Believed to be the San Francisco Salon, Palace Hotel Factory Demonstrator Show Car
1931 LINCOLN MODEL K OPEN DRIVE LANDAULETTE
COACHWORK BY LEBARON
Chassis No. 66296
Engine No. 68935
Sand beige with light orange pinstriping and wheels and a dark mauve rear compartment with a color matched long grain leather top
Engine: 60 degree V8 side valves, 385ci., 120bhp at 2,900rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel mechanical drums. Left hand drive.
The 1931 Lincoln received the first major redesign since the Lincoln marque was introduced ten years earlier. The original design by Henry Leland had been very sound and indeed Lincolns were built throughout the decade of the Twenties with only incremental mechanical refinements. To meet the great competitive challenges from other luxury marques brought on by the Depression, Lincoln responded by significantly increasing both size and power of its cars for 1931. Although the basic Leland V8 was continued, it was given the industry's first dual downdraft carburetor, as well as a mechanical fuel pump, resulting in a dramatic 30 increase in horsepower. The engine was by no means obsolete: Leland had endowed the Lincoln engine with full pressure lubrication, five main bearings, aluminum pistons and a 60 degree bank angle to reduce vibration, from the outset.
The late Twenties boom in coachbuilt luxury cars had caused increasing resistance to the aesthetic and space limitations of Lincoln's comparatively short 136 inch wheelbase and otherwise stubby hood. The new 1931 K Models responded with a lordly 145 inch wheelbase chassis which provided for far more elegant and roomy coachwork. That year, Lincoln offered 26 body types and variations from an impressive six different custom body builders, in addition to its own in-house body production facility.
The unusual body type presented here is a prime example of some of the more exotic Lincoln sponsored coachwork. This car is believed to be one of the four stunning coachbuilt examples created for the salons held annually nationwide to showcase the latest fashions in coachwork. Specifically, it is believed that this car was shown at the Palace Hotel for the San Francisco Salon in 1931. The Brownings purchased this spectacular, low mileage example from California Lincoln collector, Mr. George Martin, who is understood to have had this car for quite some time. When Mr. Browning purchased the car it was in very original condition. After removing a layer of black paint, the sand beige color seen here was found to be its original color. As it is today, the Lincoln has been restored to the color scheme and specifications of how it was most likely displayed at the San Francisco Salon. The only noticeable difference is seen in the wheels, which would have been color matched to the car with stainless wire spokes rather than the painted spokes that it is currently finished with. Notably, this lovely Model K also had less than 20,000 miles prior to the start of the restoration, and since its completion the car has logged less than 500 miles.
The overall presentation and restoration of this example is impressive. The driver's compartment is in excellent condition, the dashboard instrumentation appears correct and includes a Seth Thomas electric clock. The dark mauve rear compartment is quite stunning; details include the correct folding jump seats and divider window. The long grain leather top is expertly color matched to the body and is believed to be correct to the car. The engine bay, motor and underbody are extremely tidy and have been expertly maintained and attended to since the restoration. This Lincoln is fitted with C.M. Hall Depress Beam headlamps, dual horns, dual sidemounts with color-matched covers, dual mirrors and dual Linlite tail lamps. This is perhaps one of the more impressive and detailed Lincoln motor cars in existence today and would undoubtedly be a sought after example for many of the nationwide concours events, as well as a highly suitable car for competition.