St. John's

27 July 2013

From the Richard and Linda Kughn Collection

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Lot 145

1931 Lincoln Model K Sport Phaeton

  • Engine no. 46129
  • Vehicle no. K 8208

Sold for $165,000

120 bhp, 385 cu. in. side-valve V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with leaf spring suspension, torque-tube floating rear axle with leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel Bendix mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 145 in.

  • From the collection of Richard and Linda Kughn
  • The last year of the famous Leland V-8 Lincoln
  • Desirable and beautiful body style
  • CCCA Senior Award winner

For 1931, Lincoln took a major step towards leadership in the fine car segment. A new chassis was introduced, increasing the wheelbase from 136 to 145 inches, in order to allow for both longer hood lines and more space for ever more luxurious coachbuilt bodies. The architecture of the chassis also served to lower the car, and the combination of a stretched hood, low-slung chassis, and lengthened wheelbase transformed the new Lincolns.

Equally important were the changes made under the hood, where an array of engineering updates dramatically improved the performance of the fork-and-blade V-8. While the basic architecture of Henry Leland’s beautifully engineered mill remained unchanged, it now produced a whopping 33 percent more horsepower, for a final rating of 120 brake horsepower. It would be the final year of the Leland V-8, but no one could deny that it didn’t put its best face forward while going out.

The Sport Phaeton offered here features styling inspired by contemporary European fashion of the day, but it was built to American proportions. This dual-cowl phaeton is in the style that was favored, in the day, by wealthy aristocrats for their summer estates; it is distinguished by fully articulated fan-shaped windows in the front doors, echoed in the more traditional “wind wings” affixed to the second windshield used by the rear seat passengers. When the front windows are lowered, a long, narrow body-color hinge drops over the opening to seal the inside of the door, creating a true phaeton with graceful elegance and purity of line. This was the first Lincoln phaeton model to feature a fixed front windshield, rather than the folding type used on earlier styles.

This Model K was formerly owned by a noted long-time collector in the American South, who acquired the car in 1973. The restoration was completed in 1975, and the car received its AACA National First Prize that same year. For three decades, the car was properly stored and maintained in its owner’s collection, but the quality of the restoration faded, and a second restoration was undertaken in 2005 to return the car to show-quality standards. Not long after, and before it had been shown, the Lincoln was added to Mr. and Mrs. Kughn’s collection, where it has been carefully maintained by their professional staff.

Recognizing the car’s status as a “high-point” restoration, Mr. and Mrs. Kughn wasted no time in reintroducing it to the show circuit; this time in the events of the Classic Car Club of America, of which they are proud, long-time members. It was shown at the Lincoln & Continental Owners Club meet at Hickory Corners in 2005, and it was also at the CCCA Grand Classic and CCCA Museum Grand Experience the same year. At the 2006 Michigan Region Grand Classic, the car was judged at 98 points and received its Primary Senior First honors; it returned to the event in 2007 and was judged Senior Second with 96.5 points. The Lincoln also made a well-received appearance at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance in 2006, an event in which Mr. and Mrs. Kughn have long participated.

Having been a show car and covered only 23 miles since its most recent restoration, the Lincoln continues to present beautifully in its handsome color combination of two-tone blue with a brown interior, tan top, and blue wire wheels shod in whitewall tires; all components are in very good cosmetic condition, with only minor signs of age. A litany of accessories includes a single Pilot-Ray driving light, dual horns, the famous Lincoln greyhound mascot, and a trunk rack.

This Lincoln would require only minor freshening to return it to the show field, where it would undoubtedly bring as much pride to the new owner as it has brought to its current caretakers. It would also be ideal to begin using as Henry Leland and Edsel Ford intended: to carry one’s family and friends in undeniably high style, soothed by unparalleled comfort, and propelled by the last iteration of one of the finest engines America had to offer during the Classic Era.

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 911. Barney l... 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. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... 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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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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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

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

Kurt Forry

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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

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. ... 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