|The Dingman Collection 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012 - Sunday, June 10, 2012
|1939 Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Coupe|
MODEL 96H-76. Est. 140 bhp, 267.3 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 125"
The big company-wide news at Ford for 1939 concerned brakes. Henry Ford had finally dropped his objections and hydraulic binders were adopted for all models, except the big K Lincolns, themselves on life support.
External changes included a raised hood line, a new grille with vertical bars, and running boards that were concealed by extending the bottoms of the doors and quarter panels. The front bumper was given an open center section that allowed greater airflow. The instrument panel was redesigned. During the year, custom interior options became available, with color-keyed fabrics and bronze-trimmed fittings and ornaments.
Additional changes took place under the skin: the driveshaft torque tube was stronger, the differential housing beefed up, upgrades were made to the crankshaft, and larger valves were used.
An X-member in the chassis made three new open-top models possible in 1938 and was continued in 1939. The convertible coupe, however, was offered only as a five-passenger model, the three-passenger version having been dropped. Both convertible models received updated interior trim, and the front seat of the convertible coupe was redesigned. The auto industry recovered somewhat in 1939, and Lincoln-Zephyr sales increased slightly to 21,000. The convertible coupe mirrored that trend, its production improving measurably to 640 units.
This 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Coupe was purchased from Bruce Lundvall, of Wyckoff, New Jersey, in October 1999. The first car restored for Mr. Dingman by Kevin Westmoreland, it received a full body-off rebuild at his Cleveland, Georgia shop. The outcome is exceptional and cost in excess of $200,000. Cars from the Dingman Collection are very seldom seen at shows, but this car attended the Ford Motor Company centenary celebrations in Dearborn, Michigan in 2003.
The car’s body contours are correct in every way. The black paint exhibits a deep shine, with no surface defects. The black canvas top has contrasting red piping, and a matching boot cover is included in the trunk. The interior was done by J.E. Roll of New Philadelphia, Ohio, a well-known specialist in Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln interiors. Presented in dark red leather, it complements the piping of the top and harmonizes with the red carpet on the floor. The driver’s seat shows some use, but there are no cracks or tears. The car has been driven very sparingly since restoration but has been regularly maintained within the Dingman Collection.
The engine has been meticulously rebuilt to Mr. Dingman’s exacting standards by Roush Performance Products, the details of which may be found in the front of this catalog. Detailing is all correct, and the undercarriage is clean and painted matte black. The tires are 7.00x16 Firestone Deluxe Champion whitewalls, and a matching spare is carried on the swivel-out bracket in the trunk.
Only three percent of 1939 Lincoln-Zephyrs were convertible coupes. Almost certainly in today’s market, the style is comparatively rare. This is a chance to acquire one of the best examples, beautifully restored by a marque expert and offered in as new condition; a car of such significance that it participated in the 100-year anniversary celebrations of Ford Motor Company.