A Right Fine Tourer: 1948 Lincoln Convertible

In years past, many  automobile enthusiasts focused on restoring antique automobiles rather than driving them.  These cars were often drug from AACA meet to AACA meet on trailers in search of the elusive AACA Senior award.  Now, the costs of a full restoration along with the struggle to find new old stock parts is making that practice less appealing.  The new trend is to focus on driving antique cars in tours and rallies.  If you are going to spend time in such a car, why not find a smooth running luxury car like this 1948 Lincoln convertible for sale on eBay.  This warehouse stored beauty is located in Lafayette, Indiana, and appears to be just a set of tires, tune up, and a bath away from floating down the road yet again.  The best part is that bidding has only reached $9,001 with four days left to go.

Believe it or not, the 1948 Lincoln you see here can trace its roots back to the innovative 1936 Lincoln Zephyr.  Built to give Lincoln a car in the lower rungs of the luxury market, the Zephyr became known for its sleek yet beautiful aerodynamic styling and smooth ride.  With a new twelve cylinder engine based loosely on the venerable Ford Flathead V-8, these cars also got a reputation for overheating that exceeded the one that Flatheads had at that time.  While the problem was fixed over time, it hurt the car’s sales figures.  Despite this, these engines were also capable of enviable smoothness and plenty of low end torque.  Perfect for a luxury car.

This particular Lincoln has a lot of potential to return to service as the perfect touring car.  Other than a heavy layer of dirt and grime, the exterior looks to be quite presentable.  The seller tells us that the convertible top will need to be replaced.  As we can see, the one on the car now looks to be a bit too handmade to be effective.  We are also told that the car was purchased in 1982 and stuffed into a garage by the seller’s dad.  So, of course, it will need the usual going through mechanically.

The interior doesn’t look too bad.  The darkness of the picture hides a lot of detail though.  The carpets look a bit rough and the seats could use some cleaning.  They look to be vinyl.  I doubt leather would look this good after such a long period of storage.  The door panels and the steering wheel look to be quite serviceable, and the dash looks great as well.  One picture in the ad shows that the odometer reads just 55,931 miles.  While the car has all the hallmarks of an old restoration, the mileage number might be true.  This is clearly not a clapped out beater.

By the time this car rolled off the assembly line in 1948, the Lincoln V-12 engine was putting out 130 horsepower from 305 cubic inches of displacement.  As expected, the seller can’t get the engine to fire up.  It is not frozen up though.  With a complete fuel system cleanout, a rebuilt fuel pump and carburetor, and some attention to the ignition system, this beauty will likely run.  Sadly there is no mention as to whether this car has a Columbia two speed rear axle or another form of overdrive installed.  The addition of some sort of overdrive can make a good car like this a great travelling car.

That is the beauty of this Lincoln.  With some work, barring any surprises, this is a very presentable car that would be a smooth driver as well.  There is room for the entire family and their luggage.  While you see Continental convertibles of the same vintage fairly often, when was the last time you saw a standard Lincoln convertible coupe?  Whoever gets this one is getting a great car, and they might just get it at a bargain price as well.




    These old cars are popping up on a regular basis which in my humble opinion is both good and bad. It is good in that they are now available to purchase by the everyday man at decent prices; whereas years ago only the well to do could afford.
    However it is bad in that there care takers are dying off or warehousing them has become too expensive.
    Whichever way you look at it good or bad it’s nice to see they are finding new homes.

    Like 2
    • Brian Fitzpatrick

      I recently picked up a 1948 Lincoln Continental in a similar condition for $11,000. I never thought I would own a nice car like that. Drive and enjoy

  2. Cncbny

    Tell ya what I’d do. Get a Ford v6 eco boost, and a matching tranny. Swap out the v12. Do it without hacking the car up. Maybe a bolt hole or two at most! Drive the reliability of the new power train, and take the time to rebuild the v12 and tranny. Swap it back in only when I were to sell it. The v6 is a fraction of the weight, and triple the horses. This way I can enjoy the car, and historians can have a museum piece if they wanted .

    • local_sheriff

      Extremely good idea on the V6. While the 12 is half the fun of aquiring such a Lincoln, drivability and reliability of a modern V6 would be a clever choice . Plus a V6 sounds partly like a V12 at lower rpms, don’t think many people would notice(how often do anyone see and hear these really?) Then the restored 12 can be put next to it in the garage as decoration;it’s truly a nice piece of furniture.

      Some 20+ year back I was invited to a larger warehouse belonging to an aquaintance of a relative. The building was piled up with vintage cars like this, one of them being an identical 48 vert like this. The V12 was an impressive sight, however I’ve never seen it or another driven since

  3. Charles Tucker Member

    One of my favorites from the 40’s. The stock exhaust burble is unique and wonderful. The engine in tune is vibration free. And, you really can’t tell from the pictures of any of them but in real life it is huge.

    Like 1
  4. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    I’ll take this one. Well, at least I’d like to. These are beautiful cars. They didn’t drive all that great, but then again not many did in 48. My dad drove a 48 Dodge when I was a youngster back in the early 50’s. I remember how it swayed and would make my tummy do flutters when he crested a hill. I remember seeing a 48 Lincoln Continental convertible on display at the Mall in Everett, Washington about 1977. The owner claimed it to be the only surviving one in existence. I don’t know where they got their facts because I’ve seen more than one since then. Nevertheless I want this one. But I realize the chances are not in my favor, as I go into these things with a top price already set for me to bid.
    God bless America

    • Fred W

      The owner was yanking your chain- here’s mine (edit: we can’t post pictures anymore?) . Google it and you can find many more . 1948 Cabriolet production was just over 400 and due to early on full classic designation, they were preserved in unusually large numbers. But still probably only a couple hundred in existence, a rare car.

  5. ccrvtt

    Hoo-Boy! What a grille! It’s a grille on top of a grille, a grille with its own suburbs. Even the headlights have grille ears. It looks like it was carved out of a solid block of nickel-chromium. What an outrageous expression of All-American Grillage!

    There has to be a way to make the V-12 a viable powerplant. I know a guy who’s a flathead fanatic who recently bought a basket case Zephyr just so he could have the V-12, so I assume there’s hope.

    Great find!

    Like 3
  6. Bob McK Member

    I would love to bring this home, but have heard so many horror stories about the V12s. However, I am sure some day I will bring one home.

  7. Little_Cars

    Never realized how, from the cowl back, the base Lincoln looks a lot like the fat-fendered Fords of 41-48. The lack of a divided windshield and that massive front clip makes this a decidedly upscale Lincoln however. The color combo is classic too. Reminds me of the Monogram and Pyro models of my youth.

  8. john

    do the engine components interchange with similar year ford v-8 flatheads ie pistons, valves etc, understandably the crank and cam would be different…. cool ride, this ol girl!

  9. TimM

    Another V-12 Lincoln??? Great car!!! Two in one week!! Wow

    Like 1
  10. Morley Brown Brown Member

    Better than a rusted out Dodge Roadrunner.

    Like 1
  11. Mountainwoodie

    I’m surprised no one mentioned the yellow Continental in the background :) Also the speedometer and gauges to the left appear to be right out of a ’47 ford.
    For maybe ten years in the late eighties a ’47 Lincoln Continental sat outside an antique dealers building here in San Diego. He drove it back and forth every day.

    Like 1
  12. Del

    Prices on these will keep dropping.

    The generation interested in them is disappearing

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