1-Of-5: 1942 Lincoln-Zephyr 3-Window Coupe

The dictionary describes a Zephyr as being a soft and gentle breeze. That seems to be a pretty apt name for a car that was designed to waft down the road, wrapping its occupants in total luxury. The Lincoln-Zephyr was the “baby” of Edsel Ford and reflected his sense of style and taste. This particular 1942 3-Window Coupe would have been one of the final cars produced before civilian production ceased during World War II. It is also believed to be one of only five original and unmolested exampled of the 1942 Zephyr 3-Window Coupe known to exist today. It is located in Amenia, New York, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $68,700, and the reserve has now been met.

Before we consider this particular vehicle, let’s take a look at the 1-of-5 claim that the owner makes. I have done a fair amount of research on that figure, and have been unable to come up with a source that definitively confirms it. However, I have found several reliable sources that place the figure at less than 10 vehicles, which would seem to make the claim quite plausible. This strikingly beautiful classic underwent a full restoration in 2000, and it has been on display in an east coast bank’s museum until recently. This sheltered existence means that the restoration work has held-up extremely well over the past two decades. The panels are beautifully straight, while the Black paint has a wonderful depth of shine to it. The owner does mention the fact that there are some flaws in that paint, but they are of a pretty minor nature and none of these are visible in the good selection of photos supplied by the owner. He describes the chrome and trim as being of show quality, and it is hard to argue with him on that point. With such a strong involvement in the design and development of the Zephyr, it is no surprise to find so much of Edsel Ford’s personal tastes reflected in the vehicle styling. Edsel had a great affection for anything of Art Deco design, and there are plenty of signs of this both inside and outside the vehicle. Externally, this is particularly apparent in the chrome trim and the grille, while it continues over into the Zephyr’s interior.

Given the life that this Zephyr has led since it was restored, it is no surprise to find that the interior presents virtually faultlessly. There is some slight stretching of the upholstery on the seat, but it is worth stressing the word “minor” in this case. Beyond that, there is an issue with the speedometer not functioning, and the fuel gauge only working on an intermittent basis. The rest of the interior is free of any significant flaws, and would not cause its next owner any form of shame if seen by the general public. It is an interesting and proven fact that human beings find any symmetrical design to be soothing and reassuring. That is part of what makes the dash of this Lincoln so attractive. The speedometer and the clock are of identical size, and perfectly flank either side of the center trim on the dash. The gauges are to the left of the speedometer, and there is a piece of chrome trim that is styled in an identical shape to the right of the clock. Once again, we see plenty of Art Deco touches throughout the interior. There are plenty of parallel lines within various areas, along with the sort of chrome highlights that are one of the hallmarks of this era.

One of the characteristics that set the Zephyr apart from its competition in 1942 was the number of cylinders that you found when you opened the hood. Where those rivals enjoyed 8-cylinders, the Zephyr came equipped with a 305ci V12, producing 130hp. Backing the V12 is a 3-speed manual transmission that sends the power to the rear wheels. That made the Zephyr a performance leader in its class, and it was this engine that was one of the features that defined the overall smoothness of the car. The good news is that after two decades of inactivity, this Lincoln has been returned to a roadworthy state. The V12 is as smooth as it would have been when the vehicle was new, with the engine starting easily, and running nicely. The transmission shifts perfectly, and the owner says that it simply glides down the road. Maybe the Zephyr actually does waft down the road like its namesake.

The 1942 Lincoln-Zephyr is a car that is sleek, streamlined, and stylish. It perfectly encapsulates everything that luxury car buyers were seeking in 1942, and finding an original and unmolested example today can be quite a challenge. Older Lincolns will almost always command pretty respectable prices, and a lot has changed in the world since this car sold new for around $1,800 all of those decades ago. The price currently sits at $68,700, but it could still have a way to go yet. A pristine example recently sold for in excess of $88,000, and this car has the potential to do that. However, the market is a bit flat at present, so if you have the cash to splash out on a car like this right now, it could be worth investigating this one further.

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Comments

  1. nlpnt

    It’s in NY on a pretty recent (HRX would only have been issued last fall) VT plate, for sale again. Flipper?

    Like 3
    • Philip

      What was the former price?

      Like 1
  2. Ken Cwrney

    What a great doctor’s coupe this car might’ve been. It certainly puts me in
    mind of one. I recall Dad telling me that
    right after Pearl Harbor that all cars made
    after that were made with no chrome trim
    on them as chrome was vital to the war effort. On February 10, 1942, all civilian
    car production ceased–save for a few
    hundred that were built for doctors and
    others that had high priority jobs on the
    home front. He also told me that after
    VJ day, quite a few folks took their “black out”
    specials in the dealer to have their grilles
    and bumpers chrome plated. It’s been
    almost 60 years since he told me that
    story and after seeing a lot of 1942 cars
    that were wearing chrome trim today makes his story believable. If this car
    was built just before they shut the lines
    down, it would’ve had painted bumpers
    and trim. Right now, I’ll go along with Dad
    and say that the owner of this coupe had
    all that stuff chromed after VJ day.

    Like 7
  3. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Wow to see this coming down the street (maybe not so much because of the black out ) must have been something when it was new !

    Like 3
  4. sam61

    What a majestic car…I hope it is turned into a resto mod. The swooping rear quarter view picture made me think of the Kardashian girls.

    Like 6
    • sam61

      What a majestic car…I hope it is not turned into a resto mod. The swooping rear quarter view picture made me think of the Kardashian girls.

      Like 17
      • Howard A Member

        Ha! You pig,, I thought the same thing, the car with the biggest butt I’ve ever seen.

        Like 7
    • Johnny

      Sam 61 -and IF it had a back seat. This is a real nice–sharp looking car. Too bad alot of us don,t have the money to own one like this,but I guess I,ll have to settle with the sweep down line .With the back seat 49 Chevrolet Fleetline 6 cylinder.

  5. Mike

    Holy crap, that entire back end looks like some kind of art deco spaceship.

    Like 10
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Wow pretty much sums it up.

    Like 3
  7. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    I’m usually the first to start ticking off the restomods I’d implement.
    Not here.
    She’s beautiful as-is.

    Like 6
    • Philip

      I know, me too, but still, it would be so cool to have it with all the mods, but 100% stock from the exterior.

  8. Tom c

    Beautiful car , I wonder what the flaws in the paint are.

    Like 1
  9. Howard A Member

    So who bought and drove this fantastic car? 1942, bad time, somebody had the cash, and was probably a movie star. I know Rita Heyworth loved her Lincolns, for one. Being on the east coast, could have been a bigshot from NYC. That V-12 got to be a sweet motor. This, more than likely, has the Borg-Warner O/D, easily sending this car over 3 digits. I read, ’42 was the 1st attempt at a semi-automatic, called the “Liquamatic”,( which I never heard of) in response to the Hydra-matic, but was unreliable, and many dealers switched them to manual. The war stopped development of the Liquamatic and are considered incredibly rare today. Fantastic car.

    Like 3
  10. Chris M.

    What an incredible design. Bravo!

    Like 2
  11. Bob Mck Member

    If I only had the cash…this baby would be coming home to me where she belongs.
    Thanks for the dream.

    Like 3
  12. Stevieg

    This is a car for the person who has “arrived”, even still. What class & elegance! I wish I could buy it.

    Like 2
  13. oldsoldie

    My first car, a 46 Ford coupe had this rounded rear end that I’ve called “waddle butt” lol This Lincoln has it in spades! The pedals and the gauge cluster have always said blah ford to me and that vent tube under the hood just looks out of place, but I forgot to play the lotto last night or this baby would be MINE. Then I’d have to figure out how to transport the 3 security guards that I’d have to post around her wherever I parked her.

    Like 2
  14. DRV

    This car has everything for me. It is so cleanly designed and executed, with the perfect rareness and era. It’s just perfect. I’ve been looking at every car for 60 plus years and today this car in particular blows my dress up…

    Like 3
  15. pugsy

    Take off the wheels and skirts, put em storage. Make up some skirts that match the front wheel opening, add mags, and cruise.
    A cool looking car after without destroying a thing for you purists out there.

    Like 1
  16. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Beautiful car, wouldn’t change a thing.
    God bless America

    Like 3
  17. Karl

    Wow! I must admit I am not into cars like this to much but also with that said this car is amazing the V12 is just more frosting on the cake! I have never seen a rear end as incredibly shaped as this one. I bet it was one heck of car in its time!!

    Like 2
  18. Ward William

    That is a frickin work of art on wheels and I think I am now in love and ready to marry an inanimate object.

    Like 3
  19. TimM

    This car is so clean and well preserved that it should be left just the way it is!! I’ve only seen one V-12 in person before and when it ran it was as smooth as ice!!! Beautiful car great design!!!

    Like 3
    • Karl

      Agreed Tom I just can’t think of anything to make this car better. I am kind of a hot rodder at heart but would not change a thing on this beauty!

      Like 2
  20. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Wow. Wee. Wow. I find it hard to believe the expense was justified by Ford to “tool up” to the 1942 body style for this one, at least from the cowl forward. At least the Continental and 5 window design got used for 42, 46-48. 1942 was the best execution of the heavy front end restyle of Lincolns. Shame the dash in this one isn’t the futuristic console style of the earlier Zephyr. Why is everybody thinking the new owner will want to restomod this one? Even Leno has better sense than that.

    Like 2
  21. Kenn

    At the price, why not have the speedo repaired? They aren’t that complicated at all. Ditto the fuel gauge.

    Like 2
  22. chrlsful

    these hada V12 at some point, no?o0OP, I C now they got it in this’un. (All waus read 1st).
    Love the style,
    straight 8 might B my fav motor tho…

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