Lot Number

1937 Lincoln Model K Convertible Victoria by Brunn

Sold For $184,800

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Auctions - THE DINGMAN COLLECTION 23 - 24 JUNE 2018 - Offered from a private collection

Identification No.
  • Offered from a private collection
  • Formerly of the Dr. Barbara Atwood Collection
  • Commissioned by socialite and athlete Eleanora Sears
  • Many unique features, including 1936 styling cues and white rubber running boards
  • A sporting automobile, bespoke for a sporting lady
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

Raised in Beacon Hill Brahmin society, Eleanora Randolph Sears was ahead of her time as a noted sportswoman, not only participating, but excelling in numerous pursuits. She won the U.S. women’s doubles tennis title in 1911, 1915, 1916, and 1917, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame; was the first person to swim the four-and-a-half miles from Bailey’s Beach to First Beach in Newport; bred, trained, and rode show horses; helped to found the U.S. Women’s Squash Racquets Association; walked 47 miles between Boston and Providence in 9 hours and 53 minutes in 1926; and participated in baseball, field hockey, and auto racing.

Unsurprisingly, Sears liked fine automobiles and owned most of the great marques of her era. In 1937 she ordered this Model K, one of 15 produced with this “semi-custom” Convertible Victoria body by Brunn & Company of Buffalo, featuring a one-piece flat windshield and distinctive blind-quarter top. Of surprisingly conservative bent when it came to styling, she requested that the car have the 1936-style grille, fenders, and free-standing chrome headlights rather than the new Lincoln-Zephyr-inspired look of most 1937 Lincolns. The running boards were covered with an experimental white rubber covering, supplied by Goodyear, as later recounted by Hermann Brunn Jr., son of the coachbuilder. The body was finished, naturally, in Sears Maroon.

Sears drove the Lincoln avidly for several years, then laid it up during World War II. After the war she gave it to her cousin, Henry Sears Lodge, for him to drive while at Harvard! The car was eventually acquired by Ted Swain, then, in 1991, by Dr. Barbara Atwood, one of the best-known collectors of Full Classics at the time. Dr. Atwood commissioned the car’s full restoration, after which it competed all over the country, winning the President’s Cup from the AACA in 1993, and 2nd in Class at that year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It continued to appear in AACA judging until 1998, then was fastidiously maintained in Dr. Atwood’s private museum until joining the current owner’s collection in 2009.

Still in beautiful overall condition, this is among the most fascinating Full Classic Lincolns – a beautiful reflection of a fascinating, unique personality.

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