Lot 267: Lincoln Continental V12 Convertible
Nowadays synonymous with Lincoln, the 'Continental' model name had first been used in 1940 for Bob Gregorie's masterly styling exercise on the existing V12 Zephyr chassis. A sportier, top-of-the-range companion to the Zephyr, the Continental had started out as a personal, custom-bodied one-off commissioned by Lincoln boss Edsel Ford, and would be hailed as a classic of automotive design by authorities as diverse as the Museum of Modern Art and the Classic Car Club of America.
Lincoln had relied exclusively on V12 engines since 1933, the Continental's being a 75-degree, 292ci (4,787cc) L-head sidevalve producing 120bhp. Few changes were made until the September '41 introduction of the '42 model, which featured a revised front grille and an enlarged (305ci, 5.0-litre) and more powerful engine, while a notable new option was 'Liquimatic' three-speed automatic transmission.
When Lincoln's production lines resumed automobile manufacture towards the end of 1945 it was with mildly revised '42 models. There were only two Continentals available - a convertible and a coup� the former being the most expensive offering in the entire Lincoln range. A three-speed manual gearbox (with optional overdrive) was standard equipment, the automatic having been temporarily discontinued. Only 201 Continental convertibles and 265 coup�s were built for the 1946 model year and today these rare and exclusive models are among the most coveted of post-war American classics.
Previously owned by Charles Lemaitre, of Hardwick, Massachusetts, this imposing Continental Convertible was imported from the USA in the early 1990s by a French dealer, from whom it was purchased in June 1993 by the last owner. The latter commissioned the famous Fran�ois Cointreau (Restaur'Auto) to carry out a full restoration of the Lincoln, which started in September 1993 and finished in February 1995, costing more than �100,000. This car is thought to be correct in every detail with the exception of the alternator electrics and electronic ignition, both very sensible upgrades. The invoices and photographs relating to the restoration are offered with the car, which is registered in Monaco.
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