1931 Lincoln Model K news, pictures, specifications, and information
Convertible Coupe
Coachwork: LeBaron
For 1931 Lincoln introduced a longer, 145-inch wheelbase chassis known as the Model K, replacing the 136-inch Model L chassis. The move was applauded by body designers, who had long been seeking a longer Lincoln chassis for their efforts.

One of those body designers was LeBaron, which designed this attractive convertible coupe. This was a very popular body style with Lincoln customers. Of the 3,540 Lincolns built in 1931, 275 were LeBaron convertible coupes.

The legendary Leland-designed V-8 received a horsepower boost in 1931 thanks to America's first dual downdraft carburetor. Horsepower was now 125. Price of the 1931 Lincoln LeBaron convertible coupe, which could carry two or four passengers (note the rumble seat), was $4,700.
Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton
A sporty, expensive, and low-production car which was purchased new by Helen Clay Frick, daughter of Henry Clay Frick. The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 by Henry M Leland, who had also established Cadillac in 1902. Widely renowned for his precision manufacturing techniques, Leland and his son Wilfred founded the Lincoln company to build Liberty Aircraft engines for World War I. However, due to the war ending soon after production began, the Lelands needed a new product for their elaborate Detroit plant. A new V-8 luxury car called a Lincoln was the answer, but production was slow, due in part to the Lelands' insistence on uncompromised quality.

The Lincoln finally appeared in late 1920 during a recession. The chassis was a masterpiece, but styling was awkward, and first-year sales on only 3,400 units left the company in financial difficulties. Henry and Edsel Ford came to the rescue in February 1922, purchasing Lincoln for $8 million. Edsel Ford became president, and soon transformed the Leland-designed chassis into one of America's most beautiful upper-echelon cars of the classic era. By 1931, most luxury car buyers were opting for the more practical closed cars; Miss Frick, however, chose the 202A Sport Phaeton of which only 77 were produced.

Source - Frick Car Museum
Town Car Landaulet
Coachwork: Dietrich
This rare 1931 Lincoln Model K town car landaulet is fitted with semi-custom coachwork by Dietrich. It is all original including paint, top, and leather interior.

The car may be a one-off special order car that must have been commissioned through the factory and there is no record of it being publicly shown before.

The car is powered by the standard Lincoln 385-cubic inch V-8 engine developing 120 horsepower. Most Model K vehicles were mounted on a 145-inch wheelbase.
Dual Cowl Phaeton
Coachwork: Dietrich
Chassis Num: K 8208
Engine Num: 46129
Sold for $159,500 at 2006 RM Auctions.
Sold for $165,000 at 2013 RM Auctions.
This 1931 Lincoln Model K Dual Cowl Phaeton sits atop a 145 inch wheelbase. Located in the front of the vehicle is a 385 cubic-inch side-valve engine with 120 horsepower. Power was the sent to the rear wheels through a three-speed manual gearbox with floor shifter. The body was suspended in place by leaf springs in the front and rear with a solid front axle, torque tube drive and floating rear axle. Stopping power was supplied by four-wheeled Bendix mechanical drum brakes.

The acquisition of the Lincoln Company by Henry Ford brought about many styling improvements to the Lincoln brand of vehicles. The lines of the Dual Cowl Phaeton are graceful and elegant.

This dual-cowl phaeton was popular with wealthy aristocrats for their summer estates. It has fully articulated fan-shaped windows in the front doors, with the more traditional 'wind wings' affixed to the second windshield used by the rear seat passengers. With the front windows lowered, a long, narrow body-color hinge drops over the opening to seal the insdie fo the door. This creates a true phaeton with graceful elegance.

This was the first Lincoln phaeton model to feature a fixed front windshield. Earlier styles used the folding type.

This Lincoln Model K was once in the long-time care of a collector in the American South, who acquired the car in 1973. A restoration was completed in 1975, and the car received its AACA National First Prize that same year. From there, the car was properly stored and maintained in the owner's collection. A second restoration was undertaken in 2005. Soon after, the car joined the Kughn collection. From there, it has been re-introduced to the show circuit. The car was shown at the Lincoln & Continental Owners Club meet at Hickory Corners in 2005, and it was also at the CCCA Grand Classic and CCCA Museum Grand Experience the same year. At the 2006 Michigan Region Grand Classic, the car was judged at 98 points and received its Primary Senior First honors; it returned to the event in 2007 and was judged Senior Second with 96.5 points. The Lincoln also made a well-received appearance at the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance in 2006.

Since the car's most recent restoration, the car has covered just 23 miles.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2013
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Waterhouse
The Waterhouse Coachbuilding firm constructed a total of 40 bodies for Lincoln. They constructed seven bodies, of unknown configuration, for the Model L chassis. The remaining thirty-three were built for the Model K chassis. Twenty-five were Convertible Victoria's, and five were Sport Sedans. A single example of a Dual Cowl Phaeton, Sport Coupe, and Sport Sedan was constructed by Waterhouse for the Model K Lincoln.

This 1931 Lincoln Model K Convertible Victoria with coachwork by Waterhouse was on display at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2012
Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton
Chassis Num: 68639
Sold for $170,500 at 2008 RM Auctions.
This 1931 Lincoln Model K Two-Window Berline has coachwork by Judkins. Judkins created over 3,110 examples of the Berline bodystyle between 1922 and 1939. It is believed that a mere 72 2-Window Berline's were created in 1931.

The first owner of this car had it chauffeur-driven when he fell ill between 1931 and 1933. It traveled fewer than 6,000 miles until 1987, when it was purchased by an estate representative from the original owner. During the early 1990s it was treated to a professional, five-year restoration that had over 6,000-man hours invested. It has received awards from the CCCA, AACA, the Lincoln Owner's Club, and a First in Class and Best Lincoln awards at Pebble Beach. Meadowbrook awarded it as the 'Most Elegant Car'. It was awarded the Bethlehem Star at the Eastern Concours of the US, and many other awards at various other events.

This is a very original and correct example of the 1931 Model K, with the only exception being the high-speed 3.54:1 rear end. It is finished in light gunmetal grey metallic with a black leather roof, lack beltline, black fenders, and fine maroon pin striping. It was brought to the 2008 Automobiles of Amelia presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $140,000 - $180,000. The estimates proved to be accurate and the lot was sold for $170,500 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
Opera Coupe
Not only was the wheelbase lengthened but the engine horsepower was increased, from 90 to 125. This was achieved mainly by adopting a new two-barrel downdraft carburetor - the first one used by an American manufacturer.

The 1931 Lincoln also featured free-wheeling. Twenty-six different body styles were available in 1931 - the lowest price Lincoln was available for $4,400 minus accessories.
Dual Cowl Phaeton
Coachwork: Dietrich
1931 was a milestone year for Lincoln - the legendary model ceased production and a new, redesigned model was introduced. It was still powered by the famous Lincoln V-8 but horsepower was now 120 and the wheelbase was lengthened to 145 inches.

The radiator shell was now peaked, the hood was longer and the Lincoln emblem was mounted in the light support bar. Also new were large, bowl-shaped headlamps and dual trumpet horns. Mechanical innovations included free-wheeling, synchromesh in second and third gears and Bendix Duo-Serv brake system.

Total Lincoln sales for 1931 were 3,540. Of that number, 77 were dual cowl sport phaetons, such as this model. A total of 25 different body styles were available from Lincoln in 1931.

The legendary Leland-designed V-8 received a horsepower boost in 1931 thanks to America's first dual downdraft carburetor. Horsepower was now 125. Price of the 1931 Lincoln dual cowl phaeton, which could carry four or five passengers, was $4,600.

For 1931, Lincoln offered 25 different body styles, including the sport phaeton, which was available in two styles - with and without the second cowl and windshield.
Town Sedan 2 Window
Twenty-five different body styles were available in 1931, including this Town Sedan, which was available in two and three-window versions. The former offered a sportier, more 'European' look, although fewer were sold. With its options, this Town Sedan sold for just under $5,000 in 1931 to its first owner, an executive with the Long Island Railroad.

For 1931 Lincoln introduced a longer, 145-inch wheelbase chassis known as the Model K, replacing the 136-inch Model L chassis. The move was applauded by body designers, who had long been seeking a longer Lincoln chassis for their efforts.
Convertible Coupe
Coachwork: LeBaron
Chassis Num: 69120
Sold for $110,000 at 2009 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $352,000 at 2013 Barrett-Jackson.
This LeBaron bodied Convertible Coupe was treated to a complete professional restoration, bringing it back to its original specifications. The car was re-painted in its correct Lincoln colors using the proper nitro-cellulose paint. At the time, its owner was Dominic Sergi of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

The car had dual canvas-covered, side-mounted spares with twin mirrors, painted wire wheels, and a well appointed interior with all of the expected accoutrements.

In 2009, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held at Pebble Beach, CA. It was expected to sell for $125,000 - $175,000 and offered without reserve. The lot was sold for the sum of $110,000, inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2010
Dual Cowl Phaeton
Coachwork: Dietrich
Under the direction of Edsel Ford, the function of the Lincoln automobile was to confer prestige upon Ford. Calvin Coolidge bought a Lincoln in 1923, establishing a presidential tradition. The Model K was introduced in 1931 and 24 models were listed in the catalogue. Lincoln produced 3,592 of them.

This Murphy, dual cowl Phaeton, rides on a new 145-inch wheelbase and is powered by a 384 cubic-inch, side-valve, V8 engine, producing 120 horsepower. When coupled to the three-speed transmission, it is capable of 75 mph.

Although this car sold for about 10 times the price of a Ford during The Great Depression, Lincolns were barely profitable because of the care that went into their production.

A total of 77 Dual Cowl Phaetons were built in the first year of the Model K. This example was driven by its current owner from Seattle to Pebble Beach on the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic in 2011.
Two-Window Berline
Coachwork: Judkins
Chassis Num: 67218
Sold for $88,000 at 2005 RM Auctions.
This vehicle is a 1931 Lincoln Model K Judkins Two-Window Berline and one of only 72 examples built with very few survivors. It was given a $125,000 concours quality restoration 13 years ago, and has been kept in excellent condition. The 385 cubic-inch V8 engine is capable of producing 120 horsepower and is mated to a three-speed manual transmission.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2010
Convertible Coupe
Coachwork: LeBaron
1931 was a milestone year for Lincoln - the legendary model ceased production and a new, redesigned model was introduced. It was still powered by the famous Lincoln V-8 but horsepower was now 120 and the wheelbase was lengthened to 145 inches.

The radiator shell was now peaked, the hood was longer and the Lincoln emblem was mounted in the light support bar. Also new were large, bowl-shaped headlamps and dual trumpet horns. Mechanical innovations included free-wheeling, synchromesh in second and third gears and Bendix Duo-Serv brake system.

Custom coachbuilders enjoyed the longer wheelbase size. One of the coachbuilders was LeBaron, which designed this popular convertible coupe. Total Lincoln sales for 1931 were 3,540; 275 were LeBaron convertible coupes. A total of 25 different body styles were available in 1931.
Panel Brougham
Coachwork: Willoughby
Only about forty-five Lincoln Ks were built, and they were considered some of the most powerful and luxurious automobiles of their day. With a 145-inch chassis, the Model K replaced the shorter Model L and provided coachbuilders, such as Willoughby, with a longer hood line, facilitating dramatic body styles.
Town Sedan 3 Window
The Lincoln Modern K was introduced in 1931 and represented a complete design transformation under the leadership of Edsel Ford. It featured a 385 cubic-inch V8 engine with a dual venturi downdraft Stromberg carburetor producing 120 horsepower. The car rode on a 145 inch wheelbase chassis, 9 inches longer than the predecessor L series. The car weighed 4,600 lbs and sold for $5,205. Due to the depression, only 3,311 cars were sold for the model year.

This example is the 278th of 447 Town Sedans produced and was sold by the Long Beach dealership for $4,600. It remained in California and was a very straight, low mileage original car prior to restoration.
Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Waterhouse
Chassis Num: 68757
Engine Num: 68757
The Waterhouse Company of Webster, Massachusetts was in business from 1928 through 1932. This Convertible Victoria is one of just four 1931 Lincoln Model K vehicles clothed by Waterhouse as a Convertible Victoria. It is believed that just two examples exist in modern times. This car was given an extensive restoration in 1968 by Hibernia Auto Restorations, LLC. It has won national 1st place awards at Classic Car Club and Antique Automobile Club of America Meets, in addition to winning the honorary Judges Award at the Palo Alto Concours in 2000.

The custom Waterhouse features found on this car include the special door moldings and extended cowl as well as the exceptionally low, raked windshield.

The car has been featured in a comprehensive article on the Waterhouse firm and its coach building accomplishments in Automobile Quarterly.

In 1998, the car joined the Otis Chandler collection. It remained there until it was auctioned off in 2006.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the Pebble Beach auction presented by Gooding & Company. The car was estimated to sell for $275,000 - $375,000. Unfortunately, a buyer willing to satisfy the car's reserve was not found and it would leave the auction unsold.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2012
Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton
Lincoln's Model K was introduced in 1931, succeeding the Model L as the top-of-the-line for Ford's upscale marque. Cadillac had just introduced its new V12 model, effectively triggering a 'cylinder race.' Lincoln's V12 was in the works; meanwhile the company created the impressive one-year Model K.

The Model K's side-valve, 384 cubic-inch V8 engine boosted horsepower from the Model L's 90 to 120 at 2900 RPM with a three-speed manual gearbox equipped with a free-wheeling device. A Stromberg DD3 dual downdraft carburetor helped increase acceleration. The wheelbase was stretched to an imposing 145 inches, riding nine inches longer and four inches lower than the Model L. The new length gave custom coachbuilders more to work with, and made room for Lincoln's anticipated V12 which would power the later Model KB.

The 1931 models sported new styling features such as the longer hood seen on this example; a slightly peaked radiator and grill; larger and more spherical headlights; and the two chromed trumpet horns. The dual cowl sport phaeton body displayed on this Model K is widely considered one of the most attractive and desirable bodies. Only 77 of these aluminum-bodied dual cowl phaetons were produced and originally sold at $4,600.

The Model K was the chassis for President Franklin D. Roosevelt's heavily modified car nicknamed the 'Sunshine Special.' This particular example is said to have been featured in the movie 'Eleanor and Franklin.'
Town Sedan 2 Window
At the end of WWI, Henry Leland began building a new line of conservative but well-designed automobiles he called Lincoln after the first president for whom he voted. After struggling financially he sold the company to Ford in 1922 for $6.5 million.

The 1931 Lincoln Model K was produced for only one year before being replaced by the marque's Model L, made for almost 10 years, and Models KA and KB made from 1932 until 1939. It combined conservative 1920s design with emerging 1930s engineering. Both design and engineering were overseen by Edsel Ford who, at the time, was at odds with his father Henry over modernizing the company's vehicles.

The new Model K sported a 145-inch wheelbase, nine inches longer than the outgoing Model L. The innovative 'drop-frame' design of the chassis allowed for the body to be four inches lower for a sleeker look. The V-8 engine made 120 horsepower compared to the earlier model's 90 horsepower. Of course, competitors like Cadillac and Packard were presenting V-12 and V-16 engines at that time.

This 1931 Lincoln Model K Town Sedan is one of just 195 built. It was restored in 1996 in California and driven to Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 2001 where it was acquired by collector John McMullen. The current owner acquired the car in 2006 and in 2010 it received a CCCA Senior Badge, earning 100 points.
Becoming a vehicle that was known for luxury, the Lincoln underwent a total transformation in 1931. Re-powered, re-styled, and becoming lower-priced, this entire transformation was done under the censorship of Edsel Ford. The Lincoln Model K replaced the Model L, and only a total of forty five models were ever produced.

With an increased horsepower from 90 to 120, the newly added Stromberg carburetor increased the engine with 384.8 cubic inches. With a price significantly lower than any other Lincolns, the Model K 7-passenger Touring vehicle was used primarily as a limousine. Though at $4,400, the model K still cost ten times the amount of a Ford.

The largest updates were contained in the body style. The wheel base was now increased to 145 inches with a longer hood, and rounded bumpers which now gave it a low and sleek profile. Dual trumpet horns and large bowl-shaped head lights now gave the front a stunning look. Utilized mainly as a limousine, sales were less than half of what they were in the late 1920s due to the Depression.

A reflection of the earlier Ford Model K, the Lincoln K-series was a luxury vehicle line that was produced until 1942. A V12 became standard in 1933, while the original K-Series featured a 385 in³ (6.3 L) V8. The option of ordering a fully custom coachwork was available for customers.

Appearing on a new chassis in 1931, the original Model K had a 145 in (3683 mm) wheelbase. Available as a dual cowl model, factory bodies were a 2 or 4-door phaeton. A derivative of the earlier L-series 60° V8, the 384.8 in³ (6.3 L) engine had a dual downdraft Stromberg carburetors, altered timing upped power to 120 hp (89 kW), and higher compression.

Splitting into two lines in 1932, the Lincoln K-series featured the carryover Model KA and the new V12-powered Model KB. The engine output was pushed to 125 hp (93 kW) while the V8 car reverted to a 136 in (3454 mm) wheelbase. Producing 150 hp (112 kW), the KB featured the marque's new V12, 447.9 in³ (7.3 L) 65° L-head unit. These two new lines featured a new grille with less of a surround, and vent doors rather than vertical louvers on the sides of the hood. Both series also featured a parking light on top of each front fender and 18 inch wire wheels.

The Model KA V8 engine was replaced in 1933 with a new 381.7 in³ (6.3 L) V12. The large KB engine shared very few similarities with this new L-head engine. Only a few minor changes that were readily visible occurred on the 1933 K-series. The return of hood louvers and the deletion of the bar linking the headlights were by far the most obvious updates. The chassis was also revised, along with thermostatic shock absorbers and transmission.

In 1934, the V12 engines were replaced by a single 414 in³ (6.8 L) version of the updated model KA V12. The KA and KB nameplates now denoted the wheelbase only. For this year, the only styling updates included the replacement again of the louvers with doors on the side of the hood, and a body-colored grille surround.
For 1935, the Lincoln line was trimmed down considerable, as all vehicles where simply referred to as the Model K. Putting focus on the lofty over-$4,000 segment, the marque was attempting to improve profitability, though unfortunately limiting sales in the depression devastated US.

The following year, a more modern Lincoln Zephyr was debuted. Costing much less, the Model K's days were considerably numbered. However, despite its high $4700 price-tag, a 7-passenger Model K limousine was the marque's best-selling model for 1936. A new and improved raked windshield and pressed steel wheels were also part of this years update.

Continuing in production for the next five more years, the Model K unfortunately faced a decrease in sales in comparison to the more modern Zephyr and the new flagship Continental which became more appealing to buyers. Though production was mostly ended with the 1939 model year, one final Model K, the 1942 model was a one-off 'Sunshine Special' convertible limousine that was built especially for President Roosevelt.

By Jessica Donaldson
 
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