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LOT 47

1924 LINCOLN MODEL L LeBARON CONVERTIBLE Coachwork by Murray Body Co Chassis no. 18183 Engine no. 18183

Sold for DKK310,500 inc. premium
Lot 47
The Frederiksen Auction|26 September 2015, 14:00 CEST|Denmark - Ebeltoft

Coachwork by Murray Body Co

Chassis no. 18183
Engine no. 18183

358 cid L-Head V-8 Engine
90 bhp at 2,800 rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Rare Model L Lincoln with Leland-designed V-8 engine
*Built to a Dietrich design by the Murray Body Company
*Beautiful example of transitional model
*Displaying a wonderful patina throughout
*Rare piece of automotive history


The Lincoln Motor Company had been founded in 1917 by the great engineer Henry M. Leland and his son Wilfred. After the Great War, Leland's first Lincoln was superbly engineered and built. Introduced in 1921, it was powered by a 358 cid L-head 60° V-8 engine. Unlike more conventional V-engines which offset the cylinder banks slightly to make room for adjacent connecting rod bearings on the crank journals, Leland's Model L used expensive, precision-made fork-and-blade connecting rods and disposed the cylinders directly opposite each other. Unusually for the period, Leland's V-8 had full pressure lubrication.

However, Leland had an engineer's vision and the bodies which completed his automobiles left something to be desired in the design department. Lincoln tried a quick redesign with a set of twelve body designs by Hermann A. Brunn but it was too late as dismal sales, the post-WWI recession and an erroneous USD 4,5 million tax bill spelled the end of Lincoln. It was bought out of receivership in 1922 by none other than Henry Ford to balance the success of the bare bones Model T with the best-engineered and best-built luxury automobile in America.

Ford put his son Edsel, who had an innate sense of style, grace, balance and proportion, in charge of Lincoln and the automobiles soon began to reflect Edsel's vision. Initial production after the takeover consisted of the model L, where the "L" indicated that it had been designed by Henry and Wilfred Leland. This would remain the catalogue designation until the V-8 was superseded in 1931, a measure of Edsel Ford's respect for Leland, who was called the "Master of Precision".


This 1924 dark green over black Lincoln Model L reflects the beginning of Edsel Ford's influence on Lincoln design. The long hood, continuous beltline accent, subtly defined passenger compartment edges and body sides that curve in to join the chassis apron all convey a tight, integrated sense of purpose and performance that perfectly suited the Leland-designed chassis and drivetrain. This modern design had come about due to an interesting chain of events.

LeBaron Carrossiers Inc. had been founded in 1920 by the two legendary designers Raymond H. Dietrich and Tom Hibbard, after Brewster had fired them for planning on company time to start up on their own. They got themselves a fancy address at no. 2 Columbus Circle in New York City, but being virtually destitute, had no funds to establish their own coachbuilding facility. So they developed a never-before-seen business model, which was to sell ready-made designs to clients and then contract to have them built by outside coachbuilders. This rare Lincoln is precisely such a car. The design was created by Ray Dietrich, sold to a client (Edsel Ford in this case) and then built by
the Murray body company. Edsel Ford would order five to ten examples of a particular design such as chassis 18183, and if it proved popular, it would be slated for production by Murray.

But Edsel Ford had bigger fish to fry: he wanted Dietrich to design bodies exclusively for Lincoln. In 1924, the year 18183 was built, Edsel Ford set plans in motion to bring LeBaron to Detroit to build custom and semi-custom work for Lincoln. Hibbard had departed for Paris in 1923, and designer Ralph Roberts had been made partner. A proposal to purchase a controlling interest in LeBaron was made.

Both Dietrich and Roberts refused the initial offer, but then a secret meeting was held with Dietrich in Detroit. He was made an offer he could not refuse, namely the creation of Dietrich Inc., where he would own 50% of the firm, have his own factory, as well as a staff of designers and draftsmen. The clincher was a lucrative design contract from Lincoln. To Roberts' life-long dismay, Dietrich jumped ship and sped to Detroit.

Dietrich Inc. was an enormous success, and Ray Dietrich went on to create some of the most beautiful classics ever designed, including seminal work for Packard and Lincoln. Beautifully restored, chassis 18183 is a testament to this fascinating piece of automotive history, as Lincoln moved out of its engineering shadow to become a world leader in style and luxury. This car is one of the very rare Murray-built models to a Dietrich design, which was instrumental in the creation of Dietrich Inc. and the subsequent revolution of Ford design. It should be noted that this car has been fitted with a detachable steering wheel for ease of access.


Denne Lincoln Model L repræsenterer en vigtig periode i amerikansk bilhistorie. Chassiset og motoren er designet af Henry M. Leland og sønnen Wilfred, som grundlagde Lincoln i 1917. Lincoln var blandt de bedst byggede og mest velkonstruerede biler i USA i starten af 1920'erne. I 1922 blev Lincoln købt af Henry Ford, som overdrog opgaven med at styre nyerhvervelsen til sønnen Edsel. Edsel havde en instinktiv sans for stil, elegance og proportioner. Med det Leland-konstruerede chassis og motor som basis, ville han bygge nogle af de bedste biler i USA.

Denne fornemme Lincoln på chassis 18183 er udstyret med et cabriolet karosseri tegnet af Ray Dietrich, som sammen med Tom Hibbard grundlagde LeBaron Carrossiers Inc. i New York. LeBarons forretningsmodel var sådan, at designet var Dietrichs, mens selve karosseriet blev bygget af Murray i Detroit.

Denne smukke Lincoln er således et eksempel på et fascinerede stykke amerikansk bilhistorie, hvor store designere for første gang formgav luksusbiler som så blev produceret i en kvalitet som kun maskinfremstillede biler kan have. Endvidere medvirkede disse Lincoln med LeBaron karosserier bygget af Murray til den revolution af Fords design som holdt sit indtog da Ford A blev introduceret i 1928.

EU Taxes paid
US Import duty exempt
With Danish Registreringsattest

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  • 24 September 2015, 09:00 - 18:00 CEST
  • 25 September 2015, 09:00 - 18:00 CEST
  • 26 September 2015, 09:00 - 14:00 CEST

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