCompax Annual collection, and an additional calfskin leather strap in black with a subtle blue stripe on the edge. It is limited to 188 pieces, retails for EUR 6,800, and is available through all Bucherer boutiques and retailers.
For more information, please visit Carl-F-Bucherer.com.