The Lincoln K-series was introduced in 1931, riding on a new 145 inch chassis and coming standard with 6.3 liter V8. By 1933, however, the multi-cylinder fever had swept across all American car makers and a 6.3 liter V-12 was made available, becoming standard equipment for 1934. Engine improvements continued and for 1936, the V-12 was updated with hydraulic lifters and revised cam while simultaneously moving the engine further forward in the chassis to provide more cabin room. Throughout its 10-year model run, Lincoln allowed buyers to choose between 17 different custom body styles while also choosing colors of both interior and exterior, providing each individual buyer the opportunity to highly customize their vehicle to their tastes. Sales continued fairly strong throughout the 1930’s, based heavily on brand loyalty and the sheer road presence of the K-series but Lincoln eventually caused their own inter-company issues when they introduced the far cheaper V-12 powered Zephyr. With sales dwindling due to more economically viable V-12 options and a war on the horizon, Lincoln ended production of the K-series in 1940.
This particular 1936 Lincoln Model K Convertible Sedan, chassis number K6205 and engine number K6205, is a matching numbers example, bodied by LeBaron in style 334. It is one of just 30 cars produced in this style and has a fantastic history. Believed to have been sold new to Wrigley family (of chewing gum fame), through a California dealership, the car was kept at the families famous Pasadena mansion on Millionaires Row. For the next 70 years, the car remained in California, eventually ending up in the collection of famed broadcaster Art Astor. The car remained with Astor until its sale in 2008 at which time it was treated to a sympathetic cosmetic restoration and has been maintained in fantastic condition both cosmetically and mechanically since then. As the car currently sits, it needs nothing and would make a welcome addition to any collection or would make for a fine choice for vintage touring events.
Included with the sale of this car are the wheel wrench, and side-mounted spare covers.
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Body And Paint
The sympathetic cosmetic restoration completed in 2008 was very well done and exquisitely maintained and due to this, the car remains in fantastic cosmetic condition. The black painted exterior is of excellent quality and remains smooth and consistent front to back with a deep dark color. There is some rubbing present on the louvered hood pieces due to tight fitment against the mounting points for the side spares. The body itself is likewise in fantastic condition with smooth and straight body panels. Panel and door gaps remain excellent and consistent all the way around.
Glass And Trim
The roll-up side windows remain clear and free of any scratching or pitting, same with the windshield. The headlight lenses are likewise in fantastic condition. Chrome trim throughout is bright and smooth. There are some small rub marks on the rubber edges of the running boards but one must look very closely to notice. Taillights in the rear are also clear and crack free. The chrome bumpers both front and rear have an excellent smooth and bright finish to them with no real issues to note.
The wheels are spoked and painted red which serves to add a bit of color pop to the outside of the vehicle, mimicking the interior color choice. The finish of the wheels is fantastic with bright smooth paint and clean chrome center caps and trim rings.
There are some paint rub marks on the louvered hood where it sits in very close proximity to the mounting point for the side mounted spares. It is not noticeable unless the hood is raised but is worthy of mentioning.
Seats And Surfaces
The driver's area of the car was retrimmed during the cosmetic restoration of the car and as such is in excellent condition with only some slight wear on the driver's side bolster area of the seat. The rear passenger area of the car is believed to still be the original leather and remains in remarkable condition as well. The seating surfaces, both front, and back, remains smooth with well beautifully colored leather and nice tight stitching. The door cards are likewise very well done, nice and tight with good stitching same with the leather trim above the dash. The interior carpets have excellent color and show little to no wear throughout. The painted dash surface is smooth and consistent and the chrome accent pieces shine clean and bright. There are some wear and separation occurring on the rear of the divider that could easily be fixed but does not take away from the grandeur of the car in any way. A unique feature of the car is the two “jewel” topped cigarette lighters mounted in either of the rear passenger armrests.
Functionality And Accessories
All the door handles and window winders look fantastic and work flawlessly. The central dividing window, another unique feature to this automobile, rolls up and down with ease. The gauges in the dash are clean, colorful and easily readable. It appears at this time that they all function as they should. The painted steering wheel is smooth and bright with a nicely finished V-12 stamped central horn button. The headlights operate as they should, turning on with ease. The rest of the switch-gear and knobs on the dash are in excellent condition and appear to function as they should. The original radio is still in place on the dash and remains in excellent condition.
There are some wear marks on the drivers side bolster area. The believed original interior in the passenger area shows some patina and character in the form of wear on the leather surfaces in high traffic areas as well as a bit of the leather trimmed divider pulling away from its mounting, an easy fix but something worthy of noting.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine bay of the car houses the infamous V-12 engine and like the rest of the car sits in fantastic condition. Smooth and clean painted surfaced abound while the bright valve covers gleam and shine. The brass ducting all appears in good shape same with any and all cables wire, and tubes. Overall the engine bay is very clean and correct with no signs of leaking or seepage present. The only area of real note here is that the firewall appears to have been hastily sprayed and is a bit “rough” in places, showing either rough metal or improper paint prep through the black paint laid down over top.
The trunk area is neat and tidy, trimmed with clean tan carpeting throughout. Metal painted surfaces are smooth and clean and the latch holds the trunk lid up and in place with ease.
The only area of note is that it appears that the firewall area has been hastily sprayed and is a bit “rough” in places, showing either rough metal or improper paint prep through the black paint laid down over top.
This car has been maintained in excellent order and it shows readily in the mechanical prowess of the car. The engine fires to life with a few quiet turns of the starter and quickly settles in a nice smooth idle. On the road, the engine revs freely and makes excellent power throughout the rev range. The V-12 is smooth and powerful and delight to drive.
The clutch uptake feels appropriate with a nice responsive pedal. The transmission shifts easily through gears and holds very well. Shifts naturally must be a bit slower and more deliberate but gears are easy to find. During our brief driving test, it did appear that the car wanted to fall out of some of the lower gears during slow speed driving, a problem that is more than likely easily corrected.
Brakes And Suspension
This K-series Lincoln is a heavy car and because of that, you cannot expect phenomenal braking force. The brakes do however bring the car to a smooth and controlled stop with no issues to report. The suspension is comfortable and supple, easily absorbing road bumps while still feeling fairly compliant and tight.
The tires are newer correct style white-walled versions and are in excellent condition with plenty of tread life left on them.
The appeal of the Lincoln K-Series in period was most certainly its outstanding road presence and the modern appeal of it is no different. This is a large but very elegant car and it looks fantastic going down the road. The powerful yet smooth V-12 engine provides for a fantastic driving experience behind the wheel and the roomy and spacious interior means that riding in the car is almost as enjoyable as driving it. This car represents a unique opportunity to own a famed V-12 Lincoln K-Series wrapped in an interesting and unique body with the added bonus of having fantastic ownership history. It currently needs nothing and is immediately ready to be shown and enjoyed and is sure to be a hit at any classic Lincoln, Antique Automobile, or Classic Car event and could easily make for an excellent Classic rally or driving event entrant.