1929 Lincoln Model L

Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton
Coachwork: Locke
Lincoln's founder, Henry Leland was first and foremost an engineer. As a result, early Lincolns were powerful, reliable, rugged machines that were every bit a match to competition from Cadillac, Packard, and Pierce-Arrow. But it wasn't until they came under the artistic guidance of Edsel Ford that the Model L became beautiful. Under Ford's direction coachbuilders such as Brunn, Judkins, Willoughby, Murphy and Locke provided a variety of bodies.

This Lincoln Auto Show car features Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton Custom Coachwork with a polished aluminum body and custom leather interior by Locke Body Company of Rochester, NY. The original owners were J. Arnot and Gracia Gannett Rathbone of Elmira, New York. Locke was one of seven custom coachbuilders offered in the 1929 Lincoln line. This Automobile is unrestored with the exception of its top and a testament of Lincoln's fine quality.

The Model L Lincoln was noted for sturdiness, speed, all-wheel brakes, and handling. They were favorites of both sides of the law. The V-8 engine has a 385 cubic-inch displacement developing 85 horsepower.

Locke also clothed chassis from Duesenberg, Rolls-Royce, Packard and Pierce-Arrow as well as Lincoln; its bodies were of extremely high quality and their limited production ensured exclusivity.
Sport Touring
The 1929 Lincoln Model L featured dual folding windshields and seating for seven. The seating is rather unusual with the jump seats side-by-side and accomodating three individuals while the permanent rear and front seats designed for two occupants.

During its production run less than 180 examples were produced of the Sport Touring version.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
Sport Phaeton
Lincoln Motor Company was founded by Henry M. Leland, one of the founders of Cadillac who left the Cadillac Division of General Motors to build Liberty Aircraft engines for World War I. He named the corporation after the first President he voted for, Abraham Lincoln. After tooling for automobile production the company had considerable financial trouble and during its bankruptcy was purchased by the Ford Motor Company in 1922.

The Model L Lincoln was noted for sturdiness, speed, all-wheel brakes, and handling. The L-head V-8 engine has a 385 cubic-inch displacement developing 85 horsepower.
Coachwork: Brunn
This Lincoln Model L Brunn Brougham Town Car was ordered new by Joseph Madden of Omaha, Nebraska. It was an anniversary gift for his wife. The Madden family owned a successful dry goods store that they sold out to J.C. Penny. Every year, the car was shipped to Florida for their use during the winter and shipped back to Omaha in the Spring.

In 1940, they sold the car with 8,000 miles on the odometer. When gas rationing began during World War Two, the vehicle was put into storage until 1954. It would pass through several owners over the years until George Markis purchased it in 1972. The car was then given a complete restoration over the years and currently is has 12,000 miles. It was later donated to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum.

Brunn produced a total of 58 examples of this Lincoln in 1929 and 1930. The cost new of this car was $7,200. It is powered by a V8 engine that offers 90 horsepower. The wheelbase measures 136 inches.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010
Sport Touring
Chassis Num: 60854
Sold for $82,500 at 2011 RM Sothebys.
For 1929, Lincoln offered 26 body styles by 14 coachbuilders, including Brunn, Dietrich, Judkins, LeBaron, Locke, Waterhouse and Willoughby. Also, Lincoln offered its own bodies. The Model 176 Sport Phaeton and the Model 177 7-Passenger Tourer were introduced midyear.

The Model 177 7-passenger dual cowl Phaeton was popular with police forces, and 17 Police Flyers were purchased by Chicago police for their pursuit of Al Capone, equipped with bullet-proof glass and gun racks.

This example is a well-maintained original example with 59,000 miles. The interior is original. It has been treated to newer paint in two-tone green, a new top and canvas covers for the twin side-mounted spares. In total, there were only 174 Model 177s built.

In 2011, this vehicle was offered for sale at the Hershey Auction presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $60,000 - $80,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the vehicle had been sold for the sum of $82,500 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2011
Coachwork: Willoughby
Chassis Num: 61618
This 1929 Lincoln 4-Door Limousine with coachwork by the Willoughby Body Company was ordered by a Mrs. Stien of Greenwich, CT. She refused delivery of the car because she did not like the restyled 1929 Lincoln fenders. At her request the car was returned to Willoughby and given 1928 fenders and radiator shell. She also had the side mount spare tire installed with wood cabinets behind the front seat rather than the typical jump seats. Another feature were early tinted windows and a rooftop luggage rack for use during long trips.

This Limousine is in original, unrestored condition.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2011
Sport Phaeton
Coachwork: Locke
Henry Leland started the Lincoln Motor Car Company in 1920, who in 1902 had built the Cadillac Motor Car Company out of the remains of the failed Henry Ford Company. Lincolns quickly earned a reputation for their outstanding quality. Unfortunately, their conservative styling did not attract many buyers. By 1922 Lincoln was on the brink of bankruptcy and was sold to Leland's former nemesis, Henry Ford.

Under the direction of Edsel Ford it became a very styling automobile with production designs from the masters of American coach building. Lincoln was a robust car and was popular with rum runners and Police Departments alike. During the late 1920s and early 1930s each Detroit Police Precinct was assigned a Lincoln Phaeton for use by special squads, the chief of detectives, or the Police Commissioner.

This 1929 Lincoln Phaeton was formerly used by Detroit Police Commissioner Harold Emmons.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2011
Aero Phaeton
Coachwork: LeBaron
This completely original one-off Lincoln Aero-Phaeton was built by LeBaron to reflect Ford's commitment to the aircraft industry. After being exhibited at the 1928-1929 New York and Paris Auto Salons, it toured the country, stopping in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, where it was purchased by the owner of a Washington State flying service. The car's fenders and body panels are finished in polished aluminum and the padded leather interior is designed to reflect an open-cockpit aircraft. The boat-tailed body features a dash-mounted altimeter and compass, and a non-functional, tail-mounted rudder finishes the aeronautical theme.
Coachwork: Brunn
Chassis Num: 61375
Engine Num: 61375
Sold for $38,500 at 2016 RM Sothebys.
This Lincoln Model L wears a Five-Passenger Brougham bodied by Brunn & Company of Buffalo, New York. It was assembled on October 28th of 1929 and shipped to its new owner on December 9th. It is believed that this car may have been purchased by Jack 'Legs' Diamond, the renowned bootlegger and organized crime figure of the time.

Dorothy Tessler of Brooklyn, a subsequent owner, registered the car in 1947. The Lincoln later passed through two long-term ownerships in the Empire State, those of James H. Stoutenberg and Charles Tompkins. The car later entered the collection of its present owner.

The car is in well-preserved condition wearing its original paintwork, interior, and Brunn body number tag.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2016
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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