1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine
Chassis no. H124660
292ci L-head V-12
3-speed manual transmission
Featured in The Godfather
From the Estate of Eugene Beardslee
One of only 295 custom limousines built
Although the 1941 Lincoln line consisting of the Lincoln-Zephyr, Lincoln Continental and Lincoln Custom appeared little changed from 1940, there were major changes that were nearly invisible but made Lincoln a much stronger, quieter and better handling automobile.
With a new, stronger frame, longer leaf springs with rubber bushings between each leaf and wider axles that added 2 inches to the track dimension, the 1941 Lincolns not only were better driving cars but also boasted wheel placement that prominently filled the fenders' arches, vastly improving the integration of Lincoln's distinctive, modern design.
The Lincoln Custom line was new for 1941, replacing the big Model K that had been dropped at the end of the 1938 model year. The Lincoln Custom, on a 138 inch wheelbase (13 inches more than the Zephyr), catered to the small but important clientele of Lincoln customers who required large, comfortable chauffeur-driven automobiles. Standard Borg-Warner or Columbia overdrive contributed to these luxurious V-12 powered cars' quiet, smooth ride. The Lincoln Custom came in only two body styles, a 7-passenger sedan and 7-passenger limousine with division window. Only 650 of both Lincoln Custom body styles were delivered in 1941, making them some of the rarest and exclusive of all Lincolns.
That luxury and exclusivity alone would explain why Francis Ford Coppola chose this 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine as one of the cars to be included in the original movie The Godfather.
But there were other considerations.
Cal Beauregard was a member of the Mid Atlantic Region Lincoln Owners Club. When he was approached by Chuck Hannah about finding cars for the production company arranging the shooting of The Godfather, it was natural for him to look to his fellow Lincoln owners for cars appropriate to the setting, style and period. The picture became saturated with Lincolns.
One was this 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine owned by Charles Murray of Brookville, New York. The car figures prominently both in the background of the wedding scene and perhaps most importantly, as the car in which one of the opposing dons drives up to the Christmas tree selling operation to declare that Don Vito Corleone (played by Marlon Brando) has survived the attempted assassination.
It was ideal for the film as it was a fresh, quality restoration to like new condition and beautifully and appropriately liveried in deep, rich black. The interior is appointed in black leather for the chauffeur's compartment; it has beautifully detailed woodgrain accents and richly finished wood window frames. The rear is invitingly upholstered in beige broadcloth and equipped with many appointments including smokers' kits, division window, clock and jump seats while the exterior is distinguished by rear fender skirts and Lincoln's beautiful 1941 waterfall grille.
Some time after The Godfather was filmed it was acquired by the present owner's father and since then has been carefully maintained in climate controlled conditions where it shared pride of place with his 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupé, the car driven by Sonny Corleone (played by James Caan), to the famed assassination scene on the Long Beach Parkway.
One of only 295 built in this body style in 1941, this 1941 Lincoln Custom Limousine is not only an example of one of Lincoln's most rare and distinctive body styles but also a beautifully preserved automobile with a colorful, exciting history that will make it the center of attention wherever it appears.
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