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Lot 815

1939 Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Coupe

  • Chassis no. H-84412

Sold for $269,500

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.

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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California, United States

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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United Kingdom

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

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

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

Don Rose

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United States

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

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

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

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

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

Ian Kelleher

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Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

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Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

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

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

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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United Kingdom

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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Ontario, Canada

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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United Kingdom

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

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

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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Ontario, Canada

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

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

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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United Kingdom

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