All through the 1920s, Continental engines were used with excellent results by many independent auto manufacturers that could not afford the cost of designing and building their own engines. So, if Continental enjoyed such success building engines, how did it get into a failing automobile business?
Continental supplied engines for the 1932 De Vaux, among other makes of cars. In January of 1932, Norman De Vaux gave up his interest in his namesake car to Continental after less than 5,000 of the powerful and attractive Hall-engined 1931 De Vaux models had been sold.
For 1933, Continental dropped the De Vaux name and created Continental, including three new models: the four-cylinder Beacon, the six-cylinder Flyer and the top-of-the-line, six-cylinder Ace (which somewhat resembled a 1933 Chrysler and was previously illustrated in Auto Album).
As a low-priced four-cylinder, the 1933 Beacon was in direct competition with Willys' new "77" model, a bizarrely styled little car of which some 20,000 were sold in 1933. As for Continental, it apparently fell behind Franklin, which was in 26th place in sales with less than 1,500 built.
Despite that, Continental tried again in 1934, offering just one series, the four-cylinder Red Seal. Since Continental had no chain of dealerships, much depended on mail orders. And, obviously, buyers were encouraged to come to the Michigan factory to take delivery.
The Continental is one of the rarest cars of the early 1930s, and it is almost forgotten today, no connection with the successful Continental built by the Ford Motor Company's Lincoln division.