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Lot 713: 1932 Lincoln Model KA Convertible Roadster

An Important Sale Of Collectors MotorCars, Bonhams & Butterfields (21 April 2007)

The products of Ford-owned Lincoln have for years rivalled those of General Motorsí Cadillac Division in their exclusivity and luxury, yet the company was conceived for an entirely different purpose: to build Liberty aero engines during WWI. Cadillacís Henry Leland was the man responsible, his tenure with the company he founded having ended in 1917 following a disagreement with General Motors boss William C Durant. Leland, then 74 years old, named his new company after the President he had voted for back in 1864, but swiftly found himself overtaken by events. The Armistice of November 1918 left Leland with a big headache - what to do with his huge factory and 6,000 workforce. Given his decades of experience and stature within the automobile industry, there could only be one solution: turn the factory over to car production.

Like the Cadillac, the Lincoln Model L was a precision made product and featured a 60-degree V8 engine developing 80bhp, good enough to guarantee 70mph performance.

Unfortunately, Lincoln customers had to endure a protracted wait to experience it for themselves as deliveries did not commence until September 1920, eight months behind schedule. This delay, the carís somewhat dated appearance and the onset of the post-war recession all combined to hinder sales. By early 1922 the other board members had had enough and, despite Lelandís objections, put the company up for sale. The buyer was none other than Henry Ford, whose acquisition of Lincoln enabled him to contest the upper reaches of the automobile market while the ubiquitous Model T continued to dominate at the other extreme.

Edsel Ford took over as Company President and under his stewardship production rapidly increased. Despite Lelandís fears to the contrary, quality improved under the new management and under Edsel Fordís direction the Lincoln evolved into a beautiful car, aided by the recruitment of some of Americaís finest coachbuilders including Brunn, Dietrich, Holbrook, Judd, Le Baron and Locke. By 1928 the Lincoln engine had been enlarged from 357.8 to 384.8cu in (6.3 litres) and for 1931 was heavily revised with five main bearings while incorporating a host of other improvements - including the first American use of a two-barrel, down-draught carburetor - that raised maximum power from 90 to 120bhp. Lincolnís up-rated motor went into an entirely new car - the Model K - built on a lengthened (145Ē) wheelbase chassis. Lower and sleeker than hitherto, the new Lincoln incorporated numerous other styling changes including a longer hood, peaked radiator and shallow, bowl-shaped headlights. For 1932 Lincolnís V8 continued as the Model KA on a shorter (136Ē) wheelbase chassis alongside the all-new V12-engined KB.
The stylish Model KA roadster offered here dates from the final year of production of Lincolnís classic 60-degree V8 engine. Undeniably very handsome, this Lincoln was acquired by the current owner circa 1990 and exhibited at Greenwich Concours in 1999, when it was judged Best American Open Car in the 1931-32 Class. The car is offered complete with wheel spanners and Certificate of Title.

Lot Details
Auction An Important Sale Of Collectors MotorCars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Massachusetts
TypeCar
Lot Number713
Estimate$110000-$130000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$100000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$117000
Year1932
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number71191
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors