One of many WOW ! moments I had last year was at the Summer Classics meeting held at Easter Compton when I turned round and saw today’s featured 1936 Lincoln Zephyr V12 purring up the main drag carrying two adults two children and a large black and white TV all the way from Dresden, Germany.
Edsel Ford is credited with conceiving the Zephyr V12 to slot in between the top of the range Lincoln K Series and top of the Ford brand V8 Deluxe.
Edsels initial choice was for a design based on the Biggs Dream Car designed by Jonn Tjaarda and Howard Bonbright a rear engined concept vehicle that was first shown by Ford at the The Century of Progress Exhibition in 1933-1934
High school drop out and head of Ford’s design department Eugene Turenne Gregorie is credited with turning the Biggs Dream Car concept into the finalised front engined streamline design, which must have been seen as something of a gamble in the light of the failure of the Chrysler Airflow model built between 1934 and 1937.
The 110hp 75º degree V12 motor was a development of the Ford flathead V8, not related in anyway to the Lincoln K series V12 motors, top speed for the Zephyr was 90 mph.
Standard on the 1936 Zephyr was the locking glove box, options included the radio and satellite navigation.
During the first year of production the Zephyr V12 was available in 4 door and 2 door saloon / sedan versions.
Note the bullet shaped tail light lenses which would become a notable feature along with tall tail fins on several GM products 22 years later.
The Lincoln Zephyr V12 proved to be a big hit with 15,000 vehicles sold in the first year of production which accounted for 80% of all Lincoln sales in 1936, and remained in production until 1940.