Lincoln L Type 8 Double Phaeton. White version

Lincoln L Type 8 Double Phaeton

The L series was designed by Angus Woodbridge, the son-in-law of Henry Leland; trained as a ladies hatmaker, the design of the L series was considered old-fashioned for the time. The company catered early on to providing custom coachwork for its clients, and both Brunn and Judkins offered two choices each. 15 selections were available from Lincoln coachbuilders; roadsters, coupes, touring sedans, phaetons, and broughams, with a Town Car offered at US$6,600 ($108,284 in 2022 dollars). Brunn offered both a roadster and a phaeton, while Judkins offered both a sedan and a berline with glass partitions. To further accommodate the particular client, the chassis was sold for US$4,000 ($65,627 in 2022 dollars).

After World War I, the Lincoln Motor Company struggled in the postwar recession with repeated, false tax evasion claims. Total calendar year production for 1920 and 1921 were quoted to be 2,957.

In financial trouble, Leland sold the company to Henry Ford February 4, 1922 for $8 million ($139,864,811 in 2022 dollars), the amount determined by the judge presiding over the receivership Arthur J. Tuttle. Henry Leland valued the company at over $16 million. After a few months the Lelands left the company because of Henry Ford’s managerial style and his son, Edsel Ford, designed a new body for the L series. Edsel became president and Ernest C. Kanzler general manager. The L series was a robust car. In the first year, hydraulic shock absorbers were added. Edsel and Kanzler implemented production economies, trimming manufacturing costs by about $1000 per car.

Aside from the extension of the wheelbase from 130 to 136 inches, the chassis of the Lincoln Model L saw few major changes; the 60-degree L-head V8 remained in production. The V8 used a novel approach for the piston connecting rods called Fork and Blade, which meant two connecting rods shared one bearing on the crankshaft, which allowed for a short crankshaft and a smaller overall engine size, while still displacing 357.8 cu in (5.9 L). The cylinders in both banks are also not offset from each other.

For 1923, several new body styles were introduced for the Model L under the direction of Edsel, including two and three-window four-door sedans, and a four-passenger phaeton. Other vehicles included a two-passenger roadster, and a $5,200 ($89,314 in 2022 dollars) seven-passenger touring sedan and limousine. A sedan, limousine, cabriolet, and town car were also offered by coachbuilders LeBaron, Fleetwood, Judkins, Derham, Holbrook, Willoughby and Dietrich, and a second cabriolet was offered by coachbuilder Brunn. Vehicles built by these coachbuilders went for as much as $7,200; despite the relatively niche market segment, Lincoln sales rose about 45 percent to produce 7,875 cars and the company was operating at a profit by the end of 1923.

In 1924, the L series was given a newer look with such things as a nickel-plated radiator shell, while 1925 is identified by the absence of cowl lights. Front and rear bumpers became standard. The smallest L series was the 2-door, 2-passenger roadster. 1926 was basically the same except for some interior changes.

In 1924 large touring sedans began to be used by police departments around the country. They were known as Police Flyers, which were equipped with four-wheel brakes, two years before they were introduced on private-sale vehicles. These specially equipped vehicles, with bulletproof windshields measuring 7/8 of an inch thick and spot lights mounted on the ends of the windshield, also came with an automatic windshield wiper for the driver and a hand-operated wiper for the front passenger. Police whistles were coupled to the exhaust system and gun racks were also fitted to these vehicles.

In 1927, the L series got smaller wheels with 4-wheel standard mechanical brakes. All instruments were on an oval surface. A larger engine (though no HP increase) came in 1928. 1929 brought Safety glass and dual windshield wipers. 1930 was the last year for the L series.


Lincoln contracted with dozens of coachbuilders during the 1920s and early 30s to create multiple custom built vehicles, to include American, Anderson, Babcock, Holbrook, Judkins, Lang, LeBaron, Locke, Murray, Towson, and Willoughby in the 1920s. Murphy, Rollston, and Waterhouse were added in the 1930s. Optional equipment was not necessarily an issue with 1920s Lincolns; special and bespoke items were accommodated on customer vehicles. A nickel-plated radiator shell could be installed for $25, varnished natural wood wheels were $15, or Rudge-Whitworth center-lock wire wheels for another $100. Disteel steel disc wheels were also available for $60.

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