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Took the plunge!...

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Well, after *years* of talking about it and reading, talking about it and reading, etc., etc., I finally bought a pre-war car this past weekend: 1937 Zephyr 3-window coupe.

The previous owner had media-blasted the body and completely replaced the floorpans. Not a spec of rust or bondo on it right now. Of course, it will need some straightening in a few places, but not far from blocksanding and painting.

He had also had all the chrome redone (bumpers, seat trim, hood ornament, etc.). The drivetrain, suspension and brakes will need a complete going through, but that's to be expected.

Anyway, just had to pop off. All you experts are going to be there to pull me out when I get into trouble, RIGHT??

<img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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Dear Cecil,Wrote you a couple of times keeps getting returned.Were the doors on the car when you made the deal?How do the doors fit? gaps good? close good? body lines line up? Body MUST be braced well before old floor is cut out and new floor welded in place.NOW the FUN starts.diz <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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Hey Dale -

I'll check my email when I get home.

Yes, the doors were on and the gaps looked *very* good (Frankly, better than my Mustang <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />). The trunk was also on and seemed to fit well although I'd do a little more alignment.

I checked the new floor out closely from above and below and it seemed to be a professional job, although I'll have my bodyman check it out thoroughly.

I'll send you a few pics.

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Congratulations on your purchase!

As I was just explaining in another post I made regarding the Dearborn meet, I bought mine in rough shape 2 years ago from Washington state and transported it back cross-country to Michigan 2 years ago.

Since then I've put alot of effort into building the garage for the restoration... a fully insulated 2-1/2 car garage with stairway access to full-height 2nd level storage area.... wired for 100A service, 2-stage air compressor with provisions for welding equipment!

Now that facility preparation stage is nearly completed, I'm nearing the final stages of teardown... previous owners did most of it for me, all that's left is engine/drivetrain and suspension.

I'd love to keep in touch, compare notes, photos, etc. It was also my hope to get in touch with current owners and those who have restored Zephyrs previously to get knowledge of tricks and tips, etc.

I too would love to see some photos of your Zephyr. I'm always interested too in Body/Chassis numbers - something I wish the Member Directory published or perhaps even a separate registry which detailed a history of each car - but given the thousands of Zephyrs made and the hundreds that still exist, that would be quite an effort. Perhaps a digital database at the LZOC website complete with owner history and photo's past & present?

Well maybe that's for another thread and maybe no one else is interested in that sort of thing - but I find the history of each of these cars fascinating.

Mine in particular I was told was particularly well preserved in the somewhat arid region of Moses Lake, WA and in large part to the layer of ash from the Mt. St. Helens erruption that covered the car for some years.

Stories like this shouldn't be lost to history!

Anyway, once again - congrats on the purchase - I look forward to perhaps meeting you at the Dearborn meet if you plan to attend.

Good luck!

Jim Napiorkowski

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Hello Jim -

Great story on your car. I've yet to start the research on mine.

As soon as I get my highspeed internet connection, I'll definitely upload some pics, and we can exchange notes and stories. I was talking to George Trickett from Lincoln Motorcar Supply in Vermont (802-948-2121), and he gave me the names of several folks who were involved in Zephyr restorations and/or provided parts / services. You might give him a call sometime -- he sounds very knowledgeable and was quite willing to talk to me.

One thing George said that might be of interest to you: He said that, although the VIN records for 36-37 were lost in a fire, you can still get info on your car (options, where it was delivered, etc.) by going to the Ford archives and searching under the ledger that lists *body numbers* until you find your car. I assume these archives are at the Henry Ford museum? Anyway, seeing how close you are, it might be worth a shot, since George said they may not have the time or resources to do it for you <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />.

And with regard to digitizing this info and getting it online -- I can't agree more. It's time to get all that great information online where it belongs! How about this -- ONLINE AUTHENTICITY MANUALS, WITH PICS??

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I just started on my 37 Lincoln Zephyr 4-Door. Have the engine torn down right now (I did have it running well enough to drive it to the shop -- 3 miles), once I get the mechanics in shape I will go to work on the interior. Mine was a California car until the late 80s -- best that I have been able to tell, spent four years in Nebraska, then came to Texas in 1992. I don't think it has been on the road since the late 70s. Except for a second coat of paint and some really bad seat covers and door panels, the car is pretty original. The crank has never even been turned.

Anyway, stay in touch and keep me on what you are looking for, maybe I can help. Would love to see pics of your cars (I already checked out your Mustang link). You can catch my cars at this link <http://www.acecollins.com/classicfordsa.html> . Look over the Lincoln and my 65 Fastback.

Ace Collins


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Hello Ace -

Is your car Garnet Red? Supposedly, that's the shade I have, and I'm trying to figure out how dark it is. Seems that red was definitely *the* color for those cars.

You might have noticed I took the Mustang pics before putting the front bumper guards on (doh!). Anyway, that website is for the Vintage Mustang Forum, so I can't add Zephyr pics to it. When Time Warner decides to wake up and actually install my highspeed connection, then I'll be rolling...

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The garnet red is a medium red, a little darker but not that far removed from what you find on today's Lincoln Navigators. While mine is "Zephyr Garnet," paint code # 32141 now, it was originally painted with a color that Lincoln called "Mercury." That was a lifeless green that reminds me of what they sprayed on Army trucks in World War II. I have never even seen a Zephyr painted like that. I think I will stay with the garnet. One of the club members told me that garnett and black are about all folks redo them in now. The evergreen is pretty too.

The only "major" change that mine has undergone over the years was the moving of the battery to under the hood. As I don't have a battery cover for under the seat, I may just leave it there as well for the time being. Whoever switched it did a good, put it right where Ford put it in 1939, so most people have no idea it was not there. I have found what I needed that the car had lost over the years -- door arm rests for the front doors, one bumperette for the back bumper, and pull ups for the back seat passengers (they mount near the roof at the top of the windows. I still have to get a pattern for making the foot rests for the back seat passengers. I will have to redo chrome, but it is mostly in good enough condition to wait for now. My rubber is the problem. Door strips and trunk and window seals are no problem -- there is a good and cheap club source for those, but I need to find a reasonable source for hood and door bumpers. Also need the rubber seals that go on the body where the bumpers come through it, I think those are easy to come by and affordable. I have no holes, but my passenger pan might be a little weak too.

By the way, if you want to email directly, just hit me at <ace@acecollins.com> .

On a more modern note -- my 65 Fastback has a straight six and original interior. I am going to add disk brakes and three point seat belts when my son turn sixteen (fifteen months) and let him use it during high school. It will never leave the family and Rance will probably get my college son's 94 GT when he goes to college. My daily driver is a 99 Cobra convertible. Clint's, our college kid, first car was a 65 coupe and he followed that with a 86 Mustang SVO. So, as you can clearly see, we love Mustangs. Yet it is my 57 Ranchero that is simply a dream. Looks and drive like a car that is maybe two or three months old.

Can't wait to see picks of your coupe. I personally feel that the 37 Zephyr is one of the three best styled cars of the pre-war era and the coupe is simply the most beautiful Lincoln ever produced. By the way, how is your motor?


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I agree that the Zephyrs are some of the most beautiful cars made. What's surprising to me is how *relatively* cheap they are. I mean, when 40 Fords are going in the high $20Ks, you would think the Zephyrs would have a bigger pricetag. But hey, I ain't complaining <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Funny you should mention the engine. When the previous owner got it, the car had not been running, and he had the engine rebuilt in anticipation of restoring the car himself -- line-bored, cylinders bored and honed, new main journals, refinished crankshaft, etc. The one problem is that the rebuilder decked the head surfaces due to pitting (evidently common on flatheads) and now the pistons pop out too far! Supposedly, one can get copper gaskets to build it back up, but the previous owner doesn't like that solution, so he's giving me *another* 37 block. I haven't made up my mind which way to go on this.

To be honest, I know *very* little about the flatheads and have ordered several books to come in so I can read and catch up, as well as a Zephyr authenticity manual from Earle Brown. But I was in the same position when I started on the Mustang. I simply took my time, read as much as I could, and was able to avoid any serious errors. We shall see, though, right <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> ??

Attached is a shot of the car from behind. I apologize for the quality, but when I take delivery, I'll get some more shots up.

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Dear Cecil,I do not Believe ANY head gaskets are going to help your situation.You could cut the tops of the pistons down but i do not have a clue how much MEAT you have to deal with,location of the top ring,etc..Take the other block and do the job right.diz <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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Yeah, I intend to agree with you there, Dale. Aside from the obvious problems, you'd have three different types of metal coming together, trying to keep a seal. If that weren't enough, I'd like to be party to "going over" the block and assembly anyway.

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