Ford-Lincoln 1930’s K-Series V12 Fine Luxury Cars

The Lincoln K-Series V12, often referred to simply as “Ford’s K Series,” was a line of high-end luxury automobiles built by the Lincoln Division of Ford Motor Company during the economic depression of the 1930s. Specifically, the vehicles of Lincoln’s K series were built between 1932 and 1939. It was an ultra-luxury premium product that was delivered and marketed in the automotive market at the wrong time. Perhaps you could say that “there are always people with money” and it is important to have a flagship for your brand – in this case the competition was against Cadillac V12 road cars – yet Ford and its Lincoln division fought valiantly to maintain the selling price under the $ 4,000 mark.

The history of the Lincoln K-Series V12 model line is like this. Mr. Henry Leland had resigned from Cadillac in 1917, just after World War I ended, and developed a new automobile for 1921 which he called “Lincoln.” Lincoln was not yet part of the Ford empire, it was its own entity. This time period in terms of the auto industry in the US and around the world was one of “consolidation” where smaller and more enterprising auto manufacturing companies were swallowed up by larger companies with more financial resources, from marketing and sales. Lincoln was one of those entities acquired by Ford in 1922.

Mr. Henry Ford himself was happy to allow his company’s Lincoln division to continue to manufacture exclusive small quantities for over ten years before the first “Ford-Lincoln” (the Zephyr) was designed. The new management continued to build “Lincoln V8s” for ten years, but in 1932 they announced the splendid and rather exclusive K Series cars, one of which, (specifically the KB model), had a 7.3-liter V12 engine.

These cars were beautifully made and were downright impressive rather than simply attractive to look at and admire as road accessories. Their quantity production precision engineering was obvious, but they were just one of only seven “V12s” on the US car market in 1932. Therefore, the sales figures were low. Just over 2,000 were sold in the automotive sales and marketing year of 1933. Although the KA, which had a V8 engine, acquired a smaller 6.2-liter V12 edition in 1933, it only had a retail price of $ 2,700, Which put it at the luxury end of the car market out of reach of what it was. then considered “rich” (but impoverished) Americans. Still, there was a lot of interest in technical details in general.

The chassis and suspension were totally conventional, but the engine was a mix of old and new. Among its technical details were a 65 degree angle between benches (60 degrees was the norm then and would have provided perfect balance), side valves and removable cylinder blocks in a light alloy crankcase. There was synchronization in the gearbox (the entire United States followed GM’s lead in 1928) and a freewheel function in the setup. Surprisingly, the brakes were mechanically actuated, but had a vacuum “servo” to assist the driver or driver.

In 1934 a new Lincoln model was announced to replace the original KA and KB; This had a slightly smaller 6.8-liter (414-cubic-inch) engine, aluminum cylinder heads, and a top speed of 100 mph. There was still a major redesign a year or two later. However, sales continued to drop and decline with the last K-series Lincoln V12 that was built and rolled out of the Ford-Lincoln production facility in 1939.

However, the Lincoln name and exclusive canopy had been established by this product. The Ford-designed Lincoln-Zephyr, which bore this prestigious brand name that was an ultra-fast vehicle and filled a niche of lower car market prices on the roads. It began to be sold as if it were the Ford Mustang of its time. So while the Ford-Lincoln K-Series V12 was a case of a great product that emerged in the face of fierce competition and a higher price than most potential customers in its market could afford. However, the Ford-Lincoln K12 V12 laid the foundation for the founding and success of the Lincoln division of the giant Ford Motor Company, which served as Ford’s prestigious high-end premium faceplate.

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