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Assembly thread, 1942 Lincoln Zephyr Club Coupe

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This is more of an assembly thread than a restoration thread. An older gentleman was in the midst of finishing the restoration of this 1942 Lincoln Zephyr Club Coupe when he passed. I'm told that a number of people looked at the pile of parts and walked away. All I saw was a big jigsaw puzzle needing assembly. The car was offered in a package with a rough, but restorable '48 Club Coupe. That will aid as an assembly guide, but a lot of the work is already done.

The car has been very nicely painted. It appears to have been a rust-free car. The rear axle appears to have been rebuilt and installed. Most of the front suspension is installed as is the entire new wiring harness, gas and brake lines. The trunk lid is installed. The painted front fenders and hood are upstairs in a loft. The engine appears to have at least been resealed, likely rebuilt. The trans appears to be rebuilt, also. New windows are wrapped up on shelves as is all of the nicely chromed trim. I opened two boxes of NOS gauges in pristine condition. I found all of the remaining mechanical bits, I think.

While a much bigger fan of the prior waterfall grill the electric razor/bus face starts to grow on you after a while. Just waiting on a title and it'll land in my workspace.

How many of these would you imagine still exist?




Edited by Barry Wolk (see edit history)
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The 5 window coupe is one of the least popular body styles..most covet the 3 window job and now with the rodders turning them into low riders.."scrape" they are on the endangered list 42's are very uncommon..and without looking in the lzoc roster, I would bet less than 20 known..I hope you are able to finish it, looks like the dirty work is done..just the fun stuff now..Look for grills and hood side trim..pricey and scarce..That looks like Mr. Weldon's car..

Did you buy it ?? He did not have some of those scarce parts shortly before his passing, or at least he was looking for some...

Edited by Mssr. Bwatoe (see edit history)
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Could I bother you to look? I had a 2006 LCOC roster at my office and only found 2 Florida '42 Club Coupes.

Actually, I bought it from an estate, so I don't know who the owner was. I'm dealing with a broker who's dealing with an attorney for the estate.

I'm going there Wednesday with some tarps so I can lay things out on the floor and take pictures. I found enough rare spare parts that I should be able to trade for whatever's missing. I also learned with the Ruxton project that having parts made is really not that much of a problem.

Do you know this car?

Edited by Barry Wolk (see edit history)
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Mr. Wolk, I looked for your MKII at the Gilmore last August at the big party..you dont know me but I had admired your

cars from afar, (nw oHIo)..

I do not know the 42 you are after, but the deceased owner had been looking for grills at one time...I heard thru the grapevine..

about it..I will post on the lz forum and look in my book for the numbers ( at home) asap. I think it is great that you are going for it..

they are neat cars that have not been "rediscovered" yet...our LZ/s never got the respect they deserved...


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I spent 4 hours today sorting and boxing parts. I started with a 12' x 12' tarp and had to add an 8-foot square blanket and there's more to add.

Like a jigsaw puzzle the first thing you do is dump all the pieces on the table and flip them upright so you can see where they go. I may regret saying this in this crowd, but I used to enter competitive jigsaw contests and did pretty well. My SOP was to flip and sort at the same time, assembling obvious groups or edge pieces. Once flipped it was a simple matter of completing the edge. Metaphorically, that's already been done for me by completing the paint job and restoring so many of the systems. Now, like a puzzle, I'll build sub assemblies and fit them in place with the framework.

As I stated in the Ruxton build thread, I'm no master mechanic, I just have a knack for taking things apart and putting them back together again. This is more challenging because I didn't take it apart, but I've said it before, cars are designed to only go together one way. My challenge is in finding out where the parts go.

I probably have another several hours of searching to do. I discovered two cases of brand new window glass with beautifully chromed surrounds. I've discovered all the the front bumper parts but can't find the rear bumper, yet. I found the steering column and steering box, but no steering wheel. The dashboard and gauges all seem to be there, but I can't find the radio. I seem to have all the engine driven parts. The car does have an electrically operated overdrive, so it's freeway capable.

While certainly not the most desirable body style, nor the prettiest face, it is a pretty rare car with only 4 registered with the LCOZ. I found two registered with the LCOC, but they are probably included in the other list. While I would never have sought out this car (It's not a Continental nor a convertible), it's starting to grow on me. The more I look at other cars of the period I see that they made changes for the sake of change, not style.

OK, the parts pile.


Incredibly clean sheet metal, everywhere. I found a couple of NOS speedos with 0 miles and a used one with 38,000 miles. I think that might have been the original. The body is painted, inside and out. The PO used a bubble-wrap type of sound deadener on every square inch of the interior sheet-metal. It's true unit-body construction with everything welded to a conventional frame. Ford had been doing that for longer than people think.


The wiring is mostly complete, as are the linkages. The car comes with a fat file folder and a copy of a parts manual. The pictures are very helpful. I haven't found the master cylinder. If I can't find it that might be one thing I would cede and use a dual circuit master cylinder in its place. In this picture you can see the boxed frame rails in the engine compartment. They are a full-length stamping boxed in strategic locations. This is a very well-built car.


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It appears that the previous owner was a lot like me, but on a grander scale. He had about 100 cars. He kept an office in the building and had a helper when he worked on the car. It must have been a pretty cool feeling to gaze out over a collection like that.

I'm still missing some parts. One of the most critical is the hood ornament. It was nowhere to be found. I asked if I could search the office on a hunch that if he were like me his office would be the first place the packages would come. Sure enough, sitting in an open box next to his desk was the hood ornament a "Lincoln" hood badge, both nicely re-plated.

There is no rear bumper anywhere to be found. I'm speculating that it may have been sent out for plating and no one was there to receive it, so I'm going to check, on a longshot, that it was sent back to the plater. I did find the steering wheel. In fact I found 3. One is near perfect. I found a huge pile of polished interior and exterior trim. That would have been an incredible amount of work.

From what I can see the guy started gathering parts in 2004, ordering a new wiring harness and every reproduction rubber part made. The packaging for all the new glass was 2006. I think it was painted about then, too.

So, this looks like it's the first time it's been on the ground in 10 years. It rolls effortlessly.



The engine has quite a bit of dust, but is all sealed up and marked "No oil" and another tag that says "Head torqued to 60 pounds". I found the other V-12 and trans, so the second car is complete.


Someone had asked me about it having a two-speed rear axle. It appears that it was replaced with an overdrive unit that's electrically operated.


Here's the treasure trove. This is all very nicely done. I seem to have a number of spare '42 grill parts that are made of Unobtanium that I might be able to trade for some goodies.


Found this amongst the paperwork.


Looks like an alien helmet. Trunk jewelry.


NOS gauges, speedo and clock.


This is the RH side hood trim. It's the only part that doesn't have fresh chrome. I was told the P.O. had been looking for this part for awhile. This can be re-chromed. I'm looking for the other side.


These are the bumper and front fender supports. They have no sign that they were ever rusted. They still have the original tooling marks from manufacturing but no trace of rust.


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The two rolling bodies, two V-12s and the red car's hood are the only parts remaining at the warehouse.

All of the stainless trim has been beautifully polished. Only two of the hub caps are usable as they are. I can fix the other two. One side window and the windshield had been cracked in shipment. The curved back window is a very old replacement unit that is and looks new. The box was crumbling, but the glass is perfect.


The front fenders are nicely finished.


This blew me away. I knew the interior trim had been refinished, but I had no idea the expense the previous owner went to when he had all of the interior sheet metal trim "wood-grained", a feature found on period cars. This could not have been cheap.


With the maroon base coat this really likes like Rosewood. It should be very attractive with a tan interior.


I did find the shocks. These look like they have been nicely refurbished.


Boxes and boxes of new rubber seals, bumpers and gaskets.


New cables and all the clips I'll need to reattach the stainless trim.


Refurbished headlight pods, 2 beautifully restored fan blades and 2 of many parts. I'm assuming his plan was to restore the other car.


New radiator hoses, cowl gasket and many of the other bits and pieces necessary to make this a new car.


This is the same room I used for storing the Ruxton parts. I don't seem to remember there being as many as this car has.


Boxes and boxes of used parts to go through.


Still finding boxes of new stuff, and lots of greasy old parts, too. It looks like there's enough to build two cars.


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I spent a good part of the day sorting parts. I unboxed everything. I touched all parts. I pretty much know what I'm missing.

Motor mounts and transmission mount. Both are available as reproductions.

Some of the parts never made it to the chrome shop. The radio and wiper bezels need work, but they're salvageable. I think I know where the radio is. It's huge. I ddn't know what I was looking at.

I thought I had the wiper motor as I thought it was vacuum operated. The '41 and '42 had electric wipers. I saw several motors and thought they went to another car.

Still no rear bumper. I think the story I was told about there not being one makes less sense every day. There is a bag marked rear bumper bolts, the bumper protectors are there and the bumper brackets are there. Why would the bolts and bumper protectors be nicely chromed without a bumper?

Thankfully, the PO was far better organized than I am as he bagged and tagged everything. When I take something apart I have no need to do that. I've made a list of missing items. Now that those parts have been identified I can do a much more focused search.


I really wanted to see the massive front bumper assembled. By putting parts together that I know fit lets me focus on the harder stuff.


I found the door trim from the other car. The woodgraining is beautiful. I recognized that I had all the stainless trim parts for the door panels so I assembled them.


Still looking for one of the trim pieces.


The gauge pod is nearly identical to the unit in our '41 Ford pick-up. The speedometer is a work of art.


The clock isn't shabby, either.


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It's been a very dirty and dusty project so far.

Today's treasure comes in the form of paper. The files I got contain all of the material and labor bills for what's been done.

The first thing I found was a 1942 color chart. While not an exact match the color comes pretty close to Victoria Coach Maroon.


I found a color guide for modern substitutes.


Inside was a guide to the accessory colors.


I saw one of these on e-bay for a couple of hundred dollars.


Handy glove-box item.


I found a full-size color brochure.


This car was originally this color.


This should come in handy.



I did some more assembly of the dashboard.


I further sorted the bagged items into interior, exterior and mechanical parts.


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I often wonder what the average length of time is between cars being disassembled and their restoration actually being completed. Even discounting the projects that end up being abandoned it must be years. I'm guessing that maybe 50% of cars disassembled for "restoration" ever actually go down the road again under their own power. Nice to see that this project will be completed. I once owned a 1921 Overland that was taken apart for "restoration" in 1937. We recently did paint work on an MG that was disassembled 39 years ago. Taking cars apart is easy. Putting them back, not so easy.

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The work begins.

From the condition of the interior and the horrible condition of the old wiring harness this car was a wreck. A lot of the insulation had fallen off the wiring and much of it had been jumpered-out with wiring that was way too small for a 6-volt system. The harness was pretty worthless except for a few original switches mixed in with the tangled mess. Switches like this often fail because the lubricant turns to rocks. today's project was to salvage those switches so I could return them to reliable service.

My pal Al stopped by today with an addition to the Continental Collection. I put batteries in it and it works!


The three switches are the turn signal switch, the headlight switch and what I believe is the back-up light switch, I think. The flasher just gets painted and installed on the new harness.


When I do projects like this I always take pictures. I also only take one device apart at a time.


I decided to work on the turn signal switch first. The four tabs pry away, releasing the circuit board material containing the switch contacts. This is a simple single-pole double-throw center-off switch that simply shunts power from one blinker circuit to the other. I degreased the switch, cleaned up the metal casing, slightly expanded the spring, cleaned the contacts, lubricated the switch with a modern grease and snapped it back together. The parts are keyed so they can only go back together one way.


The most complicated was the headlight switch. You could barely budge the slide control. Again, the grease had turned solid.


A little elbow grease and the parts cleaned right up.


Whatever this switch does it too was a gummed up mess.


There was virtually no wear on anything. After lubrication they operated as new. I'm sure they will last another 70+ years.


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Thank you.

Since I restored the turn signal switch what better place to store it than in its final resting place? One of the wiring harness bags contained the new turn signal switch wires. I tinned the end of the wires for a strong connection.


I'm finding that a number of the mechanical parts that were painted were just cosmetically restored. The shifter mechanism was gummed up with rock-hard lubricant and dirt. This assembly slides down over the steering box shaft.

The cable is the steering wheel lock that's activated by the lock/ignition switch mounted to the dash. The car is started with a pushbutton on the dash.


I needed to zinc plate some bolts to fix Al's Mark II so I gathered up some fasteners and brought out the plating kit.


The key to good plating is a good preparation. I media blast and then chase the threads. Parts are treated to a degreaser where any trace of oil is removed. Then the parts are soaked in a metal prep for 20 minutes before being rinsed. The metal prep eats any rust that may linger in pits. The negative from the 3-volt battery pack is connected to the pieces you want plated and the positive to the sacrificial pure zinc strip. I set the timer for 4 minutes with fresh batteries and increase the time as the batteries wear down. Rinse with water and dry the part.


I used the kit to plate some of the internal parts of the rear lock latch and trunk lights. The original lenses were installed with cork gaskets, but they never would have sealed properly as the glass lenses were not a great fit. The silicone adhesive will dry clear and neatly protect the mechanisms below from moisture.


The LINCOLN ZEPHYR background is supposed to be painted the car body color. The lock gets a noce chrome collar. The button below is the latch release. they are also used on the doors.


After media blasting this ugly crack in the stabilizer bar showed up. Luckily, I have a spare car.


I unwrapped the exhaust manifolds and found they had been Jet Hot coated. That's currently $350. I found the gaskets, too.


I found a new set of slide bushings for the choke and throttle control. The refurbished headlight switch can't get lost if it's installed.


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Growing up I remember a car having two keys. One key would fit the doors and ignition and the other the trunk and glovebox. This car has an ignition key, a door key that fits both cylinders and a trunk key. I haven't tried the glove box lock, yet.

I found out yesterday that there were no keys to the car. Ford used the same key blanks for a long time and stamped a key code on each cylinder. That code tells a locksmith what the key shape needs to be.


One of the unrestored assemblies was the gas pedal.


Blasted and primed with self-etching primer followed by black enamel.


The original pedal cover was cast onto it. The replacement rubber is a perfect fit. The sponge rubber seal at the base prevents air from entering the cabin.


I found the hood badge in a bag marked "Needing repair". It just needed some TLC.


I did half so you could see the difference a little elbow grease makes.


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After assessing what parts I was missing I spent another couple of hours going through every box I could find and found the motor and transmission mounts.

While known as a mid-priced luxury car this one was a stripper. It had no heater, nor did it have a radio. I believe it had rubber flooring, too. I'm retrieving both cars on Wednesday.

When I did my initial parts search I didn't realize that this was the speaker grill that went behind the chrome center section of the dash.


This took about an hour. I didn't want to get too aggressive as I already saw a tinge of the underlying copper substrate.


Once cleaned, installing the speaker grill allowed me to finish installing all of the parts of the dash. There's a framed area on the glove box I haven't found the restored part for, yet.


The chrome cap above is what's used when a car has a radio. The wood grained original cover will be used. I like listening to the car, anyway.

The controls below and to the right of the speedometer are Throttle, Ignition, Choke and Lights. On the right are the ashtray and lighter.


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Looks like I need to stop by again soon. I got my first speeding ticket in a 1942 Lincoln Continental, and I hope to have that same car in my own garage some day.

While the V-12 Lincoln may have been marketed as a luxury car, it sounds and acts more like a hot rod. It's not smooth and quiet like my Packard. They're both a lot of fun to drive, though.

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Another great discovery. I found a CD marked "1942 Lincoln". I was extremely pleased to find a great sequence of shots showing how it was rolled into the paint shop, fitted with extensions mounted to the bumper support holes and then transferred to the rotisserie.

They blasted everything but some of the bottom of the car. Once they got it on the rotisserie they were able to flip it on its side to finish blasting and then hitting it with epoxy primer. It looks like the only repair required just a small amount of filler.

On the issue of keys. It turns out the glove box has yet another key. If I remember correctly the ignition and door key were the same and the glovebox an the trunk another. I was taught that if you needed to leave your car somewhere where it might need to be moved the attendant or valet could get in and move your car without having access to your personal effects. I'll just have to have three cylinders rekeyed to make things right.




















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Thanks for sharing, you given me a lot of good ideas about organizing and storing parts. My Limo was last run in 1993, it mostly still together, but need to be taken down for some serious refreshing. wiring harness, interior and paint. Maybe a few chrome pieces.

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Best $250 I ever spent. I had both cars flat-bedded the 15 miles to my shop. He took the maroon car and the two V-12s on the first trip. I'm still missing the rear bumper, but one will turn up.

While the car was up in the air I decided to give it a thorough inspection. It's been painted to a very high level. The P.O. had new brake and fuel lines fabricated in stainless.


The V-12 is smaller than you might imagine. It's pretty heavy, though.


Wheel skates made moving it around in a tight space quite easy. Seeing this car in that gigantic warehouse with 30-foot ceilings it didn't seem that large, but it dwarfs everything in our space. That's the 325iX hiding behind it. It's being moved into the space we restored the Ruxton in. I keep the warehouse at 40° during the winter and the workspace at 60° during the winter.


I must say that I truly lucked out that this had received a Concours-level paint job. He must have been so pleased with the results. Tis was just after wiping off the accumulated grime with a wet towel.


I'm going to treat it to a coat of wax before I go much further as one of the first things I'm gong to do is install the exterior trim. The reflections off this car, eve dirty, are incredible.


About 2 hours after the beauty came to roost the beast followed. It has some deeply pitted surfaces, but is fairly sound.


The beast is not pretty. It's pretty sad-looking, but I have all the parts to make it whole.


I initially was going to put the two cars side-by side, but that would have cramped my heated space. It's a good place to store the painted hood, for the time being.


The house is full. the '88 325iX and the '98 ML-320 have to go.


This is why I kept scouring boxes of parts. This is the very complicated rear transmission mount. It's 8 pieces of metal held together by bonded rubber. It's an original mount. Over time the rubber had hardened greatly lessening it damping effect. I use a shop that specialized in in re-vulcanizing them. He makes custom jigs so that the position of all the pieces is maintained after the old rubber is burned away. Once the pieces are cleaned they are assemble in the jig where barriers prevent the liquid rubber from running out. The rubber is vulcanized, trapping all the metal pieces where they need to be. All that for $195.00. It's worth every penny.


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The trunk jewelry was purchased and rechromed as the original was too far gone. That explains why the trunk key is different from the glove box key. The door locks are sold as pairs. That explains why the door keys are different than the ignition key. That will all be straightened out.

I got everything assembled without scratching the car. Everything fit beautifully, except that the trunk wouldn't unlock.


On close inspection it appears they had a running change that showed up in the tail light gasket. The beefed up lock plunger was longer than the original. the latch wasn't moving far enough out of the way to allow the pushbutton to move. It was hitting the sheet metal of the opening. Using the gasket as a pattern I marked where I wanted to remove the metal.


I used up a couple of Dremel discs and created some dust, but got the job done. The latch mechanism now works, but I scratched the paint installing it the second time. D'oh!


As I find where parts from the stockpile go I install them. These are the rubber isolators for the voltage regulator and overdrive relay. Older technology was susceptible to vibration. The old hard rubber provided no isolation.


The older I get the more I appreciate the scanner. This diagram is 2" x 3" in the Service Bulletin. I scan it at 300dpi and triple it's size.


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I'm going to show this car in Concours as the most stripped-down Lincoln, ever. No power windows, no optional electric wipers, no radio, no heater, no air conditioning, no carpeting and today I discovered that it also has no gas lid lock nor spritzers. Can you imagine? This kind of no-option car is common in plebeian brands of cars, but Lincoln Zephyr?

Getting it about 10" higher off the ground made access much easier.


All of the brake and fuel lines had been reproduced in stainless steel. They fit beautifully. I strapped them down with freshly plated clips and bolts.


There's something very satisfying about plating parts. Many parts are difficult to paint. Paint chips off the heads of bolts easily so it pays to take 4 minutes to make a part look new.


This is why Lincolns of the period ride so nicely. I found a box with a new set of body isolators. Unlike a body on frame car that utilizes isolator pads the units body is isolated by these huge vulcanized body mounts that isolates the spring support from the body, much the same way sat the trans or motor mount does. These appear to be recently reconstructed or are reproductions. I'll have to drop the suspension from and rear, but the benefits will be worn it. This will help it ride like new.


I found this with the engine of the '47. It's a cabin heater that uses a heat exchanger wrapped around the exhaust pipe.


Looks well-made, but I'll pass.


This is the isolator pad installed on the voltage regulator.


The brake pedal assembly and kick-down switch installed.


Brake and clutch pedal assembly installed. I suppose I should have wiped the dust off.


Master cylinder installed. I see no signs that this car had any rust.


Parking brake lever installed and attached to parking brake cable.


Clutch, brake and accelerator pedal stalks installed. The pedal activates the kick-down switch for the overdrive when you mash the pedal to the floor.


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