St. John's

28 July 2012

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Lot 127

1930 Lincoln Model L Convertible Phaeton by Derham Body Co.

  • Chassis no. 63842

$140,000 - $170,000


90 bhp, 384.8 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 136"



• One of 20 Lincoln Model L Convertible Phaetons by Derham; three known survivors

• Continuous and fully documented ownership history from new

• Displayed and purchased at 1930 New York Auto Show



As one of the most successful custom coachbuilders, Philadelphia’s Derham continued operations until 1974. In 1928, the firm designed a striking four-passenger convertible phaeton body on a Hispano-Suiza chassis for Countess Holstein. While this car was displayed at Derham’s showroom, two further convertible phaetons were built by Derham’s craftsmen for Chrysler and Packard chassis. For 1930, the final year of Model L production, Lincoln added the Derham design to its custom-body catalogue. Of only 20 examples constructed, only three are known to survive.



Stylistically, Derham’s Convertible Phaeton was a perfect match for the 136-inch Lincoln Model L chassis. According to the coachbuilder’s own catalogue description, the body was designed from the outset as an open car and then closed, reversing the normal body-building practices of the era. As executed, the Derham convertible phaeton provided the best of both worlds—a true open phaeton and a rakish sedan with crisp lines flowing naturally into a sloping rear deck. The noiseless top was fitted over the tops of the front and rear windows. Once modern yet conservative, the convertible phaeton remains a triumph of handsomely tailored lines and proportions.



This example is accompanied by an extensive and fascinating historical file, with provenance carefully detailed by John Maitland, who purchased the Lincoln for $200 in March 1952 from the Estate of Daniel Cook, who was given the car by his elder aunts, who had reportedly acquired the car directly off the floor of the New York Auto Show when new. Interestingly, the Cook sisters were descendants of Thomas Cook, founder of the first organized travel and tour company in 1865. At the time of purchase, the car was in original condition with approximately 50,000 miles. Under Mr. Maitland’s care, the muffler, tailpipe, and running boards were replaced, the upholstery was preserved, the car was repainted, and it was fitted with a new convertible top and spare-tire covers. Mr. Maitland found the car to run well, being capable of freeway cruising at 50–55 mph, and following a transfer to New York City, he drove it daily from his home in Westchester to his local commuter-train station.



Following a transfer to Detroit in 1956, Mr. Maitland sold the Lincoln, and then in 1958, it was acquired by Lima, Ohio’s Norman Delaney, who had the engine overhauled, installed new rear-end seals, and retained the car through 1969. In 1970, it became part of the prestigious Tom Lester Collection and it was refinished in Light Tan with Coffee accents and Orange wheels. Subsequent ownership history is well-known to the present day.



Clearly benefiting from attentive care throughout its existence, the Lincoln is complemented by a newer convertible top. All of the mechanical elements are reported to function properly, providing an excellent driving experience. All of the original details have reportedly been retained down to such minute items as the cigar-lighter cover. With its luxurious, handsome, dual-purpose Derham body, this example marks what many collectors regard as the pinnacle of Lincoln’s Model L from the last production year of this chassis. In testament to its enduring quality, this Derham Model L won the prestigious Lion Award at the 2010 Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance. Rarely does such a stunning and correct classic era car come available with this much ownership documentation. With its stylistic excellence and abundant passenger comfort by virtue of its roomy interior and roll-up windows, it will certainly provide a most wonderful touring experience.

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