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1939 Lincoln Zephyr Series 96H news, pictures, specifications, and information

Lincoln, a division of the Ford Motor Company, produced the Zephyr in 1936. Its end was near with World War II needing war-related production equipment. The Lincoln Continental continued the footsteps of the Zephyr after the war. Production of the Zephyr accounted for 80% of total sales.

Styling was done by John Tjaarda and Eugene Gregory. Incorporated into the front, was a long horizontal hood, headlamps intergrated into the fenders and a grille with horizontal bars. The roofline sloped back to the rear bumper and designed into the rear of the vehicle were fender skirts.

The construction of the Zephyr was made up of a stiffer than body-on-frame unit. Powered by a V12 engine, the 3,350 pound vehicle could reach 90 miles per hour. Its performance handled itself fairly well for that generation. The British magazine, The Motor, recorded a zero to 96 km/h (60 mph) time of 14 seconds, and a top speed of 145 km/h (90 mph). In 1937 a convertible was added to Lincoln's lineup and in 1938, a new front end and a lower, two piece vertical bar grille would be the most noticeable changes.

Kyle McMullen
Convertible Coupe
 
This vehicle is the second prototype Lincoln Continental produced. The first was destroyed. After the car was built in the Lincoln shops it was owned for several years by its designer, E.T. 'Bob' Gregorie.

Over the years, the car was saved - but barely. When it was finally acquired by the current owner the car required a complete restoration, which was undertaken several years ago. Since then, it has been displayed at many major collector car events.
Convertible Sedan
Chassis Num: 96H74254
 
Sold for $90,750 at 2011 RM Auctions.
On November 2nd of 1935, the Lincoln Motor Company announced a new model called the Lincoln-Zephyr. It was priced at $1,275 to $1,320, less than a third the price of the least expensive Model K Lincoln.

A three-window coupe debuted for 1937. For 1938, the Zephyr received a new nose, a convertible coupe and a four-door convertible sedan. For 1939, the Zephyr - along with the Ford and new Mercury cars - received hydraulic brakes. Unlike its siblings, the Zephyr's brakes had servo-assist.

This convertible sedan was completed on May 17th of 1939. It was ordered by the Ford Motor Company Sales Department. It was delivered in Malaci Green, a special color, with a green leather interior and whitewall tires. It is believed to have been built for the Ford Motor Company display, The Road of Tomorrow, at that year's New York World's Fair.

In 1952, the car was on the used car lot of New York dealer Bob Grossman, where it quickly sold. In 1962, it was sold by Russell Decker to Don Cowan of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It was purchased by Erwin Snyder of Claverack, New York in 1969. By 1996, it was in the care of the Winross Company of Churchville, New York, makers of high-quality model trucks. The car would pass through several more owners before being sold by Glenn Napierskie of Escondido, California in 2007 to Mr. John O'Quinn.

In 2011, the car was offered for sale at RM Auction's Arizona sale where it was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $80,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $90,750, inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2011
Coupe
 
A development involving John Tjaarda, Bob Gregorie, and Lincoln president Edsel Ford, the Zephyr made its debut in 1936, and was an instant success. The following lines were a welcome departure from the ponderous K-series Lincolns, excellent cars that suffered from the high curb weights and high prices that afflicted so many Depression-era prestige makes. Unit-body construction kept the Zephyr's mass in check and enhanced chassis rigidity, while attractive pricing - from $1,320 in 1936, versus a minimum of $4,200 for the least expensive K-series Lincoln - ensured brisk sales.

Offered initially only in 2- and 4-door sedan body styles, the Zephyr outsold the extensive K-series lineup 14,994 to 1,534. Lincoln added coupe and town car body styles for 1937, and sales soared almost to 30,000. The Zephyr had pulled Lincoln out of its Depression doldrums.

Essentially a V12 version of Ford's flathead V8, the Zephyr's engine - 267.3 cubic-inches, 110 horsepower in 1939 - wasn't the car's strongest suit. But a 4.33:1 rear axle provided respectable acceleration.
Coupe
Chassis Num: H70816
 
Sold for $99,000 at 2014 RM Auctions.
The 1939 Lincoln Zephyr received several important improvements over the previous year's version, as it was given a more powerful engine, hydraulic brakes, heavy-duty torque-tube rear axle, 5.5-inch bolt-circle wheels, concealed running boards, a grille, a hood, and twin split front bumpers.

This particular example is one of only 2,500 three-window coupes produced in 1939. It wears an older restoration and was acquired in 2008 by noted collector Skip Barber, who retained the car for several years before passing it to its present owner.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
Convertible Sedan
Chassis Num: H82566
 
Sold for $154,000 at 2014 RM Auctions.
This Lincoln Zephyr is one of only three hundred and two convertible sedans produced in 1939. It was acquired by its present owners about a quarter of a century ago. A restoration soon followed. The banana yellow paint was stripped, revealing its original color - a special shade of Ardmore Green, which was introduced in and available only for 1939. All colors throughout are original to the car, style and year. This Convertible Sedan is also fitted with nearly every available option and accessory.

When the restoration was completed, the car was shown only once, at the Orange County regional meet of the Lincoln-Zephyr Owners Club in 2008, where it scored 98.75 points. There, it was awarded First in Class and the Ford Trophy, and it went on to be displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
In 1936 Lincoln introduced the Zephyr, named and styled after the streamlined Burlington Zephyr express train. The train was an aerodynamic diesel powered streamliner that brought an end to the steam-engined trains and set many new speed-records. The Zephyr stayed in production until 1942 when it was discontinued to make way for the new Mercury line which was in a similar market segment. Since the Mercury's were derived from a Ford running gear and chassis they were cheaper to produce, Lincoln decided to cancel the Zephyr after only six years of production.
The styling was courteous of the Dutch-Born designer John Tjaarda of the Briggs Body Corporation, however, prior to production Ford's stylist Bob Gregorie restyled the front end. Under the hood was a Ford-derived V-12 that produced 110 horsepower, not enough to do justice to the Zephyr name and what it represented, but a modest amount to carry the vehicle where it was tasked to travel.

In 1936 around 15000 Zephyrs were constructed, nearly 80% of all Lincolns sold. Nearly 1500 were given coupe/sedan body-styles which were a two-door sedan configuration built on a chassis that could have accommodated four-doors.

In the year 2005, Lincoln reintroduced the Zephyr. To help create excitement at auto shows, Lincoln purchased a 1936 Zerphyr serial number H-5739, to tour with the modern Lincoln Zephyr.

Due to the onset of World War II, Lincoln switched to war-related production. Production resumed in 1946 and continued until 1948.

By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2006
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