Classic Van Auction Talk

Thursday 9 August 2018

1935 LINCOLN K CONVERTIBLE ROADSTER - BONHAMS AUCTIONEERS THE QUAIL LODGE SALE Quail Lodge's West Field 7000 Valley Greens Drive (at Rancho San Carlos Rd) Carmel CA 9392 Friday 24th August 2018

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Quail Lodge's West Field 7000 Valley Greens Drive
(at Rancho San Carlos Rd) Carmel CA 9392
Friday 24th August 2018

Coachwork by LeBaron

Chassis no. K3991
Engine no. K5627

414ci L-Head V12 Engine
Dual-throat Downdraft Carburetor
150bhp at 3,200rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Power-Assisted Drum Brakes

*Exceptional recent restoration by internationally recognized restorer
*Long-time Southern California car
*One of the rare and desirable Convertible Roadsters clothed by LeBaron Coachbuilders
*Superbly positioned for CCCA or AACA showing or open touring


During the Great Depression the US automobile market floundered; particularly the fine car manufacturers. While behemoths struggled, and smaller ateliers folded, Edsel Ford was determined that the great Ford Motor Company would weather the economic storm. He proved this by throwing his weight behind the luxury Lincoln brand. Unashamedly brash, the Lincoln Motor Company released its most prestigious model, the Lincoln K Convertible Roadster, aimed at the "sophisticated motorist, who need not compromise and probably owned 10 or more Lincolns already." The new lightweight model, based on the shortened 135-inch wheelbase, was depicted in yellow in marketing brochures, and presented as "roomier, easier to handle... surges lightly and swiftly at a touch of the accelerator...shifting is smoother, springs more flexible with modern beauty and no sacrifice." Exceptional in every aspect, the K Convertible Roadster was not for the faint of purse, with a base sticker price of $4,600. 


Perhaps among the most desirable of the Classic Era Lincoln models, this rare K Convertible Roadster is believed to be one of only thirty examples coached by LeBaron. The stylish open Roadster body sports a rakish windshield, flowing fenders with skirts and running boards, and elegant side-mounted welded steel-spoked wheels. The significant small-mesh grille, hood side-louvres and iconic greyhound ornament, framed by the chromed headlights and a single piece front bumper, produce an overall aesthetic of sporty flamboyance. The top is completely retractable into the recess behind the front seats, producing a clean open-car contour, even when the ample two-seater rumble is erected in the rear deck. A side panel accesses the interior luggage space – sufficient for golf clubs or weekend totes, while the rear luggage rack facilitates larger bags. The external grandeur is mirrored by the Art Deco styling of the interior with its leather upholstery and dual-dial instrument panel, accented with brightwork knobs and levers. The 1935 model was markedly quieter than its predecessors, as it benefited from the addition of five rubber engine mounts. Furthermore, hydraulic shock absorbers, which automatically adjusted to temperature and road conditions, plus a new synchronized gearing mechanism, rendered the ride noticeably smoother. This gorgeous 1935 K Convertible Roadster presents in stunning yellow, true to the Lincoln K flagship model in the original sales brochure, of which one is accompanying the sale of this car. Documentation proves this Model K was first sold on March 18, 1935, and has spent most of its life in Southern California. Here it was owned for many decades by a Mr. Ralph Thomas of La Cañada, and later a Mr. Midgley Thomas (possibly related) of Hemet, California. In 2012, the current owner and consignor, a prominent European collector, acquired the car from a Mr. William Lattin of Cherry Valley, California. Lattin then shipped the car to Košice, Slovakia for a top-drawer restoration by Retromotive, renowned for their expertise in rare classic automobiles. Photos taken at the time, before the restoration, reveal a complete and original automobile, ideal for restoration.

Over a period of several months the Convertible Roadster was completely disassembled, the body was taken back to bare metal, while all other metal parts were sandblasted and zinc-plated. The chassis was overhauled, the engine refurbished with new custom pistons, the wiring was replaced with period wires, and all other systems renewed, restored or replaced as necessary, including the brakes, gearbox and radiator. Retromotive paid particular attention to preserving the integrity of the 1935 roadster, using original connecting materials and parts wherever possible, and period true replacements as required. In an effort to ensure precise alignment, the chrome trims were temporarily fitted to the body prior to the final paint. Once dressed in appropriate yellow, the car received three layers of lacquer, each one polished out individually prior to the application of the next. The interior was finished using the accurate roof lining fabrics, rubber seals and weather-strips for the era, and a sumptuous caramel leather upholstery was installed. The final result is evident - a pièce de résistance. This octogenarian is not only a superlative example of an ultra-rare LeBaron coached K Convertible Roadster, but in its iconic yellow livery, sporting a premier restoration by an internationally acclaimed atelier, it is superbly positioned as a show car at elite events – and will be appreciated by the fabled, sophisticated, and uncompromising motorist.

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