Lincoln Model K Double Windshield Phaeton
Lincoln, the flagship of Henry Ford’s automotive empire, was run by his son Edsel, a man with impeccable taste and an exquisite sense of design. Each year, Lincoln exhibited on the auto salon circuit some of its catalogue customs and a number of one-off creations designed and built especially for the shows. KB1367, designed and built by Brunn & Co. of Buffalo, New York, was created especially for the 1932 salons.
Edsel Ford’s fine eye for design moved Lincoln away from the “perpendicular” themes Lincoln founder Henry Leland had imposed on his cars. The younger Ford contracted with Judkins, Fleetwood and Brunn for a variety of styles. Arrangements with LeBaron, Willoughby and Murphy followed soon afterwards. Of these, the coachbuilder with the longest relationship with Lincoln was Brunn.
Hermann A. Brunn, who had apprenticed with his uncle in the carriage trade, set up his own company at Buffalo, New York in 1908, specifically to build automobile bodies. Brunn’s first commissions were one-offs on prestige chassis, many of them for luminaries of the day. Brunn’s first automaker customer was Lincoln, even before the Ford takeover. Introduced to Leland by a friend, Hermann Brunn went to Detroit with his design engineer and produced 12 drawings of styles to be produced by Lincoln’s local body suppliers. The sale to Ford happened shortly afterwards, and Brunn, who already knew the Fords, was ideally situated to continue with Lincoln. At his peak of production, Brunn was turning out some 20 bodies a month, most of them shipped to Lincoln. Brunn was one of the longest-lived of coachbuilders, remaining in business until 1941. Notable Brunn commissions include the “Sunshine Special,” Franklin Roosevelt’s famous 1939 Lincoln K, updated in 1942 and used by the White House until 1951.
Lincoln’s 1932 exhibit for the auto salons comprised four KB cars, a Brunn Double Entry Sport Sedan, a Rollston Seven-Passenger Town Car, a LeBaron Town Cabriolet and KB1367, this Brunn Double Windshield Phaeton. Not a dual windshield phaeton in the usual sense, it has two steeply-raked windshields and an exceptionally sporting, low-slung appearance. Indeed, this was a remarkable display of Lincoln motor car construction. Most enthusiasts agree that the ’32 KB was the epitome of brilliance, as the design was exceptional, and every material used was of the highest quality. In fact, production numbers were at most one-third of what Packard was building while the price was significantly higher. The average Lincoln buyer was also particularly wealthy, albeit conservative. Bankers and CEOs chose such luxury cars, so one must consider the amazing display of coachwork at the 1932 show. The Brunn double-windshield four-place phaeton, in particular, was fabulously unique and extraordinarily sporting, going against the grain of typical, tasteful Lincoln conservatism.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
150 bhp, 447.9 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 mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 145"
Source: RM Auctions
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