My car is an Introductory Unit. From what I know (correct me if I'm wrong) There were about 300 Introductory Units made for distribution to select Lincoln dealerships. They were supposed to be held on the showroom floor so that prospective buyers would have something to see. Apparently there were some exceptions as Mad's parents got theirs right away.
I bring this up because of an encounter with the woman that was Doug McClure, Continental's Sales Manager's, secretary Beth Cook, probably one of the very last of the players left with us. She brought me some great mementos of her husband's, as he was in charge of the car's interiors. She's 95 years old and is sharp as a tack. She's a bit frail, but farms some land with her daughter, who's older than I am. She brought me one of the mementos from the very first meeting of the Lincoln Continental Owners Club, long before they added the "and" between Lincoln and Continental. Her husband got it when he attended the meeting in 1954 where the Continental Division and the Mark II were first announced to the public. It's an early '40s Lincoln Continental Convertible that's gold-plated. She gave me what appears to be some type of award using a 1960 Lincoln Premiere hood ornament. With Beth's blessing I re-gifted that to someone that has a '60 Premiere sporting a Lincoln Continental hood ornament.
Beth related some great stories while I peppered her with questions. Through her I learned that the place the Mark II was born was the closed Ford Trade School and associated "Legion" camp that supplied an endless need for trained machinists and skilled trades. He took kids off the streets, fed, clothed and trained them to slide right into his work stream as seamlessly as possible. He did pay them a decent amount of money to get trained. They got two weeks of shop learning to one week of book learning on various subjects. Once they graduated they reaped the benefits of HF's decent factory wage. I don't think that would work today, but it seemed effective and efficient.
I asked Beth about one of the subjects that I've received some push-back on as I was only repeating what I heard from Paul Wagner, original public owner of the Derham Mark II convertible. I've stated that there was some type of mechanism where Ford actually owned all of the Introductory Units and that's why there are no invoices for the IUs. Someone that worked in finance at GM berated me mightily that there's no way the dealers weren't charged for the cars, but I countered that it would be a heavy burden for a dealer to have to sit on a car they can't sell until the pipeline started to fill. Beth recalled that there was some financing that was done for dealers so that they didn't get stuck with something they shouldn't sell, but she couldn't remember the specifics of the program. She said she fielded many dealer complaints of missing equipment and options, but no one complained about being stuck with a car they couldn't sell.
I think there were extraordinary measures taken for an extraordinary car, but would like to gain knowledge, not more speculation. I also don't want to repeat something that isn't true. How did Ford handle financing the Introductory Unit cars?