Hobbies

As a car pitchman, Byron Nelson rode in style

Byron Nelson - 1971 Continental.jpg
Byron Nelson and the 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III

Pro golfers tend to have special relationships with their cars. And being paid to endorse a car brand never hurt, either. In this series, Morning Read looks at some of the greatest players in history and their sweet rides. This week, we remember the late Byron Nelson, who won the last of his five major titles at the 1945 PGA Championship. That year, he won 18 tournaments, including 11 in a row, which remains a record unlikely to be broken. During his retirement, the man known as "Lord Byron" for his gentlemanly conduct served as a TV commentator and product pitchman.

More Golfers and Cars:
Part 1: Arnold Palmer and Cadillac El Dorado
Part 2: Lee Trevino and Dodge Charger
Part 3: Jack Nicklaus and Pontiac

Byron Nelson – 1971 Continental Mark III

In 1971, Nelson was a member of the Lincoln-Mercury Sports Panel. Members of this panel participated in publicity programs for Lincoln-Mercury from 1967 through 1975, with the ultimate goal of creating a sports image around the Mercury brand.  For his work on the panel, Nelson received a 1971 Continental Mark III, which back then was its own brand within Lincoln-Mercury. The Mark III went had-to-head against Cadillac’s El Dorado (which happened to be endorsed by Arnold Palmer) in the luxury-car field and boasted a 460-cubic-inch V8 engine that generated 350 horsepower. You can learn more about the car from the classic print ads below.

Related: For more on cars, food and drinks, visit Morning Read's new "Hobbies" page