Lot 215

Open Roads, February 2022

1937 Lincoln Model K Touring by Willoughby


$110,000 - $140,000 USD | Not Sold

Canada | Blenheim, Ontario



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Canadian Registration
  • Believed to be one of three surviving examples
  • Known history since new, with long-term family ownership
  • Engine previously rebuilt by noted restorer Fran Roxas of Vintage Motor Group
  • Includes copies of historical documents from The Henry Ford
  • Classic Car Club of America Full Classic

In production for nearly two decades starting in 1931, the Lincoln Model K was one of the most exclusive vehicles produced in the United States during the Thirties, competing with offerings from Cadillac, Chrysler, Packard, Pierce-Arrow, and Deusenberg. With this elegant and long-running model, Lincoln debuted a V-12 engine that would become a mainstay for the marque. Offering more than 15 different body styles over many model years, customization was a key attribute of the Model K, with bodywork coming from such noted coachbuilders as Brunn, Judkins, LeBaron, and Willoughby. For 1937, no less than 17 variants were offered, with several—including this seven-passenger Touring phaeton—produced in extremely small numbers.

The Lincoln Model K Touring with coachwork by Willoughby offered here is believed to be one of seven produced for 1937 and one of only three known surviving examples. According to a previous owner, Sam Kingston, this seven-passenger touring was built for Russell Leffingwell, chairman of the board of J.P. Morgan & Company, who reportedly used it for travel to his summer house on Lake George in Upstate New York. In the mid-1940s, the car is believed to have been sold to the late Curtis Blake, co-founder of Friendly’s and an avid automobile collector. Subsequently, Blake is said to have sold the car in the late 1950s or early 1960s to Mr. Kingston’s grandfather, who reportedly knew the Lincoln well, having been a neighbor to the Leffingwells in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Mr. Kingston then inherited the car in 1998 and had it refurbished in the 2001 to 2002 timeframe. During this period, the car was reportedly taken down to bare metal and resprayed in its factory-correct black livery, while the top, leather upholstery, chrome, and wiring harness, were also reportedly replaced.

After more than half a century in his family’s care, Mr. Kingston would sell the car in 2018 to William B. Ruger, an avid collector of pre-war classics with a penchant for 12-cylinder Lincolns. Reportedly, Mr. Ruger further improved the vehicle, commissioning a rebuild of the engine by Fran Roxas of Vintage Motor Group—said to be the very last job that the noted restorer completed prior to his retirement.

Under current ownership since late 2019, the car has continued to benefit from watchful care, with service records on file indicating various repairs carried out in 2020 by RM Auto Restoration Inc., including refurbishing the braking and fueling systems, among other items.

Accompanying the sale are copies of historical documents from The Henry Ford, including the original factory specification card. As one of the most exclusive Lincolns of the 1930s, this Classic Car Club of America Full Classic would be an ideal companion on any number of driving events and classic rallies.