Henry Martin Leland is inextricably linked as the brilliant engineer who not only founded Cadillac, but was also responsible for many innovations during his tenure. He was 74 years old when he quit General Motors after a quarrel with Billy Durant. Following his departure, Leland set up a company to produce Liberty aircraft engines receiving a $10 million advance contract. As the war ended, Leland was beset with a huge factory, 6,000 employees, and mounting debt. Building an automobile was what he knew best, and that's what he did. Within three hours of announcing his new automobile, Leland had raised $6.5 million in stock. The automobile was named Lincoln, in honor of the first president for whom Leland had voted. After 17 months, just 3,400 had been sold and Leland's board of directors acted quickly to stem the red ink. On February 4th of 1922, Ford Motor Company bought the Lincoln Motor Company for $8 million. Leland departed just four months later.
Thanks to Edsel Ford's personal interest in the marque, Lincoln was a rare survivor of the Great Depression. This long wheelbase Model K Seven Passenger chassis carries a 3-window semi-collapsible cabriolet body custom built for Elizabeth Cates of Ohio. Mrs. Cates ordered the Brunn body with an enclosed roof for the chauffeur and extra headroom to accommodate her husband's tall silk hat. It was given numerous special touches dictated by Mrs. Charles H. Cates of Youngstown, Ohio. The list includes the extra-tall town car body to accommodate Mr. Cates' top hat, along with a solid roof over the chauffer's compartment so that Leonard Prather, her chauffer of 30 years, was protected. She requested black medallions on the wheel covers in lieu of the normal blue cloisonne, and key locks in the hood to prevent intrusion into the engine compartment. The car remains in nearly original condition with just 30,000 miles on the odometer.Also photographed at :