HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1940 Lincoln Zephyr convertible in all its V12...

Pick of the Day: 1940 Lincoln Zephyr convertible in all its V12 glory

The gleaming classic looks to be in exceptionally fine condition


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

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. Amazing car. I wish I could afford. Do you have one that’s more driven and not as pristine? I want a daily driver.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous car. Edsel was so underrated in his lifetime. If he had only lived a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, as impressive as the V12 was to look at, they were not great engines. My father ran his own shop in the late 40’s/early50’s. We saw one of these at a classic car show many years later, and I was gushing over the styling, when he went on to tell me that he had a great business in pulling these over-heating monsters out, and dropping in easier to maintain and more reliable V8s.

  3. It’s not to be confused with the Lincoln Zephyr convertible, which didn’t have the external spare tire, and had a sloped trunk.

  4. that sure looks like the first continental.. i think the ’48 continentals had a push button to open the doors..
    as for the paper filters, that is to be excused.. not sure about edsel fords continental cars.. my guess is the steering wheel came from a zephyr and that that cat IS a continental.. the zephyr cars were different and i never heard of a convertible zephyr.. i was 3 in 1940 so not among the target car buying audience.. 🙂

  5. This article is not very accurate. They did not come with dual carburetors or paper filters. This one also has dual coils and a 12V battery. The Continental production numbers was only 350. This is not the Zephyr convertible coupe which was at 700 produced. Similar, but not the same car.

    • The under-hood view does seem to show a tweaked setup with 12 volts, dual coils and custom air cleaners, despite what the seller says in the description.


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