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 Lincoln Model L photo

1921 Lincoln Model L

Engineer Henry M. Leland and his son Wilfred founded the Lincoln Motor Company in 1917. The first model followed in 1921, called the Model L, and came equipped with a 358 cubic-inch L-head 60-degree V8 engine. While conventional V-engines offset the cylinder banks slightly to make room for adjacent connecting rod bearings on the crank journals, Leland's engine used precision-made fork-and-blade connecting rods and disposed the cylinders directly opposite each other. Another unusual feature for the period was Leland's V8 had full pressure lubrication.

The first president Henry Leland voted for was Abraham Lincoln in 1864, the inspiration for the company name. After leaving Cadillac, William C. Durant, and General Motors in 1917, Leland accepted a government contract to produce the Liberty engine. When the contract ended, he returned to automobile production. Although the vehicles were mechanically advanced and Paragons of innovation, the bodies left something to be desired in the design department. The stodgy and mundane bodies were the work of Leland's son-in-law, whose previous vocation had been in ladies millinery. The lack of modern coachwork coupled with late supplier deliveries and Leland's obsession with engineering perfected, delayed the arrival in the marketplace by approximately eight months, appearing in September of 1920. When it arrived, it was greeted by a postwar recession, crippling its prosperity further.

Lincoln attempted a quick redesign with a set of twelve body designs by Hermann A. Brunn but it was too late. The numerous complications and an erroneous (USD) 4.5 million tax bill brought an end to the Leland-era Lincoln (although, Leland remained with the company for four months after the purchase). The company was acquired out of receivership in 1922 by Henry Ford to complement his minimalistic Model T. Henry Ford's son, Edsel, was placed in charge and tasked with designing new bodies.

Ten months after being becoming president of the Lincoln Motor Company, 5,512 Lincoln Model L's (named after Henry Leland) had been sold, which was over 2,000 more than the Lelands had delivered in a year-and-a-half. Instead of offering an inferior product as Mr. Leland had feared, the Ford-era-built Model L had been improved, with a larger 136-inch wheel (an increase of six inches over its prior 130-inch platform), aluminum pistons, and better cylinder head cooling. By 1929, horsepower rose to 90 bhp. Production of the Model L continued until 1931 when it was replaced by the Model K.

The 1921 Lincoln Model L catalog listed fifteen body styles plus a bare chassis to be clothed by outside coachbuilders. Wheelbase sizes included 130- and 136-inches depending on the coachwork selected. The 357.8 CID eight-cylinder engine with 81 horsepower was backed by a three-speed sliding gear transmission with floor shift controls, and multiple disc and dry plate clutch. Stopping power was provided by mechanical brakes on the rear wheels, and twelve spoke wood artillery wheels with demountable rims were on all four corners. Optional equipment included front and rear bumpers, dual side-mount, and side-mount covers.

Among the innovations introduced on the 1921 Lincoln were an automatic tire pump, thermostatic radiator shutters, Alemite pressure gun lubrication, circuit breaker electric system, and a sealed cooling system with condenser tank.


by Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2020

Related Reading : Lincoln Model L History

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....
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Related Reading : Lincoln Model L History

Considered to be one of the most elegant of chauffer-driven automobiles of the 1920s, 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. LeLands favorite President had always been....
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1921 Vehicle Profiles

1921 Lincoln Model L vehicle information

Tourer
Coachwork: Murray

The Lincoln Motor Company was established in 1917 by entrepreneur Henry Leland. He had previously started the Cadillac Motor Company in 1903 from the remains of Henry Ford's second failed attempt to start an auto company (Henry's third attempt result....[continue reading]

1921 Lincoln Model L vehicle information

Phaeton

Henry Leland, a former manager at Cadillac and his son, Wilfred formed The Lincoln Motor Company in August of 1917. It was acquired by ford in 1922, but this 1921 Model L prototype was manufactured while Leland was still at the helm. It was styled by....[continue reading]

Tourer by Murray
 
Phaeton
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$365-$4,000
1921 Model L
$4,600-$25,000
1921 Lincoln Model L Price Range: $4,000 - $4,600

Model L

Year
Production
Wheelbase
Engine
Prices
2,957
130.00 in., 136.00 in.
8 cyl., 357.80 CID., 81.00hp
$4,000 - $4,600
5,647
130.00 in., 136.00 in.
8 cyl., 357.80 CID., 90.00hp
$3,300 - $7,200
136.00 in.
8 cyl., 357.80 CID., 90.00hp
$3,800 - $6,200
6,583
136.00 in.
8 cyl., 357.80 CID., 90.00hp
$3,600 - $6,400
8,440
126.00 in., 136.00 in.
8 cyl., 357.80 CID., 90.00hp
$3,800 - $7,200
8,712
136.00 in., 150.00 in.
8 cyl., 357.80 CID., 90.00hp
$3,995 - $7,200
7,149
136.00 in., 150.00 in.
8 cyl., 357.80 CID., 90.00hp
$3,505 - $7,600
6,362
136.00 in., 150.00 in.
8 cyl., 384.80 CID., 90.00hp
$4,595 - $7,345
7,566
136.00 in., 150.00 in.
8 cyl., 384.80 CID., 90.00hp
$2,995 - $7,395
2,044
136.00 in.
8 cyl., 384.80 CID., 90.00hp
$4,505 - $7,005

Industry Production

#1#2#3Lincoln
1926Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (547,724)Buick (266,753)8,712
1925Ford (1,669,847)Chevrolet (306,479)Dodge (201,000)8,451
1924Ford (1,922,048)Chevrolet (264,868)Dodge (193,861)7,053
1923Ford (1,831,128)Chevrolet (323,182)Buick (210,572)
1922Ford (1,147,028)Chevrolet (243,479)Dodge (152,673)5,512
1921Ford (1,275,618)Chevrolet (130,855)Buick (82,930)2,957
1920Ford (806,040)Chevrolet (146,243)Dodge (141,000)
1919Ford (820,445)Chevrolet (129,118)Buick (119,310)
1918Ford (435,898)Buick (126,222)Willys Knight (88,753)
1917Ford (622,351)Willys Knight (130,988)Buick (115,267)
1916Ford (734,811)Willys Knight (140,111)Buick (124,834)

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