Amelia Island

10 March 2012

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Lot 131

1938 Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Sedan

  • Chassis no. 86H62727

Sold for $110,000


110 bhp, 267.3 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission with Columbia two-speed axle, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 125"



• Extremely rare and desirable Zephyr convertible sedan

• Ground-breaking John Tjaarda and E.T. Gregorie styling

• Comprehensive older restoration to concours standard

• Meticulous mechanical re-commissioning

• Offered from the Estate of Eugene Beardslee



The Lincoln Motor Company made a dramatic announcement on November 2, 1935. A new model, called Lincoln-Zephyr, was unveiled to sell at $1,275 to $1,320, less than a third the price of the least expensive Model K Lincoln. For Lincoln, which had sold barely 1,400 cars for 1935, the Zephyr was a fresh breeze with its advanced design and sales success in the Depression-weary automobile doldrums.



The new car had been developed from designer John Tjaarda’s innovative Sterkenburg concept studies of the late 1920s. Smooth and streamlined, the Sterkenburg had a low frontal aspect and was designed for a rear-mounted engine. Edsel Ford became interested in Tjaarda’s work, and Briggs, one of Ford’s body suppliers, built a mockup that appeared at the 1934 Century of Progress exhibition in Chicago.



For the production version to be manufactured by Ford, the engine was moved to the front, but the advanced bridge-truss integral frame was retained. Since it was to carry the Lincoln name, a V-12 was specified, but instead of the big engine from the Model K, a 12 based on the venerable Ford flathead V-8 was developed. Initially sold as a four-door sedan or a two-door “Coupe-Sedan,” the Lincoln-Zephyr offered a “Zephyr-smooth ride with all the passengers cradled between the axles.” A division-window Town Limousine was added in April 1936, and for the model year nearly 15,000 Zephyrs were sold, while deliveries of big Lincolns hovered around the 1,500 mark.



A particularly sleek and handsome three-window coupe debuted for 1937, and the following year designer E.T. “Bob” Gregorie gave the car a new nose. The 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr was modestly restyled, with twin grilles placed in the forward end of the “catwalk” section of the fenders. Not merely a styling gimmick, this change markedly improved engine cooling. The vee-shaped nose was softened, and headlamps were made flush with the fender contours. Two new body styles were offered: the style 760 three-passenger convertible coupe and 740 five-passenger convertible sedan. The latter was unusual in that it retained the four-door’s smooth tail contour, whereas most convertible sedans had a bustle at the rear. Both debuted on October 23, 1937 and featured manually-operated, spring-assisted convertible tops. A five-passenger convertible coupe, style 760B, was added later in the year. Total production of the convertible sedan style was only 461 cars.



Eugene Beardslee was a very successful entrepreneur and businessman. For his second career, he was a renowned collector of Lincolns, with his quest for perfection epitomized by this Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Sedan. A purist and perfectionist, he enjoyed the hunt for cars to add to his collection, then painstakingly oversaw their restoration, accepting no work that did not meet his exacting standards. This Lincoln-Zephyr was meticulously restored by the late Robert Turnquist’s Hibernia Auto Restorations in New Jersey. It is handsomely finished in Beetle Green, a 1938-only color, contrasting nicely with the tan top and matching leather interior. Despite being an older restoration, it has been fastidiously cared for during storage and recently thoroughly re-commissioned for the road, with fuel, braking and all mechanical systems cleaned and serviced, along with cosmetic detailing.



One of the most attractive cars of its era in all of its body styles, the Lincoln-Zephyr has a strong following today. As one of the more attractive and rarer styles (fewer than ten are known to survive), this car represents exceptional value.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more