St. John's

27 July 2013

Lot 132

1934 Lincoln Model KB Convertible Sedan by Dietrich

To be auctioned on Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sold for $275,000

  • Chassis no. KB3434
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.


Body Style 281. 150 bhp, 414 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power-assisted mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 145 in.

  • “Semi-custom” convertible coachwork by Raymond Dietrich
  • One of only 25 built
  • Concours-quality restoration of a long-time California car
  • Formerly owned by Jack Passey and Bill Smith


Streamlining its operation in the face of the Great Depression, Lincoln adopted a single new V-12 for both its smaller KA and top-of-the-line KB models in 1934. Enlarged to 414 cubic inches from the KA engine of the year prior, it rode a cruciform double-drop chassis frame, with the two models distinguished largely by their wheelbases: 136 inches for the KA and 145 for the KB.

The other major difference was in available body styles. The KB, as the “ultimate” Lincoln, could be had as a chassis for custom coachwork, but many coachworks took advantage of the “semi-custom” offerings that were produced for Lincoln by the East Coast’s finest custom coachbuilders and catalogued by the factory. Finished to the specifications of each individual customer order, these bodies offered an unbeatable combination of custom quality, style, and individuality, at a price somewhat lower than a “full custom” body.

Among the most attractive “semi-customs” of 1934 was style number 281, a convertible sedan designed by Raymond Dietrich and built by his imprint of Briggs Manufacturing. A distinctive vee’d windshield and convertible top offered open motoring with a speedboat-like flair, and, even with the top raised, a surprising amount of headroom was available, making a comfortable enclosed limousine for all-weather use.

The history of the car offered here is known back to the 1950s, when it was acquired by legendary Lincoln collector and long-time Pebble Beach Concours judge Jack Passey from a fellow enthusiast in Modesto, California. Passey recalls that when he acquired the Lincoln, it had a tow bar attached to the rear bumper, and he used it to pull home several other “finds” without difficulty. He eventually passed the car to a fellow collector and judge, Bill Smith, at which point it was still original and, as can be seen from its tow duties, in very solid and nicely running condition.

Smith conducted a concours-quality restoration over a three-year period, which ended up being a frame-off process that encompassed the chassis, body, powertrain, upholstery, and top. The bulk of the effort was carried out in his own shop, with engine work by Ellsworth Machine, of Palo Alto, California; paint by Avenue Auto Body, of San Carlos; and upholstery by Bill Debuque, of Cooks Upholstery in Redwood City. Since the Lincoln’s completion in 2010, it has received two First in Class awards at West Coast shows.

Lincoln produced a total of 2,149 cars in the Depression year of 1934, with just 25 of them being KB Dietrich Convertible Sedans. This is certainly one of the nicest.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

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Don Rose

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Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

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California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

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Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more