1940 Lincoln Zephyr

Restoration Project by The Guild of Automotive Restorers

In 1938, Edsel Ford expressed his interest in a "special convertible coupe that was long, low and rakish," incorporating many European-inspired design elements. In response, Bob Gregorie quickly sketched the outline of the new car's two-door, four-seat body based on the groundbreaking Lincoln-Zephyr. This distinctive design featured a lowered hood line and cowl with extended front fenders, while at the rear, extended skirted fenders matched the bustle-style trunk. The folding top featured formal, Victoria-style blind quarters.

Edsel's approval was enthusiastic and swift. Work began to complete the car in time for his winter vacation in Florida, but it was soon clear there was insufficient room for a trunk-mounted spare tire, leading to the car's signature feature, the "Continental" spare tire kit. The prototype was completed in less than six months, and it was the unqualified hit of the season when it first appeared in Florida. Initially called the Lincoln-Zephyr Continental, the car entered production as a 1940 model. Only 404 examples were built in total that year (350 cabriolets and 54 coupes), and each car was mostly hand-built.

This particular Continental Cabriolet was purchased by its current owner from the Ed Weaver Estate in 1995. It was reportedly restored in the 1980s and continued to show very well. After acquiring the Continental, it was taken to renowned restorer Nunu Lowery for further paintwork and freshening. Along with a new set of Firestone Deluxe Champion tires, it was detailed by Honest Charley Garage in Chattanooga, Tennessee to make sure this rare Cabriolet looks as good as it runs. Overall, it is a solid example and would make a fine addition to any prewar collection.

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