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.

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

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

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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

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Ontario, Canada

Barney Ruprecht graduated from Boston University in 2013 with a degree in Hospitality Administration. In ... read more

Dan Warrener


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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... 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 lifelong automobile enthusiast and g... read more

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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, United States

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Ontario, Canada

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

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Ontario, Canada

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

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby's, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Gra... 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 ho... 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

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, 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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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a car specialist. A... read more