Lincoln Week Finale – The Lincoln-Zephyr Owners Club Comes To Town

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Time to say so long to Lincolns for a while, and what better way to end it than with some of the most beautiful Lincolns ever made. Let’s take a walk around and check out some truly cool Zephyrs and Continentals.

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I can thank my mother for finding out about this show. I don’t really read the paper (well, the comics) but she saw an article saying that the Lincoln-Zephyr Owners Club was having their annual meet in Bettendorf. I was all ears, since I love Lincolns, and you do not typically see prewar examples at the local cruise nights.

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There was one problem. The show itself was at 9:00 in the morning, with judging at noon. Of course, I would be at work during this time. Would the cars still be there?

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I emailed the editor of the LZOC website, and he sent me a nice note that as the club members were staying at the hotel, the cars would definitely be there. So I spent Friday at work with visions of ’41 Continentals and ’36 Zephyrs floating through my brain, while verifying credit card charges and printing payroll reports.

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One problem: Around lunchtime, the sky was starting to get really black, and a storm watch was in effect. It never got really bad–though it did rain pretty good for a while–and by the time I got off work it was mostly sunny. So I crossed the bridge into Iowa, with a fully charged camera of course.

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Well, the storm meant that the Connies and Zephyrs were in the parking garage instead of outside. Thus, the photos are not quite as, well, photogenic as I would have liked, but I think you’ll agree every one of these beauties is worthy of attention.

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The first car to pique my interest was this very sharp green 1942 Zephyr sedan. As most of you know, I am a sucker for a green car, and Lincolns, so when I see a green Lincoln, forget any pressing matters.

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A 1942 anything is quite rare, as Pearl Harbor cut off 1942 U.S. car production quite early. Combined with the fact that most prewar cars were driven into the ground during the WWII years means that few survive to the present day. But this one has beaten the odds.

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Neat details abound, like the hood ornament and badging on the nose.

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I was afraid the low lighting in the garage was going to render my interior shots unusable, but  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out.

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Here’s the back seat. Looks pretty comfy, yes?

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Next up is this green ’47 Zephyr convertible. Only about 380 of these were built that year, and according to the info sheet inside, this is one of only ten known survivors.

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The interior was very sharp in saddle tan. I like the maroon steering wheel!

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The front end reminds me of a Wurlitzer jukebox. Lots of fussy details. It may not be as clean and pure a design as the classic 1939-41 Continentals (which we’ll get to), but I like it nonetheless.

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The back end is much smoother, but with plenty of chrome detailing to let you know this was not a garden variety Ford Deluxe or Chevy. This was a Lincoln.

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We grouse about small windows on modern cars, but most of them don’t hold a candle to the backlight on this car. I would not want to parallel park this beauty unless the top was down!

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Despite the beauty of the Continentals we’ll see in a bit, I think this is my favorite. I wish it had been on the upper level of the ramp, so I could have gotten better pictures, but even in the low lighting, I’m sure you’ll agree this is a lovely car.

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This one appears to be a ’37, and the coupe body is, frankly, stunning. If you ever get the chance to see one of these cars in person, do it! The line from the top of the roof to the B-pillar to the trunk, to the bumper, is one sinuous line–stunning. The deep plum color only added to its appeal.

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I loved the cloisonné grille badge…

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…which matched the trunk handle. Such detail.

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Here’s a ’39. This was the first year the grille could be called a “waterfall” grille, though the look got started in ’38 when the low-mounted grille replaced the tall, proud 1936-37 version.

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I love the hubcaps on these, too.

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But Tom, I can hear you say, what about the Continentals? Fear not, there were several examples, and they were near the ramp to the top of the garage, which meant they enjoyed much better lighting condition than the cars on the ground level.

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How about this? These cars look lovely in dark colors: hunter green, maroon…

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…navy blue…

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And black! Mustn’t forget black. Especially sharp when a red interior is thrown into the mix.

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All these cars were in excellent shape, and many (including this one) had AACA and LCOC award badges on them.

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Here it is: The original Continental kit. So lovely on these cars, attractive enough on the Continentals Mark III-VIII, and so hideous on 1980s Eldorados, Town Cars, and K-Car ’90s New Yorkers.

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Here’s the side view. Nice, huh?

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Here’s the inside. The horn ring, radio grille, and other trim bits were plated in real gold.

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The saddle tan interior contrasted nicely with the maroon paint.

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The dark blue one was equally nice, and wore Minnesota plates.

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I really liked the accessory driving lights on this one.

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Amongst all the cabriolets was this hunter green ’40 Zephyr coupe. A friend of mine (an LZOC member; I visited with him later on at the dinner) has a ’41 Continental coupe in this very same color, with hunter green leather. It’s my favorite color on these cars.

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The inside was green as well, in what appears to be Bedford cord. Note the pushbutton door release; in 1941 the exterior door handles would also be pushbutton-activated.

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This was a really clean design. The dark colors really suit it.

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No doubt Zephyr owners parallel-parked with no fear, judging from the three stout bumper guards mounted front and rear.

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These were really impressive cars, and I’m glad the LZOC decided to make the QC area their choice for a meet this year. On the way out I spotted what I consider the last true Lincoln, just a stone’s throw away from the classics.

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