1935 Lincoln Model KV-12 Roadster by LeBaron
Year of manufacture1935
To be OFFERED AT AUCTION at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale event, April 1-3, 2016.
$175,000 - $225,000 US
In 1935, Lincoln ran a print ad depicting this beautiful Series 542 Lincoln LeBaron Convertible Roadster; the period illustration portrays Washington D.C. in the full bloom of cherry blossoms with a young, well-dressed couple in the cabin opting for the top down. It reads in part:
“The Lincoln appeals first to the sophisticated motorist. Those who know the most about motor cars, who need not compromise with price, are its loyal adherents. They have owned four, six, or ten Lincolns…even more than its predecessors; the new Lincoln merits the allegiance of owners, old and new. This year, the powerful V-12 engine is placed forward several inches in the frame. As a result, the luxurious body becomes roomier. And it is an easier car to handle. It surges lightly, swiftly ahead with a touch of the accelerator. Shifting is smoother. Springs are more flexible…modern beauty has been achieved without the sacrifice of the dignity traditional with Lincoln.”
Lincoln made significant design changes in 1935, both with their model designations and engineering of their well respected luxurious automobiles. These changes began with the elimination of the KA and KB chassis numbers determining the wheelbase. All cars would be considered K-Series and have model designations instead. Both 136-inch and 145-inch choices in wheelbase still existed, but now each chassis would be offered with your choice of body, so buyers no longer felt obligated to buy the longer wheelbase to have the most prestigious offerings from Lincoln.
Improvements for 1935 would include a better center of gravity by moving the passenger compartment forward a full 11-inches to distribute and balance weight more evenly on the axle centers. The engines were now installed with five rubber mounts along with an improved camshaft and needle bearing tappet rollers for more silent operation. They also offered a better, smoother suspension. An engine oil filter and free-wheeling were now standard equipment, and helical cut gears and new synchronizing allowed for better, easier shifts from the transmission. Although, the longer wheelbase proved more popular with sales totaling 820 vehicles, the more desirable today are the 136-inch special order models from the LeBaron and Brunn coachbuilding shops. Only 580 cars would find this well-balanced, shorter chassis in 1935. Of those, only 30 would become the gorgeous special order LeBaron Convertible Roadster, designated Model 542, such as this rare and fantastic example.
The shear presence and design of this LeBaron Convertible Roadster is impressive. Its size, curves, color, design, and rarity really make it irresistible when viewing in person. The rake of the windshield and convertible top, the curvature of the crowned, skirted fenders, the overall shape of the rear deck hiding the rumbleseat, and the forward vee’d grille all comprise a sleek and stimulating Lincoln. All Lincoln owners in 1935 were honored with leather interior seating, Art Deco inspired two-gauge instrumentation clusters, locking glovebox, sidemounts with steel covers, rear luggage rack, 17-inch wire wheels and whitewall tires as standard equipment. The greyhound mascot on the radiator was now a fixed ornament as well. The L-head engine measures 414 cubic inches and produces 150 horsepower while paired to a three-speed manual transmission.
This special example was recently acquired from Nashville, Tennessee from the esteemed Fred Ritter collection and continues to showcase a beautiful restoration completed under his care with utmost integrity. Now finished in Bright Yellow with darker yellow beltline and blue pinstripe accent and wheels, it takes you in from the moment it comes into view. The interior seating surfaces are finished in soft tan leather stretching into the rumbleseat with fold-out paint protectors for passengers resting their arms on the body. A rear seat footrest hides on a fully carpeted interior floor. Options include AM radio, dual side mirrors, and Guide Super Ray foglamps. The headlights and taillights are bullet-shaped, there is a golf bag door with compartment, side-louvered hood, beautiful bright trim elements, black convertible top, tan top boot and exceptional presentation of the engine bay.
This Lincoln has received an AACA National First in 1977, and later appeared in the movie Honkytonk Man starring Clint Eastwood in 1982. Being a Model K, it is also considered a Full Classic by the Classic Car Club of America.
This uncommon Lincoln V12 Le Baron Roadster starts and runs wonderfully having been through the owner’s shop for a thorough inspection, carburetor cleaning, flushed gas tank, new spark plugs, fuel filter and tuning. This is an early built example and ready to enjoy immediately.
1935 Lincoln Model K V-12 Roadster by LeBaron