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Lot 439: Lincoln 4-Door Convertible

Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia, Bonhams (3 June 2012)

When Lincoln introduced the Lincoln Zephyr in 1936, the new car was an immediate sensation. Catering to the moderately affluent buyer who might also consider a Packard 120, Chrysler Imperial 8 or perhaps a new Cadillac 60, the Zephyr stood out among competitors with its dramatically streamlined all-steel body, futuristic interior and V-12 engine.

The 110-hp L-head V-12 hidden beneath the Zephyr's pioneering front-opening "alligator" hood was a derivative of the strong and proven 1930s Ford 'flathead' V-8. In essence, four cylinders were added to the V-8, and the cylinder angle was changed to 75�, to give the 12-cylinder engine even firing impulses. Aluminum cylinder heads aided cooling and enhanced combustion control.

The Lincoln Zephyr was offered only in closed models for 1936 and 1937. Then, for 1938, two new open styles were added to the linea Convertible Coupe and the Convertible Sedan, an ex-ample of which is offered here. The Convertible Sedan was the most expensive 1938 Zephyr and only 461 were built. Lincoln designers retained the Zephyr's characteristic streamline body form for the new four-door open model. Wind deflectors were added to the front doors and the center upper door pillars were designed to fold away for top-down driving. The convertible top was lined inside, in the style of a European cabriolet.

The new convertible sedan arrived just in time to share the Lincoln Zephyr's trend-setting frontal appearance for 1938. The new grille was mounted low and styled for horizontal emphasis, while the headlamps were placed in the leading edges of the front fenders. The look would become the norm on virtually every American car within two years, but in 1938 the new frontal styling put Lincoln at the forefront of automotive design.

Inside, a full leather interior provided luxury car comfort, while the car's center-stack gauge and control cluster gave the instrument panel a futuristic and fanciful 'Buck Rogers' look that re-mains truly unique.

This Zephyr was subject to a comprehensive refurbishment by Hibernia Restoration, a shop known for their high quality work in making cars such as this as perfect and correct as possible. It is finished in the deep rich lacquer paint that Hibernia is known for, the interior is masterfully trimmed in tan leather, and the Zephyr dash is in perfect condition. Additionally, the way the car runs needs to be heard to be believed  the whisper quiet V-12 is as good as one of these cars gets.

It is truly rare to find an open Zephyr today, let alone one in such wonderful condition both cosmetically and mechanically. Here is an opportunity to acquire a Lincoln owned by one of the most knowledgeable Lincoln enthusiasts of his era, and restored by one of the best restorers of their time.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Greenwich, Connecticut
Lot Number439
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis number
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4