Handsome even in standard body configurations, Lincoln’s new-for-1932 KB models also offered an array of coachbuilt bodies from firms like Murphy, Brunn, Judkins and Dietrich. Four body styles were offered by Dietrich, including the Custom Stationary Coupe, of which just 17 were built. Three are known to survive today, and on Friday, March 13, a 1932 Lincoln KB Custom Stationary Coupe crossed the auction stage at Amelia Island, where it sold for a fee-inclusive price of $836,000.
In addition to a nine-inch-longer wheelbase (145 inches, versus the KA’s 136 inches), KB models also came with a 12-cylinder L-head engine that soon became renowned for its durability. The engine displaced 447.9-cu.in. and its installed weight was said to top 1,000 pounds. Its design called for a forged-steel crankshaft carried in seven main bearings. Output was a sound 150 horsepower and 292 pound-feet of torque, though given the KB’s curb weight of over two and a half tons, the Lincoln was not a sports car.
Chassis KB 816, the car sold at Amelia Island, was believed to be one of five Custom Stationary Coupes built by Dietrich for the auto show circuit. All auto show cars were finished in Seagate Blue, this car’s original color, and KB 816 was thought to be the car shown at the 1932 Los Angeles Auto Salon. Its immediate post-show history is unknown, though in 1934, the car was sold to a used car dealer in San Francisco who specialized in used luxury cars from the Southern California market. The Lincoln reportedly caught the eye of a Swedish citizen living in the San Francisco area, and he became the owner of record until the late 1940s.
Its next owner was tea and spice heir Carl Schilling, who spent the postwar years acquiring an impressive collection of custom-bodied Lincolns and spare parts. Under his ownership, the car was restored for the first time, and its worn engine swapped with a low-mileage example from a 1933 KB. Schilling owned the car until his death in 1954, at which time it was bequeathed to friend and fellow Lincoln enthusiast Toni Porta, along with a stockpile of spare parts.
In 1968, the Lincoln was sold to Jim Weston, who funded a complete restoration, with the intention of campaigning the car on the show circuit. After over four years of work, chassis KB 816 made its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it took third in its class. Weston reportedly used the car on a regular basis, as the stately Lincoln coupe was a frequent sight at Northern California CCCA gatherings.
Since Weston’s ownership, KB 816 has passed through the collections of three additional owners, including the consignor, who shipped it off for a no-expense-spared restoration with Stephen Babinsky of Lebanon, New Jersey. Fittingly, the car again made a second post-restoration debut at Pebble Beach in 2012, this time earning second in class and collecting The Lincoln Trophy from Edsel B. Ford II. According to Gooding & Company, the car has been “selectively displayed” in the years since, and was offered for public sale for the first time (since the 1930s, anyway) at Amelia Island.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Kurt Ernst.