When most of the country was singing “Brother, can you spare a dime” in the depths of the Depression, Lincoln was finding few customers for its grand luxury cars. Model year 1931 would be the pits for Lincoln sales, with only about 3,000 cars sold.
Fewer still were the coachbuilt cars, such as the Pick of the Day, a 1931 Lincoln Model L Custom Berline with a body by Judkins, one of the largest U.S. custom-body builders of the classic era. These were the majestic cars piloted by celebrities and captains of industry, or their chauffeurs, still riding high in the age of soup lines.
The Lincoln is described by its seller, a dealer in Lynchburg, Virginia, as an unrestored sedan in decent original condition despite being in storage for the past 65 years, including a lengthy stint on museum display.
“The overall appearance is quite respectable. It is very correct and it is very complete,” the seller says in the ad on ClassicCars.com. “It starts right up and seems to run okay, but it will require at minimum a major servicing and no doubt more before she should go out on the road.
“There are no signs of any rust and no signs of any significant prior accident damage. The paint may be original. The interior is definitely original and although it shows wear, it is quite serviceable.”
These cars were powered by high-compression V8s and sit on a 145-inch wheelbase, making them massively roadworthy in their day and usable for cross-country rallies today. The seller says there are apparently fewer than a dozen Judkins-bodied Lincolns still existing. This one has four rear-hinged doors and a formal roof with faux landau bars.
This model Lincoln passes muster as a True Classic by the Classic Car Club of America, which would give the owner access to that vast body of members and events. It would be a relatively inexpensive entry to the exclusive club, with an asking price of $79,500, although refurbishing costs would most certainly push it way beyond that. Yet it could be a decent investment as a desirable classic with a rare custom body.
“This is a rare opportunity to purchase a high-quality CCCA Classic that is worthy of preservation and could easily be easily be enjoyed in pretty much as-is cosmetic order,” the dealer adds.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day