Lead Sled: 1941 Lincoln Custom

1941 Lincoln Lead Sled

Before the days of fiberglass and bondo, smoothing out dents and dings was a task that typically involved the skillful mastery of flowing lead. Any repair or modification that couldn’t be pounded smooth by hand required some type of body filler and since materials like bondo weren’t around yet this left lead as the material of choice. As hot rods became more radical, they gained the title Lead Sleds, as some were more lead than steel. The dangers of working with the material and the ease of working with bondo has made lead work a dying art, with just the products of the craft left as a reminder of this old art form. Having seen the time and skill it takes to flow lead I have a keen appreciation for period hot rods. This 1941 Lincoln Lead Sled isn’t the prettiest custom I’ve ever seen, but the amount of work and energy that went into crafting it is absolutely astonishing. Have a look at this period lead sled here on eBay in Rutledge, Tennessee.

Lincoln Lead Sled Interior

The seller doesn’t seem to know much about the history of this car, but they do know that it is based on a 1941 Lincoln Limo chassis, which has been extensively modified to lower the car. The body was clearly custom built. The front and rear fenders look to be the rear fenders from a ’42 Lincoln Continental, but the rest of body is a mixture of bits and pieces from a variety of cars, as well as lots of hand fabricated pieces. It’s hard to fathom how many hours must gone into building this body alone. Even if the chassis was shortened the Lincoln Custom Limousine chassis it is based on is was well over 130 inches long, which means this roadster has to be nearly 12 feet long!

1941 Hot Rod Lincoln

With so much car to move around, this custom must have had a massive engine at one time. Sadly, it currently lacks an engine, but it does have a 3 speed transmission in it. One can only assume what must have once been under the hood of this beast, but based on the chassis and transmission I would assume it was the V12 that came with the Limousine. This engine has almost always been in demand, either by hot rodders for customization or by restorers looking to replace the missing or damaged engine of a Zephyr. While it would be great to have a V12 in it again, a more modern V8 would provide more power and would be much easier to find.

Lincoln Dual Cowl Custom

While I have an appreciation for this car and the work that went into it, I have a hard time seeing a ton of value here. The seller seems to believe it will be in extremely high demand and even claims that cars like this one are starting to grab the attention of some big name enthusiasts. That doesn’t really make me want it more though. If it had its original motor or if the seller could provide some of the car’s story and history, than perhaps I could see more value here. Maybe I’m wrong and period customs like this one will be the next big thing in the collector car world? Who knows, but whether they are ever worth much, one thing is for sure, it sure is a cool piece of history! So does anyone else have the song Hot Rod Lincoln stuck in their head now?

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Comments

  1. stp

    calling Budd Tugly!

  2. That Guy

    Yeah, this is one of those customs that was built by someone whose fabrication skill exceeded their aesthetic instincts. Clever and well-made but ultimately a visual disappointment.

    Having survived this long, it’s certainly worth saving just as a historical relic. I think its appeal is mostly as a slice of automotive history. And that appeal would be greatly enhanced if some research could identify its builder and more of its background.

  3. Dave Wright

    I am not a Ford (or linclon) person………but what a cool sled this would make when finished. I can imagine it would draw crowds at the local drive in car shows.

  4. mark mishler

    I am thinking with some of the middle section removed, perhaps a crown Vic running gear,wheels tires updated,car could be cool.Its not going to hurt the value.A huge task , but not for a good body man / fabricator.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    My first reaction was: ‘Yea gods, he ruined it!’ But one has to appreciate another’s efforts to modify and massage something totally stock into something radical. I’m a hopeless purist but that’s also my right. Someone who is into modifying has every right to do what he wishes. And obviously someone appreciated this at one time. I might add that so far we live in a country where we’re actually allowed to give our personal rides some touch-ups.

  6. Gerry

    I wonder what his ebay reserve is?

  7. Pete

    I believe this is the Marie Antoinette rumble seat edition.

  8. The Chucker

    Now I know why tigers sometimes eat their young.

  9. Dolphin Member

    I was going to make some remark about it being too short, especially aft of the cockpit, but instead I’ll say that altho it’s not my style I have to respect the guy who created his own vision of a roadster when there probably weren’t any around for him to get ideas from.

    And it’s all steel and lead according to the seller, so the builder must have had some skill to keep all that lead up on the body instead of running down onto the ground.

  10. MikeW

    “HOT ROD LINCOLN” for sure!

  11. sunbeamdon

    mmm – a true lead-sled!

    I owned a ’41 Connie Cvt Lead Sled for about 18 months – fully leaded seams – stopped the rust in the panels but not in the door sills and floor pans. My twin bro and I also owned a ’40 Merc Cvt – which had run on the salt flats in 1958, chopped Carson top, fully leaded fenders, bored, stoked to 296ci (+-), ported and relieved ( by me) flathead, dual carbs, headers, special distributor. Fast and furious! Those were the days! My buddy’s wife went for a ride to see if it would induce labor (no).

    I did learn how to adjust a torch, tin the surface and keep lead on the paddle fill the panels! Skills I no longer get to use (too many 1040’s)

  12. Don Andreina

    It’s ugly, but as an oddball I love it. Great find.

  13. Rich

    Hot Rod Lincoln was the first thing in my mind! Aesthetically, it is less than desirable but you definitely have to admire the work that went in to this. I would definitely take some of the width out of this and add a functional hood to this beast for starters. I think I’ll stick with restoring my old bimmer for now though. Much smaller!!

  14. Rex Kahrs Member

    “…fabrication skill exceeded their aesthetic instincts…” Maybe, maybe not.

  15. jimmyrk3

    I was going to agree with Thatguy, but when I read Rex Kahrs comment I snorted coffee out my nose. I would love to see it finished by someone who has exceptional fabrication skills and a modicum of aesthetic instincts, you really wouldn’t want to move it too far from what it is now.
    LOL

  16. julian

    Never mind the ugly car, Ruttledge looks like a very cool place for a retirement home!

  17. ConservativesDefeated
  18. dantheman

    It is ugly, but it’s growing on me. I just bid it up a grand.

    • Don Andreina

      Good luck!

  19. Jamie Campbell

    Be the type of car that a cool eyed fabricator would love. It’s already a ruined Lincoln Limousine, may as well embrace it. That special just needs some love, a better eye.

    More of a canted polished boat style split windshield…. entire rear cowl cockpit/front seats back about a foot, maybe more… fabricate a finished swale detail around the entire cockpit, smooth sail transition to the door tops from dash….with a nice upsweep and shoulder cowl beading…..shoulder water fall to center console to dash….extend the doors to compensate for deeper seat location…. eliminate rear seating….. fabricate a more flowing rear deck to cover a functional trunk/stash the spare….maybe fully, or covered tire tub with center of wheel detail visible…..flip the front bumper, double stack the front grille(more chrome,less nose), maybe lower the headlights.

    I dunno’…just saying….I would take it. Someone buy it for me !!

  20. PaulG
  21. That Guy

    That Autobia.com website seems to just be pulling auction information directly from active ebay auctions. The $6500 price is actually just the current high bid on Ebay. What a strange website – I’m not sure what its reason for being is.

  22. William Henshaw

    I waited as long as I could out of some kind of respect for the owner and this auction, but I can’t believe that this thing is worth any more than scrap price. The way it’s been built, scrap price might be pretty high. It’s beyond ugly, it’s an abomination to the senses. I know someone out there loves it, someone always does. There’s been too many of these things showing up lately, please whoever you are, don’t submit anymore. Please.

  23. William Henshaw

    @ConservativesDefeated and any other music lovers. Commander Cody is always good for exercising the ear muscles, but if you follow that link you’ll find a video of Bill Kirchen doing a slightly longer version of the same song. Bill was with Commander Cody for years, that’s him playing with the commander, Bill is one of the finest rockabilly guitarist around. Check it out, you’ll probably enjoy it.

    • ConservativesDefeated

      @ William Henshaw…………anyone who is down with the Commander and Bill Kirchen is alright with me.

      In your and Bill’s honor…….I’m listening to ‘Tied To The Wheel’……….

      While I can’t remember a lot about all the Cody shows I went to, I can say they were the the music track to my misspent youth……

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