With evocative aerodynamic styling and powered by an L-head V12 engine, the Lincoln Zephyr was conceived by Edsel Ford as a midsize luxury craft for the very well-to-do, with hand-crafted production beginning in 1936.
The Pick of the Day is a 1940 Lincoln Zephyr convertible, widely considered to be among the most elegant model years, and which represented something of an end and a beginning for the Ford division before the war years intervened.
The Zephyr was the final pre-war design for Lincoln, with the Zephyr name dropped once production resumed after the war. But 1940 saw the beginning of the Continental nameplate, another Edsel Ford concept, which became Lincoln’s longest-running brand. Along with that came the rear-mounted spare tire on the Zephyr that became an enduring feature of Lincoln design.
“Edsel Ford rebelled against his father’s mass-market sensibilities by building a car for people in his substantial wealth class,” notes the Lutz, Florida, dealer advertising the Lincoln on ClassicCars.com. “He emphasized design, which means these first-generations show their boldness with sleek lines rather than adding chrome. This was the car he could have proudly driven in Europe with its waterfall grille, lowered stance, and deleted running boards.
“These were both beautiful and expensive, and so only about 700 examples were hand-built in 1940.”
This Lincoln looks to be in spectacular condition, black with a tan top and red interior, with the 4.8-liter V12 looking like eye candy under the hood.
“The black paint is the quality of a later and professional application. So this sophisticated Lincoln-Zephyr has the gloss of a grand piano,” the seller says. “And when you add in the chrome of the dual grilles, large bumpers, headlight surrounds, factory wheel covers, and all the trim, this is an artful total package.
“One of the best perks of owning a well-presented first-generation is getting to lift the hood and seeing the Lincoln-Zephyr V12 in all its period-correct glory. We love how these are so long that they look like a Ford flathead on steroids.
“Plus, all the bolts, dual barrel downdraft carburetor, generator, correct hoses, oil bath air cleaner with correct decal, and much more all give this the kind of presentation where people will stop to point out the details.
“There is unmistakable power and poise from the dozen cylinders propelling this luxury machine forward.”
This Lincoln would be a terrific showpiece and event participant; it is listed among the full classic models accepted by the Classic Cars Club of America. The asking price is $84,995.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.