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1939 Lincoln-Zephyr V-12 Coupe


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, cars aren’t built how they use to be. After 74 years, this 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr V-12 Coupe is not just running and driving, but is even still wearing its original paint and trim. The seller claims it is all original and was discovered in an old barn. It has since been cleaned up and can now be found here on eBay.


The V-12 used in the Zephyr was derived from Ford’s Flathead V8 and was rated at 110 horsepower. This one is original and the seller claims it runs and drives nicely. The odometer currently reads just 24k miles, but unfortunately there isn’t any documentation to prove it. These early Zephyr V-12s are fragile and needed frequent maintenance so we hope the previous owners were diligent in their upkeep.


The interior looks complete and the seller claims it is also original. It may seem drab by today’s standards, but this was quite a luxurious cabin for the thirties. There is some wear and tear, but nothing like you would expect for a 73 year old classic.


The seller claims that the all the paint and chrome is original and unrestored. Both show some pitting and scratches, but no major dents or dings. The underside looks fantastic, but needs some cleaning and a service performed. The seller believes there are only 22 of these left, whether that’s the case or not we don’t know, but we do know this is one rare machine.


  1. frank

    amazing shape and looks great

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  2. scot

    ~ sumbitch, i wanta believe.

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  3. Trickie Dickie Member

    Hott Damm……………..something really Nice for once out of a barn. BTW, those small funny looking dials behind the steering wheel on the dash……..that’s the radio. Must have been hard to tune while driving! Let’s all hope the buyer of this V-12 wont have the engine cooling problems most of these cars developed. The main reason so many post-war V-12’s were replaced with cooler running V-8’s. Well, and the V-12’s were so underpowered.

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  4. Richard

    Ford Flathead V8s overheated a lot, too, mainly thanks to the middle two cylinders on each bank sharing an exhaust port (one of the many problems swapping to aftermarket Ardun hemi heads solved). Another major reason these engines overheated was because manufacturing wasn’t advanced enough to get all the core sand out of the block’s cooling passages before the engine was assembled. I’d be willing to bet that if somebody carefully disassembled that V12, hot-tanked the block, cleaned everything out, then blueprinted the engine when buttoning it back up, they’d cure a lot of the overheating problems. As for being underpowered, well, having a V12 in those days was more a prestige/bragging rights thing than a big-dyno-numbers thing anyway.

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    • Trickie Dickie Member

      Thanks Richard…..things I didnt know. Yep, all about the numbers of cylinders I guess. Even the Cad V-16’s only made about 160 HP I think, maybe it was 180. but sure smooth runners. IF hitting on all 16.

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  5. shawnmcgill

    Man! This one got me! I’ve never seen anything on here that I wanted as much as this!

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  6. Dolphin Member

    These Zephyr Coupes have a truly beautiful shape, and the grille is so cleverly integrated into that rounded front end that I have always thought of them as a high point of vintage US car design.

    Problem is, it may be original but it’s in no better than about #3 condition but the seller quotes auction prices for mostly #1 cars, so I am guessing that the reserve might be set too high to get it sold. Anyone serious about the car will know that the paint and chrome, while original, aren’t very good and will need to be redone if the buyer wants to take it to #1 condition……and there goes the originality. So the question becomes, Why pay up for original paint & chrome if you have to redo them?

    My guess is that the car is on eBay because it would not do well at, and might not even be accepted at, the major auction venues. The car has received a lot of bids in the few hours it’s been listed, but I will be surprised if the bidding reaches the reserve.

    I hope I’m wrong, and the car sells to someone who loves these Zephyrs and will keep it original on a reasonable reserve that allows that to happen.

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    • Graham

      It’s not 2007 anymore–this car would be accepted (and encouraged) at nearly any major auction venue if the seller’s statements can be verified as true. In fact, I bet it’s being listed on eBay with a very high reserve in order to get some free publicity and establish a baseline value estimate, and will then turn up later at an auction for the real sale.

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  7. Dave Barber

    My Grand Father hadone of these new back in the day….

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  8. l slick

    The wording of the add is like a snake oil add. I wouldn’t trust this guy or the car without documentation.

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  9. Lemble

    Some one that cleans a car they are trying to sell ! About time I say . I like the dusty pictures but it is nice to see them after a bath so we can get a good look. What a nice looking car. BTW.

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  10. Dan Farrell

    Didn’t some of the 30’s Lincolns have hydraulic door windows or something equally strange for cranking the windows that caused lots of headaches for restorers?

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    • tokamak

      Not sure when the system was introduced but you are correct that early Lincoln power windows were hydraulic. It was adapted from the hydraulic power tops for their convertibles both Lincoln and Ford. The pump was driven by a modified starter motor and was mounted vertically under the hood. Supposedly they had no limiting system and could very nearly break your arm if you weren’t careful when raising it.

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  11. jim

    seller has 2 other auctions up on ebay right now ,both are also very interesting. also in the background of some of the pictures are some more interesting items. incliding a corvette. great find.

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  12. Duffy Bell

    Wow, that’s some barn find. The seller should hold on to this one & NEVER restore it. It looks exactly like the car driven by Joanne Woodward in the movie “Mr & Mrs Bridge” co-starring her husband, Paul Newman.

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  13. geomechs geomechs Member

    There’s a lot of old barns out here in the prairies but I’ve been through a lot of them and sure didn’t see anything. A friend of mine actually came across a gem (we both came across it but HE bought it) but I’m still looking. If I stumbled across a car like this, I’d think I’d either won the lottery or died and went to heaven. In the meantime I’ll keep annoying my wife by stopping to check out another old building. You never know what’s behind those weathered doors…

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  14. MadHungarian

    This is beyond stunning. At least it is if upon inspection it lives up to the promise of the photos and the description. Unlike Chrysler, Lincoln managed to do futuristic without scaring off the customers. That dash manages to be Art Deco and Buck Rogers at the same time.

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  15. rustylink

    My dad told me my Uncle had one he bought back 1950 when he was stationed at Pearl- it had cracked block, there was no way he could afford or even find another v12 on a seamans pay so he found a flathead and swapped it in. The flat 8 was massaged for some extra hp, but it was a lot of car to pull.

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  16. Chris A.

    That is one hot looking car. The front end design leading to that sweeping rear window and deck sure gives presence to the whole package. Doesn’t even need the rear wheel well covers. Richard has the right idea, Apply all the later flathead V8 overheating cures along with a complete hot tank engine rebuild and you’d have a great cruiser.

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  17. Chuck Gilpatrick

    Be very carerful with this. It looks like a coupe cut down to convert. He carefully avoids the top and side. No bows, no convert. Caveat Empter

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    • Trickie Dickie Member

      What ?? May I ask to WHAT you are referring? This is a COUPE and NOT a convertible.

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  18. Chuck Gilpatrick

    Well I clicked on a supposed 38 convert and thought I waas commenting on that, but I don’t know where the coupe came from.. Iment to be the 38 convert.

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  19. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    The seller ended the auction early, so we assume they made a deal offline.

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  20. James Klino

    Either ” they don’t build cars like they used to” or ” these zephyr v-12s are fragile” , which is it?

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