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Looking to Sell 1940 Zephyr Convertible


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Hello! I am new to the world of Zephyrs as a friend of mine has asked me to sell his 1940 Convertible for him. I was wondering if you all had any advice on what information collectors are looking for in an eBay auction. The owner is an 80+ year old retired Naval officer and has had this beauty since 1993. When he bought it, it had just over 11,000 miles on it and now it has 12,727. He doesn't know for sure if they are original miles or not, but the previous owner told him they were original miles and the Z was in an estate collection for over 30 years and never driven very much. The VIN is H97188 and I'm not sure what you can tell from that number, but I'm sure someone out there can tell me something. He said he has overhauled the engine in 1995 and replaced the top about that same time. He wants $65,000 for it, but I'm not sure if that's a fair price or not. He also has about $4000 in extra parts that he wanted to "throw in" with the auction, but I imagine we would be better off selling the additional parts separately. I took some photos of it and I'll attempt to post them here. zephyr1.JPG







Thanks for all of your help in advance! After reading through a lot of these posts, I'm sure this board can help us out.

I will try to answer all questions as soon as possible.

Thanks! Brian

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Very nice car, indeed!

I would recommend placing an ad in the "Pre-War cars for sale" classified section at www.lzoc.org (Yeah, I know, Jeff, those ads seem to stay there forever, but they're free and you never know when somebody will like the car and make a deal).

If the car has a Columbia 2-speed rear axle, it's value will increase substantially and should be mentioned in any ad you place.

You might consider placing an ad on ebay with a ridiculously high reserve (or starting bid). Lincolns seem to have a problem meeting their ebay reserve, but you might get an idea about how high the bids will get. You never know, perhaps somebody will take the bait! A pretty nice 1941 Zephyr convertible went for $69,500 on ebay earlier this month and the buyer never even looked at the car!

My wife and I bought a mostly original, relatively un-molested 1941 Continental convertible a couple of years ago. It was on ebay for a fairly reasonable starting bid, but got NO bids. We called the seller and were able to buy the car for substantially less than his starting bid. (That's it in my avatar).

Good Luck!

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Guest imported_V12Bill

One of the fellows in our local Lincoln club sold a 40 - 41 Zephyr convertible a few years ago at Barret - Jackson for about $80,000. This was a restored higher mileage car and not a low mileage original car like you have. I would be curious about the top also, as the boot is not an original color and appeaars to have some mods to the pattern. With an original style top and boot, this car could be a record breaking seller at a big auction .

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Thanks for all the great info so far! Here are some more pictures I took earlier tonight with the top up. I also asked him about the Columbia 2-speed and he said it is a Columbia 3-speed. He also mentioned that the top comes up manually because he didn't get everything connected to the vac system when he got the new top installed.





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He probably meant it's a 3-speed manual with the Columbia. The Columbia effectively lets you select between a higher or lower rear-end ratio, this the name two-speed. (Some might even argue that if you take the original 3 gears X 2 rear end ratios = 6 "speeds" cool.gif )

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Ooops! Too bad the new top has that seam across the rear bow. That's an incorrect configuration for these Lincolns.

As Cecil stated, the Columbia is a TWO-SPEED rear axle which provides an overdrive. I suspect that this car does NOT have a Columbia axle because I don't see any vacuum takeoff on the intake manifold, nor do I see any evidence of the speedometer gear ratio compensator on the firewall.

If this car has a Columbia axle, the rear end will look like the attachment and there will be a Speedometer gearbox similar to the attachment (which is on my 1939 Zephyr).



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The spots shown in the photo are water. The top is a tight fit and tonight he couldn't get it to stretch all the way, so he put a little water on it to help the top so it could be connected at the front. It is the same top in all the photos. I took them all one right after another earlier tonight.



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Guest nasmith

In the underhood picture you can see the vacuum selector for the columbia on the left side of the engine with a vacuum line appartently connected to the fitting ahead of the carburetor; typically the vacuum line goes to the fitting behind the carburetor. On my '40 LZ the speedometer compensator is vertically mounted more toward the hood hinge than the one in your photo Phil. I think this beautiful LZ has the factory columbia rear end. It is also true that some factory columbias had the speedometer drive connected directly connected to the rear axle making the compensator unnecessary.

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Upon closer inspection, I think you are correct. The Columbia control is visible in the underhod photo, tucked in between the steering gearbox and the engine. I knew that some factory installed Columbias had the speedometer drive gear on the right axle housing rather than the driveshaft, making for a REALLY long speedometer cable. Dan Krehbiel tells me that the axle driven speedometer gear makes it difficult to remove the right side axle housing.

In '40 and '41 the Columbia speedometer location was changed to the vertical position you describe. Probably because the speedometer was relocated to the position in front of the driver instead of in the middle of the dashboard.

The attachment shows the Columbia vacuum tap on my '39 Zephyr. It's behind the carburetor and I think it's upside down. Lincolns took vacuum right off the intake manifold whereas Fords used an adaptor plate under the carburetor.

Also, the correct Lincoln top configuration is shown in the other attachment. This is on Robert Anderson's 1939 Continental prototype.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not sure which top is correct. I did some searching online and found this photo of a 1940 convertible that shows it does have the seam. I think it says the photo was uploaded by Phil Knapp, so which one is correct Phil?

Thanks for your help.


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Correct Lincoln top has no strap on the outside...period. Mr. Burkholders 40 is an older replacement..not "correct" either.

Your car is beautiful.

Your car is not "show". do you care??

The dash should be maroon, the steering wheel and plastics should be maroon.(like the window crank knobs and door panel trim).metal trim on dash gold macoid...under the hood should be painted the cars color..starter button is maroon not metal..rear bumper splash pan missing...fuel line at firewall is homemade incorrect etc...this car has obviously

extensively reworked...I am not criticizing..it is awesome and well worth 65 g's. Dont get caught up with the top..it looks very nice..If you want to compete in those silly

judging things...then get out your check book..but other wise..put it on ebay and be done ..here is an old snap of my top back in the last century...(yes it was also missing stuff at that time!!)

I wish mine looked that nice...and if u buy a new "correct" top..I will take your old one!!


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Jeff is correct. The factory original convertible tops on Lincoln Zephyrs and Continentals have *NO* seam across the rear bow. Most top shops these days get tops from vendors that are cut to the correct shape, but it's much easier to put that seam across the rear bow because all late model convertibles are made that way.

That's OK to keep the rain out but it's not "concours correct" for our old Lincolns. It's more expensive to do a Lincoln top the "correct" way and tough to find a shop that can (or will) do it that way.

If you not collecting trophies in competitive shows, leave it alone!

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