Lincoln Motor Car Company’s flagship model in the 1930s was the prestigious Model K. When introduced in 1931, Lincoln was under the full control of the Ford Motor Company, as Henry Leland had been pushed out by a revenge-seeking Henry Ford. Henry put his son Edsel in charge and almost immediately, Lincoln enjoyed a turnaround. The flagship Model K hit the showrooms in 1931 powered by an L-head V8 engine. Power was more than adequate but with ever increasing pressure to build multi-cylinder engines such as the V12 and V16, Ford swiftly responded with the addition of the V12 Model KB in 1932, followed by the smaller displacement KA. The early years of the Great Depression meant that sales were slim, but the V12 remained the signature of the K-series through 1939. The biggest change coming in 1934 when the two available sizes of V12 engines were combined into one singular 414 cubic inch unit.
Most of America’s luxury car manufacturers had added entry level lines to boost the bottom line during the Great Depression. Packard had the Junior series, Cadillac offered LaSalle and, while late to the game, Ford introduced the Zephyr range to bridge the gap between top line Fords and the prestigious Model K in 1936. The new Zephyr was also powered by a V12 engine, and was surely stealing sales from its older sibling, but Lincoln continued to offer the Model K for high end buyers, who now had 17 different custom body styles to select from. For the 1936 K-series (the KA and KB monikers had been dropped), styling was tweaked with a raked windscreen, revised radiator grille and optional stamped steel wheels. On the mechanical side, the 414 cubic inch flathead V-12 engine was updated with hydraulic lifters and a revised cam shaft and placed further forward in the chassis sitting to allow for more passenger room. The resulting car was elegant and understated, yet it still had an imposing presence that demanded attention.
This 1936 Lincoln K wears a rare and desirable Convertible Sedan body from the Lincoln catalog, fitted to the 136-inch wheelbase chassis. It wears an older restoration that has held up very well, although it is showing its age in a few places. The body is in very nice condition, with straight panels and good fitment of the doors and hood. Paint quality is good, though some small touchups have been made here and there. The colors are indeed a bit unconventional, but the body style itself is quite attractive, with its sloping rear trunk, low roof line, and curvaceous front fenders with dual-sidemount spares. The spare wheels are housed within metal covers that are topped with side-view mirrors. A greyhound mascot adorns the radiator grill, while out back a trunk rack supplements the integrated trunk in the body. Chrome bumpers are in quite good condition, and the painted wire wheels are adorned with chrome center caps and wide whitewall tires.
Doors open with a satisfying quality to reveal the brown leather interior which, while older, remains supple and clean. The seats and carpets are in good condition front and rear, exhibiting signs of use but not excessively worn. Instruments appear to be in original condition, along with much of the switchgear. A later turn signal switch has been added for safety. Interior fittings are in good condition and the chrome on the window winders, door handles and other areas remains very presentable. In the rear, a robe rail is affixed to the back of the front seat, and again, the leather is in good presentable condition. The tan canvas convertible top is piped in brown to complement the interior, there is a small repair on the top, but it remains attractive and serviceable.
The engine compartment, while not concours, is clean and nicely detailed, the big 414 cubic inch flathead V12 engine starts easily and runs very well, with the signature smooth, virtually silent idle that defines these 1930s multi-cylinder engines. Very few of these open cars were originally sold, since in 1936, a Model K 7-passenger Limousine cost a rather steep $4,700. This more complex Convertible Sedan would have come in above that. Given the competition from within by the Zephyr, it is no wonder that sales of the K were limited. This 1936 Lincoln K features rare and desirable coachwork, and is a very enjoyable car for CCCA CARavans, local shows, or Sunday drives.
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