V12 Barn Find: 1937 Lincoln Zephyr

1937 Lincoln Zephyr V12

The photos of this Zephyr don’t give us much to go off of, but from what can be seen this looks like a nice V12 project! Just imagine being able to say you own your very own V12 powered classic. The seller claims it has been in storage since the 1980’s with a large collection of other cars. You can find this project here on eBay in Shelby, North Carolina with a current bid of $2,600.

1937 Lincoln Zephyr V12 Engine

Here’s that wonderful V12! It isn’t quite like the V12s found in European exotics, but that’s probably a good thing. Hopefully this one can be made to run with minimal work.

1937 Lincoln Zephyr Frame

The seller claims this car is very solid, with only surface rust, but I have a feeling there’s more than a little rust. These cars were extremely well built, so I guess it’s possible. I’d want to take a closer look at it though, just to make sure. Even if there is a little rust, this looks like a great project and sure would be sweet all fixed up! So would you join the V12 club?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    If you want to puke, look at one of these in nice condition. What a car this must have been ( with it’s “pessimistic” speedometer) I’d call this an “ambitious” restoration, and BJ just sold a restored one for $30g’s.( $29,700) I’d think a car like this would bring more. That’s not the best news, as you’d put 30g’s in this easy. I think cars like this are beginning to feel the lack of interest with younger buyers.

  2. Julles

    looking at the coolant outlet on the right cylinder head I would say the chances of this engine being good are slim.

    • Rob

      Per the listing.. 99% complete, but the 1% this car is lacking, is some idiot stole the radiator and the heads are cracked.. :(

    • Rick

      No problem. Just pick up a new head at your local NAPA store!

  3. MG'zer

    This car could do better with more pictures. For as long as BF has been preaching more is better, you would think these sellers would take the oh so suttle hints

    • David

      Unfortunatly, it’s not very likely that sellers read Barnfinds. Many have little interest or knowledge of cars and only see dollars signs, often too many dollar signs.

      These old Lincolns are sold cheap, especially the four door cars. The local museum sold a nice running and driving 4 door 12 cylinder survivor last year for $17000, for example. Some nice 4 door cars are used as engine donors for more desirable Lincolns. The asking price for a nice donor 2 door coupe Lincoln I wrote up last year was only $5000. The engine was used in a convertible.
      http://barnfinds.com/1948-lincoln-continental-coupe/

  4. Dairymen

    If I buy a V12 it would Ferrari or a Packard! Oh wait I have a V12 Packard in the garage here, and it does donuts around the Lincoln & cadillac V12’s & V16’s! The Packard V12 is absolutely superior!

    • HotRodLincoln

      Just a tad prejudiced are we ?? Homing Pigeon’s are trained. Keep milkin’ dem cows….got milk?

  5. DrinkinGasoline

    There are numerous cylinder heads to be found if one knows where to look. I guess the “puke” reaction is relevant given one’s prowess, kinda like when i throw up in my mouth a bit when i see yet another Corvette or another Tri-Five Chevy. As far as youth interest goes….My 21 year old Grandson brought this one to my attention.
    When it come to Barrett-Jackson (the BJ terms it well), as well as the other large auction houses are concerned, in my humble opinion, they are nothing more than pimps who jerk the old car hobby out of the reach of people who actually care and enjoy vintage vehicles.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Drinkin’, I realize the auctions provide a jilted view of the hobby, still, you can kind of see how certain trends are going and who is doing the buying. I’ve noticed, the price of “full classic’s”, which this car almost is, has been dropping lately, and I watched a ’35 Packard, in nice shape, struggle to get 20g’s. Granted, wrong crowd, location, whatever, many younger folks just don’t have the connection with these 30’s cars. Truth be known, I’m 61, and I don’t have a lot of interest in 30’s cars, except for their beautiful styling. I hope your grandson spurs some interest in his friends, but quite frankly, from attending some local shows lately, it’s still generally gray-haired men with the wife in a lawn chair reading a book behind their 1931 Franklin and the younger ones at the soda booth fiddling with their phones.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        I agree about the age thing Howard. I took my Willys Wagon to the LIons Club car show this Spring and was parked next to a mile long, wood wheeled Packard. A beautiful car. I felt sorry for the old guy as only one or two people stopped to talk to him. And we had great foot traffic as we were parked right next to the food and beer tents. There was a few younger people there, farm kids looking at tractors. Maybe with the youth moving towards the rat rod style it might be the only way these cars get saved.

    • Chris

      I have gone to the last 11 BJ Auctions in Scottsdale. I will tell you if you love cars, it is totally worth the $35 to get in. I have seen stuff there that you would never see anywhere else (XJ220s, 959s, F40, Delahayes, SuperSnake….). It is a terrible place to buy a car, but super cool to go see the cars. They do a great job of letting you get up close, and I have talked to a lot of interesting people there like Amos Minter. I think they care about the hobby, but obviously a bit more about making money.

  6. James Scott

    That most certainly does not look like surface rust along the rockers. Though that is a pretty clean car for it’s age.

  7. charlie Member

    The V12 got a bad rap for being not very powerful, low RPM’s, overheating, and other problems, so much so that the buyers of the Continentals put in Caddy V8’s when the V12 failed in the late 40’s and early 50’s. But a dealer in Ford trucks (and cars) convinced that it was a great truck engine, sourced a few from the factory claiming car engines had failed, and put them in Ford trucks and drove 3 to Detroit with loads, to convince Henry or Edsel to build them, Ford was not interested, and Ford did not have much of the truck business as a result.

  8. unclehotrod13

    Yes the v12’s do have problems, i have a 1940 convert, the aluminum heads look great when polished, but theyre better when replaced with cast iron!! I worked alot of the heat problems out of mine, this would be a great project car, someone will grab it.. they make a 3 carb setup intake now, thats what these need, they just dont breathe..

  9. Rob

    I’ll stick with my ’01 V12 BMW, comfort yes, but doesn’t lack any power as I’ve had it up to 150, ‘n it still had more pedal to go if I wanted. Plus, it gets great fuel mileage (20 MPG), whilst crusing at the legal speed limit of 80+ on our Montana highways. :)

    • Hoos Member

      I need to move to Montana.

  10. jaymes

    too many doors (

  11. Van

    No quite sure why the thumbs down on engine condition.
    I would buy a Lincoln just because it has the V12. But when I see a cracked and corroded cylinder head alarm bells ring. You guys say v12 Lincoln parts are easy to come by, OK. How much is a replacement, reconditioned engine? I do like triple carbs.

  12. Van

    I have to add separately, 180 degree headers, power and sound.

  13. Bill McCoskey

    When I was restoring cars 20+ years ago, I worked on quite a few Lincoln, Packard & Cadillac V-12 cars. The Lincolns always had overheating problems, the Caddy engines were fairly complicated, but the Packard 12 was by far the best, it was simple compared to the others, and will idle at 75rpm all day long. It was easy to balance a nickle on edge, on the idling engine.

    I used to do the same thing with the Packard eights too, even the 5 main bearing engines. But the best one was the Packard 356, with the 9 main bearing crank. Those Packards so equipped could not be heard running, even when standing directly in front of the car. And torque? both the Packard 12 & Super 8 engines have massive amounts of torque!

  14. Ron Engel

    You can find good deals at auctions if you go the very first days! They run the lower price vehicles then plus lower attendance. Also there are cars outside that don’t came across the block. Try it!

  15. jeff6599

    Van, They all have 180 degree exhaust systems. Just check out the firing order and cylinder numbering. Do you know what I am talking about?

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