There were many dramatic design statements in the Thirties, but perhaps none so unexpected and of such lasting influence as the Lincoln Zephyr introduced in 1935. Its taut, integrated, streamlined design by John Tjaarda at Briggs Manufacturing encountered some resistance from Edsel Ford, a revision brilliantly translated into the Zephyr's sloped, vee-shaped prow by Bob Gregorie and Bob Koto at Ford. The Zephyr's influence was quickly reflected in Ford and Mercury designs, in total some of the most attractive, distinctive, coachwork of the decade. The Zephyr's design was supported by its innovative 75-degree V-12 engine, developed directly from the Ford flathead V-8, with 267 cubic inches displacement and 110 horsepower, a power plant that continued the V-12 tradition of Lincoln's famed Model K super-luxury series but at reasonable cost. By 1937 only 977 Lincoln Model Ks were built, negligible production balanced against the Zephyr's production of over 29,000. Most of those were four-door sedans like this 1937 Lincoln Zephyr which incorporates one of the Zephyr's best known features, the center stack containing the speedometer and gauges and through which the gearshift lever extends, an innovation that brought high style and design to the auto's interior. This is a very pretty example that has had a sympathetic restoration with good paint, chrome, and interior. It is finished in a medium blue coachlined in yellow with tan Bedford cloth upholstery and interior trim and features wood grain window moldings, rear fender skirts that accent the Zephyr's aerodynamic design, body color wheels with hubcaps, trim rings and wide whitewall tires and a subtle exhaust pipe turndown. It is a good, sound car that looks almost as good underneath as it does on top and vividly illustrates why the Lincoln Zephyr was such a successful model for Ford and continues to intrigue collectors who appreciate design, style and refinement.
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