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1931 Lincoln Model K Convertible Coupe by LeBaron For Sale

Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1920 by Henry Martyn Leland, a brilliant engineer who built aircraft engines for Liberty during World War I. His first vehicle was 'Model L' and spanned from 1921 to 1930. It featured a Leland-designed 60-degree V8 flathead motor with seven main bearings and fork-blade type connecting rods. Although expensive, this arrangement was a marvel of engineering for durability and power delivery. Prior to the vehicle's unveiling at the 1921 New York Auto Salon, LeBaron Carrossieres coachbuilder was commissioned to design the 4-passenger phaeton body. Remarkably, LeBaron's design was completed within a few days and was successful enough to secure ample sales for the 2 years that followed. LeBaron's Raymond Dietrich and Thomas Hibbard artwork soon came under the watchful eye of Edsel Ford, Henry Ford's son. Apart from being the president of Ford Motor Company and Detroit Museum of Arts, Edsel was passionate over automobile and aircraft aesthetics. Once Ford Motors acquired Lincoln, Edsel set up a drawing studio in its Lincoln's plant from where he would serve his intentions, best described in his own words "Father made the most popular car in the world. I would like to make the best". His strong preference for LeBaron's sense of style resulted in an influx of proposals initially from Dietrich and Hibbard and later from Ronald Stickney and Hugo Pfau who were also designers for Fairchild Aviation. In 1928, Ford, Stickney and Pfau decided to commemorate aeronautical streamlining practices of the era by building a one-off Lincoln that incorporated several aeronautical principles and design elements. That same year, LeBaron also started designing custom convertible coupes for Lincoln that benefited from a lighter superstructure, V-type streamlined windshields and a recessed folding tops providing for an unhindered view from the rumble seat. The engine was also developed further by enlarging its capacity by 27 cubic inches that resulted in 10% more power. These upgrades may have been commendable to Model L but signified that the time had come to modify it deeply; hence Model K was created in 1931. Through wheelbase elongation to 145 inches, deeper mounting of the body into the chassis and single inch wheel size deduction, the grace of Model K became unparalleled. Leland's marvelous engine was developed even further via dual venturi downdraft Stromberg carburation, timing alteration and higher compression thereby boasting 120bhp of power output. After one year into production, a growing pressure forced Lincoln to give way to the multicylinder trend and Model K was split into series KA and KB. The KA series did maintain Leland's V8 engine but the wheelbase was shortened back to Model L standards. The KB series did maintain the wheelbase and elegance of Model K but the engine was replaced by a Ford-designed multicylinder plant only to answer the competitive trend from other automakers. This trend along with big cars would cease in 1937, marking the closing of an era of automotive inspiration that the industry will never reach again. Out of all the big Lincolns of that era, it would only be the 1931 Model K that best represented Leland's genuine engineering brilliance with LeBaron's impeccable aesthetics, especially in its masterpiece Convertible Coupe coachwork.

The Convertible Coupe featured here is 1 of the 275 ever produced. Its early years are a mystery but during the 70s, 80s and 90s it was part of a private collection of one of aviation's greatest minds who invented business jet thrust reversers and founded one of America's largest aircraft modification companies in San Antonio Texas. Being passionate about his cars, the owner would restore them by himself and store indoors as private displays. The restoration of this Convertible Coupe was completed in the late 70s and was soon awarded by Classic Car Club of America with 1st Place. The quality was of such degree that 10 years later the Convertible Coupe was presented to the public only to score 100pts for 2 years in a row. In the year 2000, the car was acquired by its current owner, an aviation industrialist, who decided to store it indoors and conduct careful maintenance. After 18 years of climate controlled preservation, this piece of automotive and aviation history remains in impeccable condition and is available to serious collectors.

Year: 1931
Make: Lincoln
Model: Model K
Version: Convertible Coupe
Coachbuilder: LeBaron Inc.
Design director: Edsel Ford
Radiator emblem sculptor: Gorham Manufacturing Company
Bodybuilder: Murray Body Corp.
Body type: 2 door, 2 plus rumble seats, 4 passenger roadster
Interior type, trim: tufted, full leather
Engine type: 6293cc, 8 cylinder in 60 degree V configuration

1st Place, 1980 Classic Car Club of America Annual Meeting, USA
1st Place, 100 points, 1989 Classic Car Club of America Senior Division, USA
1st Place, 100 points, 1990 Classic Car Club of America Premier Division, USA
Price £593000 As stated
Ad Type For Sale
Category Classic Cars
Make Lincoln
Model Model K
Year 1931
Country Greece
Region International
Telephone +30 6945 159602
Status Trade
Date 11-Jul-2019
Ref C1063993

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