With the depression dragging along through the 1930's Ford realized that it needed a more moderately priced model in the Lincoln lineup to keep their luxury brand afloat. So for the 1936 model year Lincoln introduced the Zephyr as their new entry level model with amazing streamlined teardrop styling designed by John Tjaarda of the Briggs body company with help from Ford designer Bob Gregorie and, of course, Edsel Ford. Named after the then new streamlined Diesel trains in operation on the Burlington railroad, these three designers would be credited with the very first streamlined automotive design in the United States. Powered by an all new flathead V-12 engine that was very similar in construction and design of the Ford Flathead V8 only with four more cylinders. A great design both for its simplicity and power. For the 1938 model year the Zephyr was redesigned and is considered by many to be the best looking year of all. A new grille was added along with beautiful teardrop headlights and taillights and an airplane hood ornament. Other amazing design features included the newly redesigned ribbed hubcaps on the wide five wheels and most notably the "waterfall' dash that continues to the floor with the round gauge cluster smack in the middle. 1938 Zephyrs are a rare sight today, especially in convertible form with only 600 convertible coupes being built in total. The 1938 Zephyrs were an amazingly sleek art deco design, a few convertibles even making it onto the concours d'Elegance circuit in Europe and it was even selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as "the first streamlined car in America" for their 1951 exhibit called "An Exhibition Concerned with the esthetics of motorcar design." The 1938 Zephyr is one of the sleekest Art Deco automotive designs of the 1930's.
Offered here is one of these rare 1938 Lincoln Zephyr convertible coupes of which only 600 were produced. This particular car is most likely one of the very last in well preserved original condition. It's also a very special car having only one owner from 1938 until 2002 when he passed away. The car was originally purchased by a Mr. Andrew Keck of Princeton, New Jersey who purchased it from Murray Auto Corporation in Allentown, PA on March 29, 1938. Mr. Keck was a professor of art history for 35 years and chairman of the art and archaeology department of American University, Washington, D.C., before retiring in 1969. Previously, he conducted research for Princeton University and Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. and taught art history at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. He was an extremely knowledgeable art historian and would often travel abroad during this time for research and art authentication, taking his beloved Lincoln Zephyr with him. After Mr. Kecks passing in 2002 the car would pass onto Lincoln expert Jerry Richmond of Massachusetts who would then sell the car to Robert McGowan of Connecticut. Today the car is in incredibly well preserved condition as well as some recent restoration work that has brought the car up to an incredible level. Recent work includes an entirely all new leather interior which was copied from the original upholstery that was left in the car as well as a complete rebuild of the correct 1938 engine by Al Clark of Go Devil Garage in upstate New York. New tires were also installed and a new wire harness as well. We also detailed the old lacquer paint bringing it back to a beautiful shine. This is an amazing original and rare 1938 Lincoln Zephyr convertible coupe with wonderful provenance that is now for sale publicly really for the first time. It is also complete with its original purchase receipt from Murray Auto Corporation when Andrew Keck purchased the car in 1938 as well as a period photo of Mr. Keck standing next to his car. This is a really wonderful car.