Lincoln Model K Convertible Sedan

The first royal figure to visit Canada was Prince William, later to become William IV, in 1786. Since then, members of the British royal family have toured Canada with some regularity, the latest being a honeymoon tour of Canada by the recently wed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine Middleton. The royal tour of 1939, however, was particularly significant.

The tour marked the first visit by a reigning monarch to a dominion, an autonomous nation under British sovereignty. It had a political purpose, too, in shoring up support for the United Kingdom, which even in 1939 was bracing against storm clouds of war. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King had begun consultations while attending the coronation of King George VI in June 1937. Discussions and negotiations followed, and by early 1939 a schedule had been agreed for the King and Elizabeth, his Queen consort, to visit Canada in May and June.

For their coast-to-coast itinerary, a royal motorcade was called for, and thus four cars were constructed especially for the event. There were two special McLaughlin Buicks built by General Motors, Canada, as well as a Chrysler from Chrysler Corporation of Canada. Ford Motor Company provided a custom-built Lincoln Model K convertible sedan, ordered through Ford of Canada and built in Dearborn. All four cars were built to exacting specifications. They were to be painted Royal Maroon, matching the fleet at the Royal Mews in Britain. All had shatterproof glass, puncture-proof tires, a raised seating area for the monarchs, the Royal Standard above the windshield, a blue light for night-time illumination, a Royal Crest to be placed over the light in daytime and folding seats facing backwards, since it is forbidden to sit with one’s back to the sovereign.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2011 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.

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 drum brakes. Wheelbase: 145".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

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