The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

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Lot 140

1956 Lincoln Premiere Convertible

  • Chassis no. 56WA43818

Sold for $154,000


285 bhp, 368 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Turbo Drive automatic transmission, independent coil spring front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126 in.

  • The “premiere” 1956 Lincoln
  • Outstanding and highly correct restoration, with NOS engine
  • One of the finest in existence


The 1956 Lincoln was longer, lower, totally redesigned, stunningly styled, and thoroughly modern, packing an upgraded overhead-valve V-8, producing 285 horsepower and mated to a standard three-speed Turbo Drive automatic transmission. All of this came at significantly higher prices, which thrilled Lincoln devotees were willing to pay. Sales for 1956 reached record levels, rising from 23,673 cars in 1955 to 47,531 in 1956. Rarest and most expensive of all models was the Premiere Convertible, of which 2,447 were built.



Don Davis’ Premiere Convertible is finished in Wisteria, which looks like something off George Barris’ palette, but it is actually one of the numerous unusual factory colors offered on these cars. On the baroque lines of the 1956 Lincoln, alongside slabs of chrome and with a complementary white interior, it appears right at home, as if made to reflect the glow of neon.



The Premiere was painstakingly restored in prior ownership of nearly 30 years to truly “better than new” condition in all respects, with work completed in 2010. As part of the painstaking work, the original engine was replaced with a “New Old Stock” 1956 Lincoln V-8, photos of which are on file, which came out of the Ford Technical School when it closed, and as such, it is literally “new,” with all correct finishes and details. Correct decals and tags are found throughout. The white vinyl top fits so closely and smoothly that the car appears at first glance to be a hardtop coupe. In sum, all finishes throughout are absolutely spectacular, done to extraordinarily fine standards but with great attention to accuracy and “how the factory did it.” If there ever was a concours-level 1956 Lincoln, it is Don Davis’ example, which may well be the best in existence. It would be among the highlights of any collection, 1950s convertibles, Lincolns, or otherwise. It simply cannot be ignored.

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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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