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Thread: Lincoln K-series 1931-1940

  1. #1
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    Lincoln K-series 1931-1940

    1932 Lincoln Model KB Phaeton by Brunn (chassis #KB1367)

    Specifications: 150 bhp, 447.9 cu. in. L-head V12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 145"

    Lincoln, the flagship of Henry Fordís automotive empire, was run by his son Edsel, a man with impeccable taste and an exquisite sense of design. Each year, Lincoln exhibited on the Auto Salon circuit some of its catalog customs and a number of one-off creations designed and built especially for the shows. KB1367, designed and built by Brunn & Co. of Buffalo, New York, was created especially for the 1932 Salons.

    Lincoln was the second car conceived by Henry Martyn Leland, after he left the first, Cadillac, in a dispute with Billy Durant at General Motors. The Lincoln Motor Company, named for the president Leland most admired, was formed in 1917 to build Liberty aircraft engines for World War I. An eventuality, warís end resulted in the cancellation of the government contracts and idleness of Lelandís workforce. His solution to the problem was to re-enter a business he knew, the manufacture of motor cars. The first Lincoln cars appeared in September 1920 and were given an enthusiastic reception by the press. Slow production, partly a result of Lelandís obsession with perfection, combined with a nationwide recession, soon put Lincoln into receivership. Rescue came, however, in the form of Henry Ford, who purchased Lincoln Motor Company for eight million dollars in 1922.

    Edsel Fordís fine eye for design moved Lincoln away from the ďperpendicularĒ themes Leland had imposed on his cars, though Lelandís 60-degree fork-and-blade V8s were perpetuated until the introduction of a V12 in 1932. Ford had no in-house styling section in those days, so Edsel engaged prominent coachbuilders to build stylish bodies. In his first year at Lincoln, the younger Ford contracted with Judkins, Fleetwood and Brunn for a variety of styles. Arrangements with LeBaron, Willoughby and Murphy followed soon afterwards. Of these, the coachbuilder with the longest relationship with Lincoln was Brunn.

    Hermann A. Brunn, who had apprenticed with his uncle in the carriage trade, set up his own company at Buffalo, New York, in 1908, specifically to build automobile bodies. Brunnís first commissions were one-offs on prestige chassis, many of them for luminaries of the day. Brunnís first automaker customer was Lincoln, even before the Ford takeover. Introduced to Leland by a friend, Hermann Brunn went to Detroit with his design engineer and produced twelve drawings of styles to be produced by Lincolnís local body suppliers. The sale to Ford happened shortly afterwards, and Brunn, who already knew the Fords, was ideally situated to continue with Lincoln. At his peak of production, Brunn was turning out some 20 bodies a month, most of them shipped to Lincoln.

    Edsel Ford ďcategorizedĒ his coachbuilders. Judkins was assigned coupes and berlines, Willoughby given limousine jobs, LeBaron the convertible sedans. Brunnís forte was town cars and convertible styles. Brunn town cars were preferred by chauffeurs because they offered greater comfort for the driver, canopies to cover the open compartment in bad weather, and eventually roll-up windows. Brunn was one of the longest-lived of coachbuilders, remaining in business until 1941. Notable Brunn commissions include the ďSunshine Special,Ē Franklin Rooseveltís famous 1939 Lincoln K, updated in 1942 and used by the White House until 1951.

    Lincolnís big news for 1932 was a V12 engine. A 65-degree L-head displacing 447.9 cubic inches, it weighed half a ton and developed 150 brake horsepower. In a final nod to Henry Leland, it used fork-and-blade connecting rods, though it would be last Lincoln engine to do so. The V8 was kept in production as Model KA; the V12 cars were designated KB.

    Lincolnís 1932 exhibit for the automobile salons comprised four KB cars, a Brunn Double Entry Sport Sedan, a Rollston Seven-Passenger Town Car, a LeBaron Town Cabriolet and KB1367, this Brunn Double Windshield Phaeton. Not a dual-cowl in the usual sense, it has two steeply-raked windshields, giving a low roofline. A removable armrest in the rear permits occasional use for five passengers. Lincoln historian Richard Towers has documented that after the show circuit KB1367 was sold to its first owner on June 7, 1932 and delivered to Long Beach, California.

    KB1367 was acquired by the current owner, a discriminating private collector, from William Ruger, Jr., several years ago. Ruger, son of the founding partner of firearms manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. and chairman of the firm until his retirement, had purchased it about 15 years earlier from noted West Coast Lincoln collector Harry Andrews. Andrewsí special fondness was factory show cars, and his collection included Edsel Fordís famous Murphy-bodied disappearing top roadster, KB11. As acquired by Andrews and sold to Ruger, KB1367ís body had been cut off from the front doors back.

    Andrews himself undertook the restoration for Ruger, and located Hermann C. Brunn, son of the Brunn & Co. founder. The younger Brunn, who had apprenticed with Kellner in Paris, worked for his father until joining Ford Motor Company after the family firm closed. Andrews asked Brunn, who had designed the original body, to assist in reconstruction of the missing parts. Brunn personally came to California with the original blueprints for the car. George Armour of Pasadena, an exacting craftsman, was engaged to carry out the work, and completed the body and top assembly to the specifications used originally in constructing the car. The front cowl and windshield are reportedly the original items.

    Ruger was anxious to have the car completed for the Pebble Beach Concours díElegance in 2003, when several tribute awards and a celebration of the centennial of the Ford Motor Company were scheduled. Renowned Chicago area restorer Fran Roxas, known for his perfection, agreed to meet the deadline, and the car was moved to his shops. The end result was testament to Roxasí standards, and KB1367 won Best in Class for prewar Lincolns and the Most Significant Design award, presented by Ford Motor Company. It also completed the 50-mile Pebble Beach Tour díElegance prior to the show, where it performed flawlessly.

    Painted in the original color of Belmont Brown, KB1367 has been carefully maintained to 100-point standards since its Pebble Beach appearance. Among the most significant Lincolns extant, it is unique in provenance and stunning in appearance. This car will be a rewarding acquisition for a connoisseur of the Lincoln marque.

    Source: RM Auctions

  2. #2
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    Beautiful.

  3. #3
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    My favorite feature of old Lincolns is the greyhound hood ornament. So lithe and graceful.
    UCP's biggest (only?) fan of the '74-'76 Mercury Cougar.
    UCP's proudest owner of a '74 Cougar

    My favorite color is chrome.

  4. #4
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    Nice looking classic car...
    Everything ends at 666...
    666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666

  5. #5
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    A Lincoln model KA from 1934 in pristine condition
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Man ! This car has road presence !

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