From the estate of Eugene Beardslee
1940 Lincoln Zephyr Sedan
Chassis no. H-90331
Body No. 06H-73-3577
The Lincoln-Zephyr was the right car at the right time. Derived from John Tjaarda's "Sterkenberg" studies, it was developed at Briggs Manufacturing Company, a major body supplier to Ford Motor Company. Edsel Ford was very much taken with the car, although his father's strict engineering discipline ruled out Tjaarda's rear-engine configuration. Further corporate legacy led to a small V-12 engine patterned after the famed "flathead" V8, and the already dated transverse-spring wishbone suspension.
Introduced in November 1935 at prices from $1,275 to $1,320, it was just what the company needed. Lincoln sales for 1935 had sunk to 1,411, less than half those of two years earlier. The result couldn't have been happier. Nearly 15,000 Lincoln-Zephyrs (the company hyphenated the name, and usually considered it a marque in its own right) were sold for 1936, and the volume nearly doubled in 1937.
By 1940, the Lincoln-Zephyr had finally overtaken its parent Model K Lincoln. The K was an old design, barely updated since receiving a new V-12 in 1934. In 1939, even the mechanical brakes had been retained, alone in the Ford product line. Clearly the plan was to phase it out. The "large car" in the Lincoln catalog was now the Lincoln-Zephyr Sedan. In mid-year, a seven-passenger Town Limousine was introduced to help fill the hole left by the departure of the big Lincoln. A revised rear body contour gave more room inside, but only 98 were built. The best-selling Lincoln-Zephyr remained the six-passenger Sedan, with nearly 16,000 built.
This 1940 Sedan has all the features introduced for that year: sealed-beam headlamps, steering column-mounted "Finger Tip Shift," larger windows and vent panes in the front doors. The engine was bored out to 292 cubic inches. The car comes from the collection of the late Eugene Beardslee, an entrepreneur and businessman who made his second career the collecting of fine automobiles. His favorites were Lincolns, and his taste was very discerning. Only the finest quality met his standards.
One shop that did was the late Robert Turnquist's Hibernia Auto Restoration in New Jersey. Hibernia was Mr. Beardslee's restorer of choice, and this car received a complete rebuild there a decade or more ago. A standout in black, with tan cloth upholstery, this Lincoln-Zephyr sedan is clean and nicely detailed. It takes considerable scrutiny to discover any signs of aging, or any detail left untended. Equipped with overdrive, it is ideally suited for touring, and with a recent recommissioning and service it is ready to hit the road.