1940 Lincoln: Special Or Custom?

1940 Lincoln Zepher

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Usually cars listed are way overpriced, but I have to wonder why the owner is asking only $15,000 for this “Zephyr” listed here on craigslist. And what exactly is it? It looks a bit like a Continental with it’s squared off trunk and “continental kit”. The Zephyr coupe looks entirely different with the roof sloping down right behind the B pillar and the trunk follows the lines of the fenders. The seller states the only other one they have ever seen was at an International Car Show and there there were only 50 built. This leaves us wondering if that means it was some type of demonstration car or if the seller just doesn’t know what model of car they own. It could also have been built by a coachworks company. It looks like a nice “25 foot” car. It’s a San Francisco car, far from the rust belt, so perhaps there’s not much rot. Whatever it is, it is a pretty car, though some might call the color pretty ugly. So, what is this car really and why would it be so cheap?

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  1. PeteMember

    The rug and upholstery seem too clean for a 75 yr old car.

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  2. Andy

    It’s not a ’40 Zephyr. It’s a ’40 Continental coupe. For $15K it’s probably worth a look even if that teal is … um … interesting! Given how shiny it is for a $15K car, I suspect it’s not original, so no harm in a repaint.

    Google “1940 Lincoln Continental Coupe” for more pics.


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    • Eric Fintelman

      “If you have a look at pictures of the convertible version; that one had exactly the same rear as this one!

      Might this be a “hardtop”?”

      This is the first comment I had in mind, but with Andy’s post, to me it is all solved!

      All you petrolheads, please have a look at my own “project” at http://www.jepespecials.com

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    • Charless E. Lough

      Re-gardless, it is a Beautiful Car! I like the Colors,set it out from the crowd. As they beauty is in the eye of the beholder…lol

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  3. DENIS

    Not my kinda ride but kinda cool for a parade car..my buddy had a 46/47 that he used to chauffeur for proms etc..huuuuge back seat….I think it’s still in his family

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  4. Ken Novak

    Interesting car

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  5. Fred

    A lotta car for that price. You could tone it down by repainting just the teal with a more complimentary second color.

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  6. Saugatuck

    Lincoln-Zephyr Continental (1940) was the first time the name Continental appeared on a car from Lincoln, as a model under Lincoln-Zephyr rather than a separate model. They were partially hand-built since dies for machine-pressing were not constructed until 1941. Production started on December 13, 1939, with the Continental Cabriolet, from June 1940 also available as Continental Club Coupe. Just 350 Cabriolets and 54 Club Coupes were built.

    When the last Lincoln V-12 (Model K) had been delivered on January 24, 1940, the Lincoln Motor Company was soon to be transformed into Lincoln Division, effective on May 1, 1940, and for 1941 model year the Lincoln-Zephyr was no longer a separate marque.

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  7. Vince Habel

    It is a certified classic. I have never seen one this cheap in a long time.

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  8. Andy

    I figured Continental right away–I thought that would be an easy one! The Continental was based on the Zephyr, and 1940 was its first year. The prototype was built by Edsel Ford’s request and became his personal car, and it turned out so nice that they decided to produce it. One of the prettiest American cars ever built, and I would have thought one of the most famous.

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  9. Ed P

    I love it!! Do not change a thing. Continentals started as a one off custom for Edsel Ford. He got so much interest in the car it was put into production.

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  10. John D

    It is a Continental AND a Zephyr. As Saugatuck’s post gets at, they were all Zephyrs in 1940. Continental was the model. In 1941, by the time my Continental convertible was build, the zephyr name was relegated to the other cars you describe.

    Don’t buy the production numbers or that there is anything really special about this one.

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  11. Brad

    Frank Lloyd Wright had one of these, which he converted to a Town Car style, painted his favorite ‘Cherokee Red’ and deleted the rear window, because, as was his outlook on life… he never looked back.

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    • Klaus

      FLW had even two of them. He ordered them, saying that he doesn’t want to pay them. He got them!

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  12. unclehotrod13

    Yes the first ones were zephyr coninentals the hubcaps even say it. In 41 they were just lincoln continentals. This is mine owned since 1975. If you google unclehotrod13 you will see it or you tube it Kathy Ireland did a commercial in it for macys. The reason the other is cheap sometimes the drivetrain is diffrent hard to find an all original one. This is all original drivetrain. V12-2 speed rear.never restored but repaired and touched up. I dare not even start any kind of resto just drive and enjoy…otherwise it never ends.

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  13. unclehotrod13

    Hers a pix unclehotrod13 it has cracks in paint but thats ok. See more on you tube i have walk around video. Also video of Kathy Ireland .

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  14. unclehotrod13

    Dad has a few of these too..46 and 47

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  15. unclehotrod13

    Hers a pix unclehotrod13

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    • Ed P

      The front looks more elegant on this car than on the later Continentals.

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  16. unclehotrod13

    Got a few 46 n 47 too

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  17. unclehotrod13

    And a few 46 and 47 too

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  18. unclehotrod13

    Cool we have 46 and 47 all v12… in a vault! Dads crazy.. see a walkaround vid unclehotrod13

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  19. unclehotrod13

    See the blue one on you tube a walk around vid under unclehotrod13

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  20. Richard Prokopchuk

    The data plate says quite clearly Lincoln Zephyr. The patent list is long, with 25 different patents listed. I had to blow up the image to get the image to show clearly.

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  21. GaryMc

    It’s a Continental coupe and my reference shows 350 of these were built in 1940. The Lincoln/Zephyr on the data plate only indicates the manufacture used the same plate for both models. The squared off rear in uniquely Continental.

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    • unclehotrod13

      350 converts and 52 or 54 hardtops so the hard is probably worth more but converts look cool… i cant drive mine with top up because blindspot is tremendous !!!! Guess there werent alot of cars then to worry about changing lanes!

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  22. Wayne

    Love the colours

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  23. charlieMember

    When I was a kid, during WWII, probably in l945, when I was 4, I had 4 toy cars, one fast back generic sedan, two I have forgotten, and what had to have been a ’42 Lincoln Continental Convertible. I did not know what it was until years later, but I thought it was the most attractive car I had ever seen when I was little. Years later I could identify it. There was one in town when I was in grade school and that V12 had the best exhaust burble I had ever heard, at that time, and maybe since.
    The early V12’s were problem prone but the later ones were ok. Now they had that Ford rear transverse leaf spring, but so do some Corvettes, and they did lean on the curves. The price on this, assuming the V12 is there and runs, is cheap.

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  24. Bob

    I think whoever listed this car isn’t a real car guy. A real car guy would have shown pictures of the engine compartment and given details on the drive train being original or modified.

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    • unclehotrod13

      True . The 12 usually was traded for a cad or merc engine..

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  25. unclehotrod13

    The blue one rough but all there!see walkaround on you tube under unclehotrod13

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  26. unclehotrod13

    Just checked the craigslist pix and surprised to see the 12..unless there is something we dont see i would think hed get more.the interior and color combo is not original but still seems low$ unless he just needs to get it out..see all specs for these on my site… google unclehotrod13 and scroll down to google+ then scroll down more and see lincoln zephyr continental specs and youll see everything like colors.interiors.even tires that were orderd…one car came with NO tires! Check it out very interesting stuff…

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  27. Alan (Michigan)

    I have to say that I find it to be an appealing vintage ride.
    That flathead V-12 is cool beans.
    People have done some strange things with those motors…
    But at least he put on a continental tire!

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  28. Tom

    All those cylinders and one small carb

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  29. unclehotrod13

    this is the interior of my 1940 .. the seats were probably redone before 1975 thats when we got it , but it is the exact ones that came.. the rugs were also done before me, all door panels and rear panels are original and not too great..

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  30. unclehotrod13

    i want to show these specs but have to do one at a time..there are 7.

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  31. unclehotrod13

    2 nd

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  36. unclehotrod13

    more than 7 sorry

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  39. unclehotrod13

    hope people find this interesting and not too boring!!!!

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