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Designed by John Tjaarda, the Lincoln Zephyr was introduced in 1936 as a lower-priced Lincoln to compete with Cadillac’s LaSalle. It was named and styled after the streamlined Burlington Zephyr express train. The car had a low raked windscreen, integrated fenders, and a teardrop design and was an immediate success. It was the first Ford Motor Company car to utilize a unibody construction. This technique allowed for a reduction in overall weight, while maintaining a great deal of rigidity. The Ford influence could also be seen in its use of transverse-leaf front and rear springs. The engine was a 267 ci L-head V-12 that produced 110 hp. This power plant was connected by a three-speed manual transmission. They were produced from 1936 until the beginning of World War 2 in 1942. In 1937 the Zephyr was available in three body styles; a two-door sedan, a four-door sedan and a three-window coupe. There were 23,159 of the four-door sedans built in 1937, at a cost of $1,265.
- Lincoln’s low priced offering introduced to compete with Cadillac’s LaSalle
- One of the first successful streamlined cars introduced after the Chrysler Airflow
- First Ford produced vehicle to feature unibody construction