Lincoln Model KB Convertible Sedan

The 1920s were a time of mechanical improvement at Lincoln. Four-wheel brakes, initially fitted for police service, were adopted across the board in 1927. For 1928, the engine was bored out to 385 cubic inches, which, with larger valves and higher compression, improved its torque characteristics. Rubber engine mounts were added in 1929 to reduce vibration, and the brakes were changed to the internal-expanding type, with cooling fins added to the rear drums.

In 1931 came a new model, the K. A cruciform-braced chassis frame had a wheelbase of 145 inches and allowed a much lower stance. A new peaked radiator and longer hood combined with more flowing fenders to give the car a more graceful, streamlined look. Underneath, synchromesh and free-wheeling were added to the transmission, and cable-operated Bendix Duo-Servo brakes were adopted. The engine, too, was new, with five main bearings. Although it had exactly the same displacement as its predecessor, higher compression and better manifolding netted a third more horsepower.

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. It weighed half a ton and developed 150 bhp. In a final nod to Henry Leland, it used fork-and-blade connecting rods, though it would be the last Lincoln engine to do so. For one final season the V-8 returned, as a Model KA on the short 136-inch wheelbase used in 1930.

Lincoln fully committed itself to 12-cylinder power in 1933. A new “small” V-12, 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 cid fork-and-blade engine but adopted a new cruciform double-drop chassis frame. New vacuum booster brakes were fitted, with adjustable assist. The shock absorbers gained thermostatic control to compensate for various weather conditions. The transmission was redesigned, and free-wheeling was made optional.

The radiator shell was given a rearward slope, with grille-work over thermostatically-controlled shutters. The handsome exposed horns of earlier models were now hidden behind the grille, and the headlights were given a new shape and made free standing.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

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 power-assisted mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 145"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Teddy Pieper

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