|Lincoln Cosmopolitan Sport Sedan; $3,238 new in the U.S. in 1949.|
The Fords and Lincolns of that year were the manufacturer's first all-new cars since before the Second World War, and the Cosmopolitan's bathtub styling could not have been more of a departure from the formal, full-fendered lines of the 1947-48 Lincolns.
With a 125-inch wheelbase, the Cosmopolitan had plenty of room for six on the chesterfield-like seats of its big cabin, and a comfortable ride from a new independent front suspension with coil springs. Its engine, however, was not-so-new: in place of the V-12 that resided under the impossibly long hoods of earlier Lincolns was a 337-cubic-inch flathead V-8 adapted from a Ford truck engine.
The big Cosmopolitan model existed for just three years; the name was assigned to a lower Lincoln series in 1952 and disappeared in 1954. But this Cosmo has been roundly visible in Havana for more than six decades. Now a peso cab in the Vedado district, it's lost a few pieces of brightwork and had some eye surgery, with flat-mounted headlamps replacing the original lights that were set deep within chrome bezels. Yet it remains impressive, delivering a message of worldly luxury in the Cuban capital.