In the early 1930s, Lincoln was facing stiff competition from the Cadillac LaSalle marque and the entry-level Packard. The Zephyr, priced between Fords and the Lincoln K, was introduced in 1935. Its stylish streamlined looks were complimented with many art deco touches both inside and out - the Zephyr was instantly popular.
1942 was a significant year for styling as well as engineering. All models were given longer, higher fenders, the front end sported a bolder grille, and headlamps were flanked by parking lights on either side. Under the hood, the Zephyr was given a new and more reliable 305 cubic-inch V-12 engine.
This example was shipped one month before the attack on Pearl Harbor, while the United States was practicing austerity.
Known as a 'Salesman's car,' or a car a company would buy for a sales representative, this example has what you need to get from point A to point B. It has no heater or radio, and sports vacuum wipers and manual windows, even though electric wipers and hydraulic or vacuum windows were options. Its restoration from 1,000 separate pieces began in 2004, and this Budd-bodied Lincoln-Zephyr Club Coupe is one of only four business coupes registered with the LZOC.
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 Mercury's were derived from a Ford running gear and chassis they were cheaper to produce, Lincoln decided to cancel the Zephyr after only six years of production.
The styling was courteous of the Dutch-Born designer John Tjaarda of the Briggs Body Corporation, however, prior to production Ford's stylist Bob Gregorie restyled the front end. Under the hood was a Ford-derived V-12 that produced 110 horsepower, not enough to do justice to the Zephyr name and what it represented, but a modest amount to carry the vehicle where it was tasked to travel.
In 1936 around 15000 Zephyrs were constructed, nearly 80% of all Lincolns sold. Nearly 1500 were given coupe/sedan body-styles which were a two-door sedan configuration built on a chassis that could have accommodated four-doors.
In the year 2005, Lincoln reintroduced the Zephyr. To help create excitement at auto shows, Lincoln purchased a 1936 Zerphyr serial number H-5739, to tour with the modern Lincoln Zephyr.
Due to the onset of World War II, Lincoln switched to war-related production. Production resumed in 1946 and continued until 1948.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2006