Lincoln Model L Sport Phaeton by Locke
Under Edsel Ford’s direction, Lincoln continued to gain status, as did the car’s image as one of America’s leading luxury automobiles. Unlike his mechanically-minded father, Edsel was a man of sophisticated taste with a keen eye for design and classic good looks. He also contracted with coachbuilders to provide many special offerings that appeared in Lincoln showrooms, as both catalogued and coachbuilt customs.
Rochester, New York coachbuilder Locke built a total of 298 dual-cowl sport phaeton bodies for Lincoln between 1927 and 1929; the car being the only known body to be installed on a 1930 chassis. Sporting body number 275, it indicates it was near the end of those produced. The chassis dates from September or October of 1930, and it included various features, such as bumpers, lights, horns, a steering column, and a luggage rack that are of 1931-style. The 12 cars with succeeding chassis numbers were specially-built for the 1930–1931 Chicago Auto Salon, supporting the car’s status as a very extraordinary example.
This was the final vehicle to become part of the highly regarded collection of Dave Uihlein. Mr. Uihlein had seen a similar car in Milwaukee in the 1930s and was struck by the styling, in particular, the close-coupled bustle at the rear of the body. After many years of searching, he found this car and purchased it in 2005. It is believed to have been used by both Edsel Ford and Michigan Governor Frank Fitzgerald, later spending 21 years in the stewardship of Eugene Eldridge. Subsequent owners included David Rehor and Rick Carroll. It was purchased at auction in 1995 by John Hazlitt, who sold it to Uihlein. The car was acquired by the current owner in October 2009 and was accepted and shown at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in 2010.
Presented in its original colors of light blue and silver with black fenders and chassis over saddle brown leather, the car is complete with original side curtains and rods in their factory packaging. In all, it is one incredible and well documented Lincoln.
90 hp, 384.8 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 136 in.
Part of the RM Auctions event in Arizona in January, 2013.
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Aaron Summerfield