The Lincoln-Zephyr was a modern automobile with integrated fenders, a low raked windscreen, and streamlined aerodynamics. It was the idea of Edsel Ford who had enlisted Eugene 'Bob' Turenne Gregorie to create a design with European-inspired design elements. The streamlined car was named the 'zephyr,' derived from the Greek word Zephyrus, or the god of the west wind. In the front was a prow-like front grille in a similar fashion to the front of a boat, helping it achieved a lower coefficient of drag than Chrysler's Airflow. The prow-like grille was used for two years, and in 1938 a new low-mounted, horizontal grille appeared on the Zephyr.
Introduced in late 1935 as a 1936 model, the original Lincoln-Zephyr had an early form of unit-body construction which helped reduce weight while enhancing rigidity. Power was from a 267 cubic-inch flat-head (L-head) V12 engine offering 110 horsepower and backed by a three-speed manual transmission.
The Lincoln Continental was introduced in 1940 and was based on the Zephyr chassis. The 1940 Lincoln-Zephyr appeared to have evolved from the 1939 models but was, in fact, an essentially all-new car. This second-generation Zephyr retained the basic front design introduced on the 1938 model, although the low grille was larger and the headlamps mounted in the fenders were the new sealed-beams that were being adopted industry-wide in 1940. The dramatic taper rear of the earlier Zephyr bodies was replaced by a design that allowed wider rear seat and additional luggage space.
The 1940 Zephyr continued to use the L-head V12, but with a larger 292 cubic-inch displacement and 120 horsepower. The three-speed manual transmission was now shifted via a steering column-mounted 'finger tip gearshift' lever. The instrumentation was new, with most instruments positioned in front of the driver's vision, instead of the center-mounted clusters found on earlier models. A single large glove box was positioned facing the front seat passenger. The interiors appointments were in mahogany metal finish and the steering wheel had two spokes. An optional radio could be mounted centrally just above the speaker grille.
The 1936 and 1937 Zephyrs were not offered in open models. Bodystyles included 2- and 4-door sedans and a coupe. Along with the closed bodies, the 1938 and 1939 Zephyrs could be purchased as convertible coupes and convertible sedans, which had been modified from closed bodies. The 1940 Convertible Coupe was the first Lincoln-Zephyr that appeared like it had been designed as an open car, with more interior room and now designated a six-passenger model. The convertible top was powered-operated for the first, and standard rear-wheel shields complimented the Zephyr's smooth lines.
The newly bodied Zephyr sat on a three-inch longer wheelbase and featured 22 percent larger glass area and one-piece rear window for the enclosed models. They had front window vents and inboard-mounted taillights. The hubcaps now read 'Lincoln-Zephyr.' The ball with a horizontal pod front ornament turned to open the alligator-style hood.
The Zephyr was offered in 10 regular-production body styles for 1940, with the Convertible Coupe being the most expensive, selling for $1,770. A total of 700 examples of the Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Coupe were built for 1940. The most popular body style in 1940 was the 4-door sedan, which had a base price of $1,400, with production reaching 15,764 units. The second most popular style was the club coupe, which found 3,500 willing buyers. by Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2020
Related Reading : Lincoln Zephyr History
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.... Continue Reading >>
The Zephyr was introduced in 1936, a radical and beautiful example of the streamlining trend of the 30s. Zephyrs were all V-12s. The Zephyr was sold alongside the traditional Lincoln K models until the K was dropped at the end of 1939. The Zephyr and....[continue reading]
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Designed by John Tjaarda and introduced on November 2, 1935, as a 1936 model, the Lincoln-Zephyr was extremely modern with a low raked windscreen, integrated fenders, and streamlined aerodynamic design which influenced the name 'Zephyr', derived from....[continue reading]
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1940 Lincoln Zephyr Production Figures
Town Sedan 98
Convertible Coupe 700
Club Coupe 3,500
Town Car 4
22,046 total vehicles produced by Lincoln in 1940 The 1940 Lincoln Zephyr accounted for 98.2% of Lincoln's 22,046 production.