10-11 October 2013

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Lot 131

1936 Lincoln Model K Convertible Victoria by Brunn

  • Engine no. K 6276

Sold for $242,000

150 bhp, 414 cu. in. flathead V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel power-assisted mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 136 in.

  • The fifth of ten “semi-custom” examples built in 1936
  • Originally owned by the Johnson Wax family
  • A beautiful restoration by noted specialists
  • Concours award winner

Of all the coachbuilders to body Lincoln chassis, none is so closely associated with the marque as Brunn & Company, of Buffalo, New York. The association began well before Henry Ford’s purchase of the ailing Lincoln Motor Company, in the era of founder Leland. After the Ford takeover, Hermann A. Brunn and Edsel Ford hit it off very well, and new designs from Buffalo continued.

At its peak, Brunn & Co. employed 150 craftspeople and turned out some 20 bodies per month, with most of them destined for Lincoln. In order to continue the tradition, Brunn sent his only son, Hermann C. Brunn, to Paris to apprentice with Kellner. The younger Brunn returned a year later, well-versed in the carriage trade, and joined his father’s company.

Edsel Ford preferred that his suppliers specialize in certain types of bodies. Thus, Judkins was assigned berlines and coupes, Willoughby the limousines, and LeBaron the convertible sedans. Brunn was given the task of specializing in town cars and convertibles: soft-top broughams, cabriolets, victorias, and dual-cowl phaetons. It was probably no coincidence that these styles were favored by Edsel and thus assigned to his personal choice in coachbuilders.

The Brunn-bodied Convertible Victoria shown here was the fifth of ten built in 1936, with that year’s pontoon-style fenders, pressed steel 17-inch wheels with large hubcaps, and lowered headlamps, and it is one of three known survivors. Its body uses aluminum panels over white ash wood framing, with steel panels from the cowl forward and a brass windshield frame. With Brunn, the quality showed in every nut and bolt.

This car was reportedly custom-ordered on February 12, 1936, by Herbert F. “Hib” Johnson, who was the president of Johnson Wax Company, of Racine, Wisconsin. Mr. Johnson was a man who knew and appreciated custom-designed beauty. He was a patron not only of Brunn, but also of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and construction of Johnson Wax’s famed Wright-designed headquarters in Racine began the year that this car was built. Undoubtedly, the Lincoln visited the site many times over the next three years as construction progressed, and it would have looked right at home in front of Wright’s modern buildings upon their completion.

The present owner of Mr. Johnson’s Lincoln, a well-known Midwestern enthusiast of the marque, commissioned an extensive body-off, frame-up restoration, with mechanical work by his own shop in Ohio and partial assembly by Lincoln specialist Rick Kriss, of Irwin, Pennsylvania. All body and paintwork was finished to concours condition, in Stonington Grey and Gunmetal Grey Poly, which were the original colors offered on the Model K palette in 1936; the leather interior was custom-dyed to match original factory material as well, and the grey Haartz cloth fabric top was an available custom option. The engine and transmission were fully rebuilt.

Since the completion of the restoration in September 2012, this car has been shown to award-winning results at the Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles in Canton, Ohio, that same year, as well as at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in 2013. Driven very little but consistently well-maintained by a professional staff, it would require virtually nothing for continued concours showing or for use as a dependable multi-cylinder touring car on AACA activities or CCCA CARavans.

Carrying fascinating ownership history and a wonderful restoration, as well as one of the most beautiful factory-custom bodies of the period, this Lincoln is a superb choice for any collection of great American cars.

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


+1 864 313 6844
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


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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


+1 203 912 7168
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


+1 415 302 2247
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


+1 617 513 0388
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


+1 954 566 2209
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


+1 519 352 4575
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

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
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


+1 717 623 1638
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


+1 805 231 6410
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


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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


+1 519 352 4575
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


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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


+1 519 784 9300
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


+1 310 559 4575
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


+31 653 84 19 60
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