1938 Lincoln Zephyr

In 1935 Lincoln delivered only 1,411 Model K V-12 cars. That all changed in 1936 with the introduction of the Lincoln-Zephyr, a medium-priced automobile aimed directly at the sweet spot dominated by Buick. Powered by a narrow vee angle 12-cylinder derivative of Ford's now well-proven flathead V-8, it boasted 110 horsepower, 186 lb-ft torque and a smooth, sweet demeanor that made it ideal for middle class owner-drivers. While its economical V-12 engine set it apart from competition it was the sleek, streamlined bodywork designed by Bob Gregorie with Edsel Ford's guidance and support that made the Lincoln-Zephyr a winner. Revised with a longer wheelbase in 1938, the Lincoln-Zephyr's sleek "prow," low, divided grille elements, continuous beltline molding and headlights recessed lower into the front fenders, tapering rear deck and raked one-piece windshield enhanced the teardrop impression of its flowing lines. Little changed in 1937 except inside the car where an innovative center console extended from the dashboard to the floor. The instruments (round speedometer and clock surrounded sector-shaped gauges for fuel level, oil pressure, amps and coolant temperature) and radio were placed in the console. A cranked floor mounted shift lever popped out through the console's left side close to the driver's hand. It is one of the most attractive and ingenious dashboard and instrument layouts of prewar years and is still intriguing today. This 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr is finished in Maroon with Beige cloth and Brown leatherette upholstery and a matching Beige cloth top. The rear wheels are enclosed within fender skirts that complement the teardrop side view development. The wheels have large hubcaps and trim rings that almost completely cover the steel wheels. Recently freshened cosmetically, it is a rare and stylish statement of design and performance capable of cruising quietly at freeway speeds. 1938 was the first year the convertible coupe style was offered in the Lincoln-Zephyr and only 600 were built, making it particularly rare and exciting.

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