1927 Lincoln Model L Dietrich Coupe Roadster

The Model L was the first production vehicle to come from Henry Leland’s latest venture, Lincoln Motor Company. Leland’s expertise was fundamental to the development of the Oldsmobile Curved Dash and the establishment of Cadillac Motor Company, and his latest project reflected the kind of precision engineering for which he was renowned. The Model L boasted a compact and powerful 60-degree V8 with fork-and-blade connecting rods and full-pressure lubrication. The chassis was well-built and lauded for excellent handling and ride. But the early cars suffered from somewhat dull styling, and sales struggled to get off the ground. In 1922, Henry Ford swept in and purchased the company, and installed son Edsel at the helm. With the foundation laid by Leland and perfected by Edsel Ford, Lincoln became the proud new flagship of the Ford Motor Company.

From an engineering standpoint, the Model L was a superb motorcar, so they left the mechanical spec mostly untouched. But Edsel put his considerable artistic talent to good use, creating handsome new styling that revitalized the line. Custom coachwork options were soon added, and the Model L was steadily refined and improved. It served as Lincoln’s sole offering from the company’s foundation in 1921 through the arrival of the Model K ten years later. With its superb V8 engine and elegant coachwork by prestigious firms including Brunn, LeBaron, Dietrich, Willoughby, and others, the Model L offered prestige and engineering excellence in abundance.

This Lincoln Model L is one of only 13 known examples from 1927 to wear this striking Coupe-Roadster coachwork by Dietrich. The handsome design combines Edsel Ford’s front end styling with a sporty and elegant body by the great Ray Dietrich. The most recent owner acquired this car from a fellow Lincoln enthusiast and officer in the Lincoln Owner’s Club. It was subsequently treated to a very high-quality restoration and returned to its original colors of silver and Kenilworth gray with black fenders per the factory build records. Details include a black Haartz canvas top, a period Lorraine spot lamp, and optional Buffalo wire wheels to suit the sporting character of the Deitrich coachwork. It is a highly attractive example, wonderfully suited to touring enjoyment.

Rich burgundy leather serves as a lovely contrast to the gray exterior scheme, complemented by the burgundy painted wheels. The cabin is authentically appointed with Linoleum floor panels, period-correct instruments and switches, and restored brightwork. In the rumble seat, matching burgundy leather is trimmed to a similar standard of quality, as is the black canvas Haartz top, which exhibits tight fit and high-quality craftsmanship.

Lincoln’s 357.8 cubic-inch L-head V8 engine is a marvelous piece of engineering. The fact that it was the only engine option for the first decade of production is a testament to Henry Leland’s superb design. In this car the original Stromberg updraft carburetor has been replaced with modern Holley downdraft and custom intake manifold. The new carburetor provides a welcome boost to the Model L’s performance, allowing the superb V8 to breath freely and return excellent flexibility for touring. The original manifold and rebuilt Stromberg are included in the sale should the next owner wish to return it to standard specification. Aside from the new carburetor, the engine is well detailed with an authentic, period-correct appearance.

With its thoughtfully updated V8 engine and rare, desirable Dietrich coachwork, this Lincoln L would be a marvelous entry into a host of driving events worldwide, including CCCA CARavan tours. Finely restored and prepared, it would be a pleasure to enjoy on the road, and will surely provide its next keeper with many miles of enjoyable motoring.


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