Tag Archives: convertible

1933 Lincoln KB Convertible Victoria

If you talk to Lincoln historians, many feel that the 1933 Lincoln KB may have been the best Lincoln ever produced. With the introduction of Cadillac’s V-12 and V-16 luxury cars, it quickly became apparent to Henry Leland that the multi-cylinder race was on. He founded Lincoln on the premise of producing cars without compromise. This 1933 KB is a stellar example of Leland’s finest engineering.

  • 448-cu. in. L-head V-12 engine,
  • 150 HP, 3-speed manual transmission,
  • longitudinal leaf spring suspension,
  • power disc brakes,
  • 145” wheelbase

Lincoln offered true custom-built cars during this time period, but the company also placed stock orders — sometimes 50 at a time — to a multitude of premiere coach-builders like Judkins, Murphy, Dietrich and Brunn. This allowed customers the luxury of a coach-built auto with the option to customize their vehicles without a lengthy wait for delivery.

AMIG 1933 Lincoln pic 1

KB 2532 features what many consider the most attractive of all of those coach-built bodies: Brunn’s striking Convertible Victoria. With its low windshield, clean top lines and sweeping fenders, the car is a masterpiece of classic era design. Naturally, the paint exudes Wall Street swank, alternating between subdued burgundy and tan. The bodywork is excellent and the finishes have been buffed to the kind of liquid-smooth shine that’ll be right at home sitting on any show field.

AMIG 1933 Lincoln pic 2 int

KB 2532 was long owned by noted Lincoln collector Roy Warshawsky of J.C. Whitney fame. The big Victoria was one of his all-time favorite pieces, remaining in his personal collection until his death. Ohio collector Richard Scott then restored the car and completed a 1,000-mile CCCA CARavan through the Pacific Northwest. When Scott sold KB 2532, it had a stint in one of America’s preeminent Midwest automotive museums, where it earned a CCCA Senior 100 Point Award.

Lincoln 2

This Victoria’s 448-cubic inch V12 engine is nothing short of an engineering masterpiece with seven main bearings, fork and blade connecting rods and dual cylinder blocks. Hand-built and very expensive to produce, the 150-horsepower mill was so expensive to manufacture that it would be promptly replaced by a more conventional design, making 1933 the last year for the ultimate Lincoln.

Lincoln 1

The chassis is clean and correct. It features solid front and live rear axles, longitudinal leaf springs and 4-wheel vacuum servo-assisted drum brakes. The 1933 model also received a reinforced frame, an adjustable vacuum booster, thermostatic shock absorbers and a new 3-speed transmission.

Inside, lovely wood-topped door panels join the elegant burgundy carpet. Pleated and stainless-trimmed seats serve as the car’s soft points. The dash and steering wheel are restored original pieces with period-correct knobs, gauges and controls. Overall, this Lincoln emphasizes the kind of secure, luxurious coddling that most showroom-fresh metal lost a long time ago.

’32 and ‘33 Lincolns are regarded as some of the finest and most undervalued cars of their era. This Victoria is one of just 533 KBs assembled. It is an elegant, luxurious and exceptionally stylish reminder of the incredible engineering prowess of one of the world’s most storied automotive franchises.

1959 Pontiac Catalina Tri-Power Convertible

A fully equipped Pontiac Catalina in 1959 was one of the most powerful and desirable cars available from General Motors, but car styling was leaping forward at a record pace towards the jet age 60’s. The Catalina represents the debut year for many of Pontiac’s trademark features that would propel them to record sales just a few years later. From 1950 to 1958, all Pontiac Hardtops were designated Catalinas, but in 1959, they created a one-year only lineup of multiple Catalina body styles, including sleek new sedans, coupes, Safari wagons, and convertibles. The Catalina wheelbase was stretched to 122”, and they all carried the distinctive split-grille styling treatment, which was a fortuitous design accident that became a trademark for decades.

59 Pontiac Catalina Conv

  • 289 ci Tri-Power V-8 engine,
  • 345 HP,
  • 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission,
  • independent front suspension,
  • semi-elliptic leaf springs,
  • four wheel power drum brakes, 122” wheelbase

 

9 Pontiac Catalina engine

Pontiac designers were experimenting with a design for a conventional, full width oval grille, containing horizontal quad headlights, and in frustration, they cut it in two pieces and transposed the halves. With the lights remaining at the extremities, this gave them the new split center, open-ended look for the ‘59 Catalina. Along with the wider body came a wide track chassis that was a full 5” wider, which really pushed the wheels outward to fill up the fenders. This not only improved the appearance of the car, but Pontiac engineers discovered that pushing the wheels further out also led to vast improvements in ride and handling – hence the term “Wide Track” which Pontiac would use in its promotional efforts for many years to come.

59 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

The Catalina also had more to offer than most of its rivals under the hood, where a 389 CI V-8 was the biggest engine in its class, and in the case of this rare convertible, when equipped with the rare optional Tri Power carburetion setup, where 3 Rochester 2 barrel carbs make a class-leading 345 HP. Coupled with the 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, this big 2-door convertible remains clean and correct under the hood, and a first class highway cruiser today.

1959 Pontiac Catalina

This factory-born Cardinal Red convertible was assembled in Canada and fully restored in 2012, with a lovely paint finish and sharp bodywork. The custom interior is very cool, the glittering chromed wire wheels and whitewall tires look new, and the dash is simply incredible. The big six-person convertible features both power steering and brakes, making it a comfortable boulevard cruiser that’s both reliable and very easy to drive.

1959 Pontiac Catalina interior

Pontiac enthusiasts know that the ’59 Catalinas are quite rare, especially the Tri-Power Convertibles, and will always be looked at as the start of the big, wide, powerful era at Pontiac, and these features propelled Pontiac to great success for the next several decades.

1959 Porsche 356A/1600 Super Convertible D

Before the onset of World War II in 1939, Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche was developing three Type 64 cars for a Berlin to Rome automobile race in 1939, but the event was cancelled due to the hostilities in Europe. Not until after WWII would the next Porsche be built – a mid-engine tubular chassis 356 prototype called “No. 1”, which remains on display in Stuttgart to this day. This prototype has led to some debate as to the “first” Porsche automobile, but Porsche itself considers the steel-bodied 356 to be its first production model in 1950. Its reputation as a lightweight and nimble handling two-door sports car with a reliable powertrain was the key factor in the post-war resurgence that Porsche enjoyed for many years.

59 Porsche 356 right side

  • 1,582 cc four-cylinder 616/2 Super engine,
  • four-speed manual transaxle,
  • four-wheel independent suspension
  • and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 82.7”

 

59 Porsche 356 engine

Little noticed at its inception, except for a small number of auto racing enthusiasts, the first 356s sold primarily in Austria and Germany. It took Porsche two years, starting with the first prototype in 1948, to manufacture the first 50 automobiles, but soon the 356 had gained some renown among enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic for its aerodynamics, handling, and excellent build quality. Porsche’s Class Win at Le Mans in 1951 was clearly a turning point in world recognition for the brand.

59 Porsche 356 driver side

By 1956, the 356 in all forms had been continually developed into one of the world’s most respected sports cars. This feat was quite remarkable considering that Porsche as a company was only celebrating its eighth anniversary. The evolution of the Porsche 356 was swift and further impelled not only by Porsche’s drive for technical improvement but also commercial success. By 1958 the Speedster model was four years old and sales were declining. Porsche realized that significant improvements were necessary to attract buyers, despite the market for a “weekend racer”. The Porsche 356A Convertible D was the replacement in 1959, and with Reutter coachworks straining to keep up with the demand, Porsche contracted with the Drauz Company in Heilbronn to manufacture the bodies for the Convertible D (the “D” stood for Karosseriewerke Drauz KG).

59 Porsche 356 right side

The new “Convertible D” featured a taller, more practical windshield allowing improved headroom, roll-up glass side-windows and far more supportive seats. The Convertible D model is arguably the rarest production Porsche 356 model ever manufactured for a full year, with just 1,331 produced between August 1958 and September 1959, with a fraction of those (estimated at 300) ordered with the high compression Super engine. It’s replacement came along in the form of the 356B Roadster Convertible, introduced in 1960. Alas, the sports car market’s love affair with top-down motoring was fading, and soft-top 356 model sales declined significantly in the early 1960s. Today’s market feels quite differently, and clearly the late Type A Super cars remain the high-water mark for 356 collectability.

59 Porsche 356 interior

The car we photographed near Dallas is the rare 1959 Convertible D, produced late in the run on August 7, 1959, the tenth from the last produced as confirmed by the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity obtained by the car’s long-term caretaker. It retains the original options of reclining bucket seats, chrome luggage rack, clock, and the factory safety belts it was shipped with in 1959, and with the factory Super engine, this rare Convertible D represents one of the most desirable Porsches of the entire era.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible Coupe

Walter P. Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corporation on June 6, 1925, when the Maxwell Motor Company was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation. The Chrysler was initially a six-cylinder automobile, but Walter steered them towards a full line offering, including everything from trucks to luxury cars. This period of great success earned Chrysler a place at the table in Detroit known as the Big Three.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country  engine

 

  • 323.5 ci Inline 8 cylinder L-head engine,
  • 135 HP,
  • Fluid Drive automatic transmission,
  • independent front coil-spring suspension,
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf springs,
  • 127.5” wheelbase

 
Many of the cars that brought Chrysler through the war years and beyond were designed by Raymond H. Dietrich with the aid of Chrysler’s Art and Color Department. As swiftly as the production of civilian cars came to an abrupt halt at the onset of World War II, it was resumed at nearly twice the speed in 1946. The Big Three scrambled to meet the imminent demand of excited new car buyers; however, Chrysler did so with a bit more creative gusto that helped institute immediate demand for some of their new models. The height of luxury at the time was the Town and Country convertible.
 
One of the most memorable post-war Chryslers ever built, the Town and Country’s steel front end was all Town and the White Ash wooden-bodied rear was all Country, and these elegant automobiles were equally at home in Manhattan or on your country estate.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country front

This fine automobile is freshly finished in the correct Chrysler Blue, with excellent chrome and trim throughout. The presentation of the car is top shelf from any angle. The 1948 Town and Country is highly sought after for CCCA Tours, as it is one of the most elegant and easy to drive Full Classics you can find. This car will earn the lucky new owner an entrance into any of their events, and would be a hit at the National Woodie Club shows as well.

The car features lovely new blue and cream leather upholstery that complements the new cut-pile carpeting throughout the spacious cabin. The elegant interior includes the fully original dashboard, which is one of the great designs of the era, complete with the factory heater, clock and AM radio. It’s all topped off by a new matching Haartz cloth top that is beautifully fitted and power operated, and even the trunk is restored in the correct materials, with the factory jack and spare.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country Conv  rear

The original woodwork is spectacular on this car, with ash slats that are neatly finger joined, and expertly refinished with just the right amount of gloss. All of the inserts are new, with the correct Di-Noc red mahogany being used, and the impact of the craftsmanship is immediate when you see the car.

The 323.5 ci L-head 8 cylinder engine readily finds a quiet idle upon starting and is very clean and nicely detailed, and mated to the innovative semi-automatic Fluid Drive transmission, the car runs and drives as new. The wide whitewall tires and hubcaps are all in fine condition, making it obvious to anyone that this is a beautifully sorted luxury car that is fully capable on modern roads.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country door

With only 8,368 built in 1948 and far fewer surviving, these big Chryslers have long been a top tier collector car, and that long history of increasing values is a testament to the Town and Country’s lasting appeal among enthusiasts who recognize post-war elegance at its best.

1940 Packard Super 8 One Sixty Convertible Coupe

Always built to the highest standards, the 1940 Packard Coupe was unquestionably one of the finest American cars of the pre-war era. In the 1930s, Packard controlled nearly 40 percent of the luxury car market, yet its traditional, labor-intensive, and low-volume production methods would soon contribute to a dire need to revise their approach. Forced to modernize or perish, Packard hired George T. Christopher, a retired GM production executive, to lead the development of an all -new automobile that was suitable for volume-production methods, yet retained Packard’s legendary build quality, engineering, and prestige. 1940 was a pivotal year for Packard, and is considered by many to be the last year of Packard’s Classic Era. A 1940 Packard is smooth, quiet and elegant, with enough modern technology to make them great touring cars on today’s highways.

40 Packard Super 8 convertible

Christopher devised a 4-year plan to introduce Junior Series cars to the market, and eventually, they dominated Packard’s bottom line. The market was changing, and all manufacturers were forced to respond with more standardized manufacturing techniques. Coachbuilt manufacturing became impractical, and efficiencies such as lighter aluminum pistons and the new Stromberg AAV-26 carburetor allowed the new 160 HP Super 8 engine to become the powerplant of choice for all upcoming Senior Packards. The Super 8 One Sixty Convertible Coupe sold for $1,797 when new.

40 Packard Super 8 coupe engine

  • Inline 8 cylinder 356 cubic inch engine
  • 160 HP
  • 3-speed all synchromesh transmission
  • independent parallelogram front suspension
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension
  • 127” wheelbase

 

The unmistakable Packard look was subtly altered for 1940 with small side grilles flanking the iconic “oxbow” radiator shell, a styling touch that was already being used on other marques to make them appear wider when viewed from the front. Also, headlight pods now rested on the front-fender “catwalks,” a step toward the eventual integration of the lamps into the fenders that would take place in 1941. The headlight pods were now filled with brighter sealed-beam lamps, and the parking lights were shifted to slender nacelles atop the fenders. It was also the first year for fully covered dual sidemounts as optional equipment.

40 Packard Super 8 coupe

With just 401 Super 8 One Sixty Convertible Coupes built in 1940, this car is both rare and desirable, and is a CCCA “Full Classic” that easily runs down the highway at modern speeds. With legendary Packard reliability, smoothness, and classic styling, it will offer the option of open-air motoring always available at the push of a button.

40 Packard Super 8 steering wheel