1930 Lincoln Model L news, pictures, specifications, and information
Dual Cowl Phaeton Locke
Coachwork: Locke
Chassis Num: 65674
Sold for $93,500 at 2007 RM Sothebys.
Sold for $82,500 at 2009 RM Sothebys.
Sold for $90,750 at 2013 RM Sothebys.
The Lincoln marque came in existence in 1917 with the purpose of building Liberty aircraft engines during World War I. It was Henry Martyn Leland's second automobile company formed after he left Cadillac in a dispute with General Motors president Billy Durant. As the First World War came to an end, the government contracts were canceled. Instead of laying off the work force, the business was converted to automobile production with the first Lincolns cars making their appearance in September of 1920.

It had taken a few years for the Lincoln's to convert to automotive production, and this was due to Leland's quest for excellence and perfection. A nationwide recession after the War put Lincoln into receivership and was later rescued by Henry Ford. The company was purchased for eight million dollars in 1922. Leland remained with the company for only four months, as a dispute between Leland and Ford had him abandon the Lincoln Company and ultimately the automotive business forever.

The Lincoln automobiles became Ford's flagship vehicles with the direction of the company put into the control of Henry's son, Edsel. Many of the cars were designed by legendary coachbuilders such as Brunn, Judkins, Willoughby, Murphy and Locke who outfitted the cars with some of the most desirable custom creations of the era.

This particular vehicle has a Locke body finished in Dual Cowl Phaeton configuration. It is believed that this car was once owned by Edsel Ford and Governor Frank Fitzgerald of Michigan. It spent twenty-one years of its life in the care of Eugene Eldridge. Other owners include David Rehor and Rick Caroll. In 1995 it was purchased by John Hazlitt at auction and later sold it to Mr. David Uihlein. It is finished in its original colors of Power Blue and Silver with black fenders and chassis. The interior features leather upholstery in Saddle Brown. It has its original side curtains and rods still in their factory packaging which were discovered upon removal of the front seat cushions. It has been treated to a restoration since new, and is in excellent condition. It was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $125,000 - $175,000. It was offered without reserve which worked well for the buyer who purchased this magnificent automobile for $93,500 including buyer's premium.

The DC Phaeton body is one of the more attractive of its kind, having been created by the legendary Locke & Company of New York City. Their history dates back to the dawn of the automobile and their craft was perfected by clothing such prestigious chassis as Duesenberg, Rolls-Royce, Packard and Pierce-Arrow. In 1926 the company expanded their operations with a new factory located in Rochester, NY. The first Locke bodied Lincolns appeared in 1926 appearing in roadster, convertible, town car and landaulette styles in the Lincoln catalog. The DC Sport Phaeton bodies of Style 163B were built during 1927 through 1929 with a total of 298 created. This example with chassis number 656574 is the only one known to have been fitted to a 1930 chassis and is believed to have been near the end of the run. It was finished in either September of October and given the benefit of 1931 styling features such as its bumpers, horns, lights, steering column and luggage rack.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2017
Convertible Victoria Sedan
Coachwork: Dietrich
By 1930, the Lincoln Motor Company was being run by Edsel Ford. These Lincoln L Series cars were the first to have the famous leaping greyhound mascot on the radiator. The greyhound design was handpicked by Edsel, who commissioned the first one from   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2010
Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton
Chassis Num: 60817
Sold for $104,500 at 2005 RM Sothebys.
Sold for $118,800 at 2007 RM Sothebys.
There were minor changes for the Lincoln Model L in 1930, as the company was devoting their resources to the Lincoln Model K, which was set to appear in 1931. In many ways, the Model L was unchanged from the prior year. Noticeable changes were a pa  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2007
LeBaron Convertible Roadster
Coachwork: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 64277
High bid of $75,000 at 2009 RM Sothebys. (did not sell)
Sold for $66,000 at 2017 Bonhams.
Lincoln made subtle changes to the Model L for 1930, helping to stimulate sales. Another feature was the introduction of four-wheel mechanical drums on the Model L, along with the added benefit of Gemmer worm and roller-type steering that gave more   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton
Chassis Num: 63658
Sold for $63,250 at 2009 RM Sothebys.
This 1930 Lincoln Sport Phaeton was purchased new by an individual living in New York, who would keep the car until 1956. It then passed through several owners before coming into the Harrah Collection in 1977. Dr. Atwood purchased it from the Harra  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
Judkins Coupe
Coachwork: Judkins
The first Lincolns under Ford control appeared in 1923 with minor improvements. What remained was Henry Leland's engineering brilliance, in particular, with big Lincoln V-8 and its 'fork and blade' connecting rods. This innovative and costly design a  [Read More...]
Sport Roadster
Coachwork: Locke
Chassis Num: 13-4
Engine Num: 62161
Henry and Wilford LeLand's Lincoln Motor Company began producing Liberty airplane engines in 1917. Leland decided to enter the automobile production business after the contract for the Liberty engines were fulfilled. The first cars were produced in 1  [Read More...]
Derham Convertible Phaeton
Coachwork: Derham
Chassis Num: 63842
High bid of $100,000 at 2012 RM Sothebys. (did not sell)
Philadelphia based Derham Coachbuilding Company was in operation until 1974. In 1928, the firm designed a four-passenger convertible phaeton on a Hispano-Suiza chassis for Countess Holstein. The car was displayed at Derham's showroom while two other   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2012
Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton
This 1930 Lincoln 'L' Sports Phaeton was invited to the inaugural 1996 Amelia Island Concours and returned 18 years later to the 2014 Amelia Island Concours.  [Read More...]
Sport Roadster
Coachwork: Locke
The Lincoln Model L was produced from 1921 to 1930. The first Lincoln Ls were powered by a 60-degree V8 engine producing 80 horsepower and had a guaranteed top speed of at least 80 horsepower and had a guaranteed top speed of at least 70 mph. The 193  [Read More...]
LeBaron Convertible Roadster
Coachwork: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 64754
Sold for $66,000 at 2016 Bonhams.
Sold for $61,600 at 2017 Bonhams.
This Lincoln Model L is one of 100 examples fitted with LeBaron Convertible Roadster coachwork, denoted as the Model 185. When new, it had an exorbitant price of $6,900. The car features sweeping curves, a hidden rumble seat, dual side-mounted spare   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2016
The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 by Henry Leland to produce Liberty Aero engines during World War I. Leland, who had founded Cadillac in 1903, decided to re-enter the luxury car market after the war was over with a new car; the Lincoln.

The first model, the Model L was produced from 1921 to 1930. The Model L, powered by a V-8 was comparable in size and price to a Cadillac, but had a larger more powerful engine. The price of between $4,600 and $6,600 made the car only available to the most well-to-do. Leland's forte was not in styling and the car suffered from a stogy appearance, and bad economic times. Leland ended up selling out to Henry Ford in 1922. Lincoln was refined through the styling genius of Edsel Ford, creating designs that would make Lincoln one of the premier motor cars in the world.

The 1930 Model L featured a 384 cubic-inch engine producing 90 horsepower. The 136-inch wheelbase could be fitted with custom built coachwork. LeMay museum's car featured here has a Willoughby Town Sedan body. Only about 244 were produced in 1930 with a base price of $5,900. The Willoughby Company was one of America's larger custom body builders and they specialized in chauffer-driven town cars, landaulets, and limousines. Willoughby's quality and workmanship was first, although their styling tended to the conservative. Willoughby built their custom bodies in Utica, New York from 1903 through 1938.
The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland and acquired by Ford in 1922. Leland, one of the founders of Cadillac, had left Cadillac during the First World War to form the Lincoln Motor Company, which was intended to build Liberty aircraft engines. He had left Cadillac due to a disagreement with General Motors boss William C. Durant. When Leland left, he was 74 years old, and chose the name Lincoln after the President he had voted for in 1864. At the conclusion of the War, Leland was forced with the decision to close the plant, or try to find another business for the 6000 employee's and the factories. The factory was retooled to accommodate luxury automobile manufacturing.

The transition period and process was difficult and the company entered financial difficulties. It was bought by the Ford Motor Company, and served as a personal victory for Henry Ford. During the very early years of automobile production, Henry Ford had been forced out of his second company by a group of investors led by Leland. Henry Ford's original company was later renamed Cadillac and later purchased by rival General Motors. This would later become Lincoln's chief competitor.

In 1927, the Lincoln marque adopted the greyhound as their emblem, which was later replaced with diamond, which is still in use in modern times.

The Lincoln L Series was powered by a 60-degree V8 engine producing 80 horsepower and had a guaranteed top speed of at least 70 mph. Those who did purchase a very early Lincoln automobile had to wait nearly a year for delivery, as the company was behind by eight-months and deliveries did not commence until September of 1920. The post-war recession, slow delivery time, and dated appearance all affected sales negatively. The board members put the company up for sale in 1922, and Henry Ford took the opportunity to enter the luxury car segment.

Henry's son, Edsel Ford, was given the responsibility of running the Lincoln Company. Quality and sales improved. The engines were given aluminum pistons and improved cylinder head cooling which greatly increased the vehicles durability, ride, and performance. The wheelbase was enlarged from 130-inches, to 136-inches in 1923. Some of the finest coachbuilders of the time were invited to work their craft. Names included Brunn, Dietrich, Holbrook, Judd, LeBaron and Locke.

By 1928, the engine had been enlarged from 357.8 cubic-inches to 384.8 cubic-inches and horsepower increased to 90.
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2007
Considered to be one of the most elegant of chauffer-driven automobiles of the 1920's, the Lincoln Model L Towncar was introduced in 1924. The Model L was an exclusive portrayal of the brand that represents everything that embodies American Luxury, Lincoln. Founded by Henry M. Leland in 1917, Lincoln Automobiles were operated under the Ford Motor Company. LeLand's favorite President had always been Abraham Lincoln, and at the age of 74, Henry founded the Lincoln Motor Company.

Beginning with the same desire for upscale markets that has carried through the years, the vehicles produced in the 1920's were just as exquisite and they are today. Leland has been recognized for his reputation for quality vehicles for the entirety of his career. Also known for prestige and status, the Lincoln automobile has been produced upon a standard of luxury and excellence.

Leland was an expert at producing cars that were of the greatest care and quality, but he was not adept at adding the finer points of styling to the Lincoln. The tight economic times and the stogy appearance of the Lincolns forced sales to droop. Customers could not afford the $4600-6600 price tag, though it was comparable in size and price to the Cadillac, the amount equaled most annual salaries. The Ford family swooped in at this time and purchased Lincoln at an incredibly low sales price.

Eventually Edsel Ford came onto the scene with his passion and flair for the finer things in life, and soon became responsible for the refined, elegant styling that made Lincoln one of the premier motor vehicles in the world. Hand selected by Edsel and produced by Gorham, an auspicious greyhound mascot was mounted to the Lincoln Model L Towncar in 1929.

Coachbuilder Judkins was responsible for the bodying of the Model L. Powered by a flat-head V8 engine of 358 inches, the Model L was capable of delivering 90 horsepower through a 3-speed manual transmission. By 1923 the 136 in, version was the only one left while the 130in wheelbase was dropped. In 1925 the Model L was being shaped into a truly exquisite vehicle under the skill and direction of Edsel Ford's designs in 1925. Minor styling updates were very apparent.

Edsel also became the first luxury car builder that made custom bodied vehicles during the mid-20's that were directly available in catalogue form that was from the automaker itself. Custom body manufacturers were also used extensively which resulted in the increase of more styling improvements and updates. The most exclusive and expensive Lincoln model cost $7200 in 1925.
Having created a reputation in 10 years which Cadillac, Packard and Pierce-Arrow had attempted for nearly 30, Lincoln rounded out the model run of the L in 1930. A more refined V8 and available 120 HP in the Model K eventually replaced the Model L in 1931. The Model K also featured duo servo brakes and 145 inch wheelbase.

Equal to the finest vehicles in the world, the Lincoln had very clearly established itself as a producer of luxury vehicles. (Ironically enough, the most consistent competitor that Lincoln has faced for decades has remained Cadillac, a company that was also founded by Henry Leland.)

By Jessica Donaldson
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