Lincoln Model KB Convertible Roadster
The success of the Lincoln Motor Company is largely attributed to Henry Ford, who purchased the company for eight million dollars in 1922. Lincoln became the flagship of Ford’s automotive empire, its fortunes entrusted largely to Henry’s son Edsel. Edsel Ford was an aesthete and had developed relationships with the prominent coachbuilders of the day: Locke, Willoughby, LeBaron and Brunn, the last of which had already established a Lincoln relationship in the Leland days. As time went on, some of these bodies were catalogued as so-called “semi-custom” offerings.
For 1932, Lincoln took a page from the Cadillac playbook and introduced a V-12 engine in the new KB model. But where Cadillac’s was a 45-degree overhead valve unit of 368 cubic inches making 135 bhp, Lincoln went for a 65-degree L-head displacing 447.9 cubic inches. Lincoln fully committed itself to 12-cylinder power in 1933. A new “small” V-12, a 67-degree unit displacing 382 cubic inches and abandoning Lincoln’s hallmark fork-and-blade rods, replaced the V-8 in the KA, Lincoln’s entry-level car. KBs kept the 447.9-cubic inch fork-and-blade engine but adopted a new cruciform double-drop chassis frame. For 1934, there was a new engine, a 414-cubic inch version of the former KA powerplant. It was used in all Lincolns, the KA and KB designations now distinguishing the wheelbases: 136 inches for the KA and 145 for the KB. There were 26 different body styles, both factory and semi-custom. Among the most attractive was the Style 287, a Convertible Roadster built by LeBaron.
Lincoln produced a total of 2,149 cars in the Depression year of 1934. The Lincoln KB offered from the Karl Blade Collection is fitted with the rare and desirable semi-custom Style 287 LeBaron Convertible Roadster body, sitting on a massive 145-inch wheelbase, which makes for exceptionally sporting proportions with the long hood and short deck. Only Brunn, Dietrich, Judkins, Willoughby and LeBaron remained as official Lincoln coachbuilders, and for 1934, they produced only 159 semi-custom KBs combined.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
150 bhp, 414 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel power-assisted mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 145"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Newell Coach Corporation