Lincoln is an American luxury car manufacturer, operated under the Ford Motor Company. Founded in 1917 by Henry M. Leland and acquired by Ford in 1922, Lincoln has been manufacturing vehicles intended for the upscale markets since the 1920s. Leland named the brand after his longtime hero Abraham Lincoln, for whom he had voted in the first presidential elections for which he was eligible
The company was founded in August 1917 by Henry M. Leland, one of the founders of Cadillac (originally the Henry Ford Company). He left the Cadillac division of General Motors during World War I and formed the Lincoln Motor Company to build Liberty aircraft engines with his son Wilfred. After the war, the company's factories were retooled to manufacture luxury automobiles.
The company encountered severe financial troubles during the transition, coupled with body styling that wasn't comparable to other luxury makers, and after having produced only 150 cars in 1922, was forced into bankruptcy and sold for USD $8,000,000 to the Ford Motor Comany on February 4 1922, which went to pay off some of the creditors. The purchase of Lincoln was a personal triumph for Henry Ford, who had been forced out of his second (after Detroit Automobile Company) company by a group of investors led by Leland. Ford's company, renamed Cadillac in 1902 and purchased by rival General Motors in 1909, was Lincoln's chief competitor. Lincoln quickly became one of America's top selling luxury brands alongside Cadillac and Packard. Ford made no immediate change, either in the chassis or the V-8 L-head engine which was rated 36.4 SAE and produced 90 bhp at 2,800 rpm.
In 1923, several body styles were introduced, that included two- and three-window, four door sedans and a phaeton that accommodated four passengers. They also offered a two passenger roadster and a seven passenger touring sedan and limousine, which was sold for $5,200. A sedan, limo, cabriolet and town car were also offered by coachbuilders Fleetwood, and a second cabriolet was offered by coachbuilder Brunn. Prices for the vehicles built by these coachbuilders went for as much as $7,200, and despite the limited market appeal, Lincoln sales rose about 45 percent to produce 7,875 cars and the company was operating at a profit by the end of 1923.
In 1927, Lincoln adopted the greyhound as their emblem, which was later replaced with diamond that is currently in use.
In 1932, Lincoln introduced the V12-powered KB, generally considered the most desirable Lincoln of all time. It's 447 CuIn V12 produced 150 HP, while still offering the V8 in the KA. In 1933, an new a 381 CuIn V12 producing 125 HP was introduced to replace the V8's-all Lincolns were now V12's. In 1934, the smaller V12 was enlarged to 414 CuIn producing 150 HP and the larger V12 was dropped. This engine continued on to the end of K series production in 1939.
This extremely rare and desirable KB LeBaron Convertible Coupe is one of 45 made in 1934 and now the 4th or 5th known to have survived; Only 3 or 4 were known prior to us pulling this car out of long term storage last week. From my research this could be the only true numbers matching example. It has been off the road for many years. The person I acquired the car from bought the car in the '5o's in Rochester NY and brought it with him to Wisconsin when he moved there 50 years ago. The car unfortunately spent over 30 years in a 3 sided barn or lean to. It was then moved to a garage in 1992 where it sat until we pulled it out in September, 2018.
The body appears to be quite solid with no door sag noted. Obviously, the right running board will need replaced, and some parts are missing -like the mascot, rumble seat frames, trunk rack, and most of the lenses. We obtained a Build Record from Lincoln which had only basic information-the car was originally triple Black, was delivered on 2-6-1934, and the numbers all match, body #15-9, engine, and chassis.
This is arguably the most important Barn Find of my career so far, and I have found some pretty good cars. While the '32 is supposedly the most desirable KB, I personally prefer the '34 with its more streamlined styling, and more servicable, lighter, and just as powerful engine.
If you are looking for an important Full Classic to restore (an almost certain ticket to Pebble), you will be hard pressed to find a better candidate.