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I met this guy with an interesting car


tripwire
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Just last week while I was at my local parts store to pick up a couple of brass fittings for the vacuum advance pipe on my '40 Lasalle there was another fellow in the store trying to find some parts for a 1954 Cadillac 331 engine. As usual, the guy behind the counter was asking him for the  model of the car he was working on so he could go through the menu in his software.  It turns out he was a bit surprised when he heard the answer. The man said the engine is in a 1940 Lincoln Continental. There was a bit of conversation from the counter man as he was trying to figure out how to look up whatever this guy was looking for, I didn't hear that part but they eventually figured it out since there weren't that many models to choose from.  After that was resolved I wandered over to talk to this fellow and share a photo of my Lasalle thinking we had something in common and it's always nice to bump into antique car owners; where I live here in VT is not at all like where Kaiser31 lives where he's always tripping over old and interesting cars every time he goes out his door.

Turns out, in my opinion, this '40 Continental is actually a pretty special car. It's not strictly stock by any means but it does have an interesting history.  He told me it was something that his father had purchased a while ago and he's now the owner. The car was modified by Brooks Stevens https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks_Stevens back in the day for the original owner, George Holley.  Here's a link to see the car and a bit more info: https://www.holley.com/garage/view/7914-1940-lincoln-zephyr/

The current owner says he's in the middle of having the engine & transmission rebuilt and the paint was refreshed several years ago.

I was gobsmacked to say the least. To discover the presence of a one of one car here in VT with interesting provenance and then to learn it has been a somewhat local car driven around the Lake Placid, NY area for most of its life.  Makes me wonder what other treasures are stored away out there that don't show up at the local Cars & Coffee or the few shows we have here.

5728C1CE-83D5-463D-89B5-2834841A02C9.jpg

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1 hour ago, tripwire said:

He told me it was something that his father had purchased a while ago and he's now the owner. The car was modified by Brooks Stevens back in the day for the original owner, George Holley.

 

The article in your link says that the Cadillac

drivetrain was installed in the 1970's--which is

undoubtedly long after Brooks Stevens was involved

in the 1950's.  I understand that those Zephyr engines

were problematic if not maintained well, and that 

quite a few Zephyrs and Continentals had their

drivetrains replaced.

 

Is the car a "treasure," or a restomod that was done

by a famous designer and further modified later on?

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The only modification visible in the profile view is the rear fender has been changed to a partially-closed wheelhouse rather than a fender skirt.  Because its black, its difficult to tell if they simply modified the fender skirt or welded it to the fender and leaded it smooth.

 

The H-Series flathead V-12 was not one of Lincoln's great engines, a combination of engineering compromises and the way people who bought cars in that price class were used to driving them.   Replacing them with Mercury flathead V-8's was common in the 1940's before the OHV Oldsmobile and Cadillac engines became readily available.   A number of companies made adapter plates to make it a bolt-up job. 

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3 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

The article in your link says that the Cadillac

drivetrain was installed in the 1970's--which is

undoubtedly long after Brooks Stevens was involved

in the 1950's.  I understand that those Zephyr engines

were problematic if not maintained well, and that 

quite a few Zephyrs and Continentals had their

drivetrains replaced.

 

Is the car a "treasure," or a restomod that was done

by a famous designer and further modified later on?

Thanks John, I guess I missed the part about the engine getting changed in the '70s. Feel free to attach any label you choose: treasure, restomod, your call. Like I said earlier, it's only my opinion that this car is something special, if you feel otherwise you're welcome to do so.

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6 hours ago, tripwire said:

Turns out, in my opinion, this '40 Continental is actually a pretty special car. It's not strictly stock by any means but it does have an interesting history. 

 

Whatever one may label it, it's a very good looking car, in my opinion.  Do you know whether or not the owner is an AACA Member and/or a participant in this forum?

 

Cheers,

Grog

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13 hours ago, capngrog said:

 

Whatever one may label it, it's a very good looking car, in my opinion.  Do you know whether or not the owner is an AACA Member and/or a participant in this forum?

 

Cheers,

Grog

 

 My thoughts exactly, Grog.  The car might not be here if not for the engine change 70 odd years ago.

 

  Ben

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22 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

..."The car might not be here if not for the engine change 70 odd years ago."  Ben

Actually, the 1940-'48 Lincoln Continental has a fairly high survival rate because they were held in higher regard and in demand even as used cars early on.  In a used car price guide from January 1954, for comparison, at retail, a '48 Continental convertible was still $1,095; the '48 Lincoln convertible: $425.    For context, other contemporary convertibles at retail: a '48 Cadillac 62: $1,435; '48 Chrysler Town & Country  and New Yorker respectively: $695 and $785; Packard Super and Custom Eights respectively: $795 and $855; Buick Super and Roadmaster: $685 and $715. 

Even a '41 Continental was still $225 versus the Zephyr at $125; the '42's at $275 versus $140.

 

The Lincoln Continental Owners Club was founded in 1953, were holding meets by the late 1950's.   Club support and demand was an important factor in saving these cars.  Oddly enough now, its easier to find any Continental year or body style than it is the Lincoln-Zephyr or postwar Lincoln.

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