Hershey | Lot 144
1932 Lincoln Model KB Boattail Speedster
$605,000 USD | Sold
| Hershey, Pennsylvania
6 October 2016
- Designed by legendary General Motors stylist David Holls
- Coachwork by Marcel Delay with final assembly by Brian Joseph
- A numerous concours d’elegance award winner, including Pebble Beach
- Successfully completed the Copperstate 1000 and Pebble Beach Motoring Classic
- The subject of artwork by Jack Juratovic
- Fascinating to look at and thrilling to drive
Est. 175 hp, 448 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine with four Stromberg No. 81 two-barrel carburetors, three-speed manual transmission, air suspension, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes with power assist. Wheelbase: 136 in.
Inarguably one of the most famous Classic Era Lincolns is one that was never built “back in the day.” In fact, the genesis of this spectacular speedster – the subject of everything from concours features to modern artwork – was the dream of one enthusiast, Greg Bilpuch of Lake Orion, Michigan. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Bilpuch was discussing Lincolns with David Holls, the legendary retired Vice President of Design at General Motors, best remembered both as the creator of the 1959 Cadillac tailfins and the 1966 Buick Riviera. Mr. Bilpuch described his dream Lincoln, a Model KB with a speedster body as Edsel Ford would have commissioned it from the Parisian coachbuilders Hibbard & Darrin. Soon, the obliging Mr. Holls had produced sketches for such a design, and the building of Mr. Bilpuch’s dream car was underway, using an original Lincoln Model KA chassis, with a Model KB engine.
The “David Holls Speedster,” as it is known, incorporates such Hibbard & Darrin trademarks as pontoon fenders, a very long hoodline, a sweeping vee’d windshield, and disc wheels. At the same time, it borrows exhaustively from American designs of the period, with a tapered boattail reminiscent of Gordon Buehrig’s “Fishtail” speedster design for Duesenberg. The best of modern American hot rodding went into the car, such as the installation of four Stromberg carburetors atop the mighty 448-cubic inch V-12 engine, and fitting air suspension. Yet much of the chassis and powerplant engineering remains the same excellent workmanship used by Lincoln in 1932.
The fabulous bodywork was created by probably the foremost fabricator in the United States, Marcel DeLay of Corona, California, using a proper inner ash wood frame; even the hardware is custom, including the door and hood hinges, and the windshield frame. Final completion of the car, including paintwork, was by Brian Joseph’s renowned Classic & Exotic Service of Troy, Michigan. All told, the project took 3.5 years to complete to the standards of its fastidious owner.
The completed speedster racked up an impressive roster of awards, beginning with 2nd in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1999, followed by prizes at EyesOn Design and the Bay Harbor Vintage Car & Boat Festival in 2000, among other awards. It was also used as the centerpiece of the Lincoln stand at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show, as selected by Ford Motor Company officials. The car was even the basis of a painting by the renowned automotive artist Jack Juratovic. Yet, it is no mere showpiece; the current owner has actually completed the famous Copperstate 1000 and Pebble Beach Motoring Classic rallies behind the wheel while maintaining the car in beautiful cosmetic and mechanical condition. He notes that the car has excellent power, and that he has experienced 80 mph behind the wheel many times – in addition to receiving a speeding ticket at 72 mph.
In its creator’s words, “The purpose of this car was to design and manufacture a one-of-a-kind Lincoln of the Classic Era that would be a credit to the Lincoln marque and a car pleasing to Edsel Ford’s styling standards.” That it is—and so much more.