Amelia Island

9 March 2013

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Lot 122

1938 Lincoln Model K Convertible Victoria by Brunn

  • Chassis no. K-9139
  • Body Style no. 408

Sold for $176,000

150 bhp, 414 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 136 in.

  • Desirable late Model K Lincoln with semi-custom coachwork
  • One of eight produced in 1938
  • Gordon Buehrig Award winner at 2008 Auburn Concours d’Elegance

Of all the coachbuilders to body Lincoln chassis, none is so closely associated with the name than Brunn & Company, of Buffalo, New York. Lincoln President Edsel Ford was a long-time Brunn customer in good standing, resulting in the supply of “semi-custom” bodies in small lots to Lincoln, to be mated in Detroit to Lincoln chassis and finished to individual customer specification. The firm eventually became Lincoln’s specialist in town cars and convertibles, producing a wide line of soft-top broughams, cabriolets, victorias, and dual cowl phaetons. Among the most versatile of America’s coachbuilders, they were capable of both conservative and flamboyant design, as well as examples of everything in between.

Among Brunn’s contributions in the later half of the 1930s was the convertible victoria, a two-door, five-passenger convertible with blind rear quarters. This design has originally been conceived by Massachusetts coachbuilder Waterhouse, and after that firm’s shuttering in 1932, Brunn acquired the design rights and continued to produce their most famous creation. Over time, they made the convertible victoria their own, integrating retractable rear quarter windows for better vision.

This design appeared for 1938 on the “short” 136-inch wheelbase Lincoln Model K chassis, a catalogued “semi-custom,” of which only eight were produced. With long fenders that accentuated flowing, clean body lines, it was a perfect example of modern, late-1930s design, and it showed how well the original convertible victoria idea had translated through the years.

One of those eight convertible victorias was the car offered here, which was restored some time ago in Ford’s classic Washington Blue, with dark saddle leather upholstery and a tan Haartz canvas top. The original owner must have had unusual ideas, as the car lacks the side-mounted spares still common at the time, instead relying upon a single spare inside the enclosed trunk. To make up for the lost luggage space, an accessory trunk rack and old-fashioned trunk are installed, resulting in an unusual but pleasing combination of carriage trade and Art Deco styling cues. The paint and chrome throughout are excellent, and the engine compartment is nicely detailed, with any blemishes visible only upon closer examination. The car well-earned its Gordon Buehrig Award for the Most Elegant Convertible at the 2008 Auburn Concours d’Elegance.

An imposing and stunning design, this automobile is not only rare, but also a perfect entrant for the wide variety of shows, where its Brunn coachwork is sure to impress.


Please note that the Trippe lights, trunk and trunk rack pictured in the catalogue no longer accompany this vehicle.

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

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

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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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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

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

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more