Dieselpunks

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Lord K's Garage #141: Lincoln K Reloaded

What would you do with an aging luxury car? Don't think twice - streamline it!

1938 Lincoln Greyhound mascot

That's exactly what Edsel Ford did with the Lincoln K, company's flagship and status symbol. Introduced in 1931, it was aimed at the highest price segment. The original Model K had a 145 in (3683 mm) wheelbase. Available as a dual cowl model, factory bodies were a 2 or 4-door phaeton. A derivative of the earlier L-series 60° V8, the 384.8 in³ (6.3 L) engine had a dual downdraft Stromberg carburetors, altered timing upped power to 120 hp (89 kW), and higher compression.

Splitting into two lines in 1932, the Lincoln K-series featured the carryover Model KA and the new V12-powered Model KB. The engine output was pushed to 125 hp (93 kW) while the V8 car reverted to a 136 in (3454 mm) wheelbase. Producing 150 hp (112 kW), the KB featured the marque's new V12, 447.9 in³ (7.3 L) 65° L-head unit.

1933 Lincoln KBA V12 became standard in 1933, while the original K-Series featured a 385 in³ (6.3 L) V8. The option of ordering a fully custom coachwork was available for customers.

For 1935, the Lincoln line was trimmed down considerable, as all vehicles where simply referred to as the Model K. Putting focus on the lofty over-$4,000 segment, the marque was attempting to improve profitability, though unfortunately limiting sales in the depression devastated US.

The following year, a more modern Lincoln Zephyr was debuted. Costing much less, the Model K's days were considerably numbered. However, despite its high $4700 price-tag, a 7-passenger Model K limousine was the marque's best-selling model for 1936. A new and improved raked windshield and pressed steel wheels were also part of this years update.

And then came the radical face-lift. The K was streamlined, after a fashion. If the 1936 model (above, bodied by Brunn) was rounded here and there, the next year's big Lincolns were a radical depart from the past:

1937 Lincoln Two-Window Berline by Judkins1937 Lincoln Two-Window Berline by Judkins

1937 Lincoln Sport Sedan

1937 Lincoln Limousine by Willoughby

1937 Lincoln Limousine by Willoughby

1937 Lincoln LeBaron Convertible Roadster

1937 Lincoln LeBaron Convertible Roadster

1937 Lincoln Convertible Roadster

1937 Lincoln Model K V12 Seven-passenger Panel Brougham

1938 Lincoln K Car - 7 passenger V12 sedan - black - fvl

1938 Lincoln K 7-passenger V12 Sedan

1938 Lincoln Brougham by Brunn

1938 Lincoln V-12 Brunn Brougham

1938 Lincoln V-12 Brunn Brougham

1938 Lincoln K V-12 LeBaron Convertible Sedan - fvl

1938 Lincoln K V-12 LeBaron Convertible Sedan

1938 Lincoln K V-12 LeBaron Convertible Sedan - dash

1938 Lincoln LeBaron Convertible Sedan at Amelia Island 2010

1938 Lincoln K V-12 LeBaron Convertible Sedan - rvr

Carphoto gets a ride - lucky guyContinuing in production for the next five more years, the Model K unfortunately faced a decrease in sales in comparison to the more modern Zephyr and the new flagship Continental which became more appealing to buyers.

1939 Lincoln "Sunshine Special" Presidential LimousineThough production was mostly ended with the 1939 model year, one final Model K, the 1942 model was a one-off 'Sunshine Special' convertible limousine that was built especially for President Roosevelt.

1939 Lincoln Presidential Limousine

1939 Lincoln Presidential Limousine

Source: Jessica Donaldson @ conceptcarz.com

Images: special thanks to sjb4photos, dmentd, aldenjewell, Rex GraygswetskyPat Durkin @ Flickr

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Comment by Dan G. on June 2, 2012 at 9:11am

Cowboy wrote = " If only Lincoln could find that stylistic magic once again."

Wish THAT were true of all of the auto manufacturers! . . . But, in all fairness, in recent years they do seem to have at least ~ tried ~. The Dodge Magnums, PT Cruisers, &tc, &tc all have struggled to re-incorporate that Retro Streamlined look. However, I don't think that we will ever again see either the "shoulder room" nor Price Tags of those bygone days! <sigh> . . . But I do think that I can live without the ~ mpg ~ of those Classics at Today's rates!  LOL

Comment by Populuxe Cowboy on June 2, 2012 at 2:04am

Having owned a 1964 Continental sedan in what I called "Ford Racing Beige", I enjoyed this collection of photos. The streamlining that was applied to automobiles in the 1930s (as opposed to the practical aerodynamics applied to automobiles in the 1980s) created voluptuous cars that at least looked fast. That Lincoln emblem in the top picture is an art deco masterpiece. If only Lincoln could find that stylistic magic once again.

Comment by Dan G. on June 1, 2012 at 11:24am

Wonderful!

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