1942 Lincoln H-Series Seven Passenger Presidential LimoSOLD

Former Presidential Limousine of F.D.R and Harry S. Truman “ The Phoenix –1 ”

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ESTIMATE: $400,000 - $600,000

$605,000 Sold

Former Presidential Limousine of F.D.R and Harry S. Truman “ The Phoenix –1 ”

130hp, 292 cu. in., 12-cylinder engine, three-speed sliding gear transmission, heavy-duty springs and shocks, four-wheel aircraft air brake Hydravac assist. Wheelbase: 138"

The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 demonstrated how vulnerable the United States was to attack. To help protect the President, three special government cars were quickly ordered in January 1942 by the Secret Service.

The 1942 Lincoln Custom Limousine was specifically ordered for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Crippled earlier in his life by polio, Roosevelt was unable to go for long walks on his own to clear his head and consider the many decisions, plans and alternatives suggested by cabinet. Instead, the president went for drives, thus requiring a car that provided the utmost in protection.

Early in 1942 the Lincoln Division of the Ford Motor Company rolled a new Lincoln Custom Limousine onto the assembly floor. Due to the special fittings and alterations necessary it would be the last Lincoln to leave the Detroit factory until after WWII.

Michael F. Reilly, head of the White House Secret Service and confidante to President Roosevelt noted in his book, “ Reilly of the White House, ” that he had requested a “ bomb proof and bullet proof car. ” He added, “ The armoring and the glass in these cars are capable of withstanding a direct hit from a heavy-caliber machine gun… ”

Ford Motor Company custom built this Lincoln from the ground up. Body modifications included 1-1/8-inch thick 9-ply glass, a special rear mounted antenna for radio equipment (since removed), deleted side vent windows, and steel plating in the doors, roof, firewall, kick and quarter panels, floor, transmission hump, and gas tank.

The doors received 3/16-inch steel armor plating bolted into place and when combined with the bulletproof glass resulted in a weight of almost 200 pounds. This required making the doors thicker inside to preserve the external styling of the vehicle. The standard vacuum lifts for the glass and push-button door mechanisms could not handle the additional weight. The door kicker springs remained from the push buttons to assist in opening the doors. Also, Lincoln reverted back to the heftier lever-type door handles, conventional latches and window cranks. With the windows down, a spring loaded flap covered the slot in the top of the door to stop things from falling inside and jamming the windows while providing a neater, finished appearance.

The window vents had to be removed in order to facilitate the thicker glass. The instrument panel was also shortened at both ends to accommodate the thicker doors. The A-posts, now fitted with grab handles, were also thickened and widened slightly.

The fitting of a Federal Electric Company double, long-tone roll siren, the Model 77B hand grips, flag holders and footplates for the Secret Service agents made it clear that this wasn ’ t just another seven passenger Lincoln limousine. These necessary features contradicted the kind of anonymity the Secret Service would have preferred.

There were no modifications noted on the Assembly Plant Record card, so we must assume that the Lincoln ’ s engine is the standard 130hp, V12. However, necessary mechanical modifications included the fitting of an extra capacity radiator, a heavy-duty 65 amp generator, and Hydravac brake assist. A heavy steel mesh protected the engine and radiator while allowing the necessary cooling air in and the heat out. Additional ports were cut into the cowl to assist the escape of engine heat. At the same time, cooling was improved by making the radiator tank top an inch thicker, adding 3-1/2-inches to the core than standard, and fitting a larger fan. The gas tank was wrapped in armor plating with an additional plate placed in between the tank and the rear panel. Specially designed 16-inch wheels were fitted along with Firestone whitewall tires, heavy duty springs (stock units with additional leaves) and shock absorbers.

A production seven-passenger Lincoln Limousine weighed in at around 4,400 ponds, whereas this Presidential, armor-plated Lincoln tipped the scales at 6,900 pounds – a full 57% heavier.

Inside, the usual leather front seats gave way to an interior finished completely in a tan with red pin-stripe broadcloth. Auxiliary jump seats were specially fitted into the back of the divider behind the driver ’ s seat. A heavy-duty railing was mounted in place of the normal fabric robe rail –probably to assist FDR.

The black Presidential Lincoln was actually obtained from the Ford Motor Company on a rental basis for $500.00 per year. Quite possibly the last vehicle delivered to Ford ’ s Alexandria branch, it arrived on March 4, 1942 and the White House officially took ownership of the Presidential Lincoln March 7th.

On March 9th, M. H. McIntyre sent a note to Edsel Ford stating, “ We are delighted with the new car which the President is now using. ” The Limo was used frequently at night by FDR for drives through Washington and was often shipped overseas. Throughout its extensive use, the most historically important role played by the Lincoln occurred in February of 1945, when it was used for Roosevelt ’ s secret journey to meet with Stalin and Churchill in Yalta.

Following FDR ’ s untimely death in April 1945, the Presidential Lincoln was returned to the factory late in 1946 for overhauling and updating. Inadequate from the beginning, the wheels and tires could hardly handle the excessive weight of the Lincoln; they were upgraded to light truck 16-inch wheels with Firestone heavy-duty Transport Delivery blackwall tires that could better cope with the Lincoln ’ s bulk. Plated lock rings dressed-up the wheels that were no longer covered at the rear by fender skirts. A 1946 grille treatment and the removal of the running boards provided a much more contemporary look. Since Lincoln did not resume production of this model, it is considered the only 1946 Lincoln Limousine ever built.

With the introduction of the new 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitans late in 1948, the White House ordered newer Presidential cars for its fleet. The Limousine had already been shipped to the Kansas City District of the Secret Service for President Harry S. Truman ’ s use when he came home to Independence, Missouri.

In early 1949, the Limousine was replaced and ended up at a Rolls-Royce dealer in Chicago where it was purchased by the Barrack Furniture Company in Springdale, Arkansas. It was subsequently sold to a gentleman in Texas, and then again to Byron L. Akers in Colorado in 1962. He put in his Ghost Town Wild West Museum where it sat for the next thirty years.

In 1983, a fire in the museum blistered the Lincoln ’ s paintwork, damaged some the chrome and cracked a few of the bullet-proof glass windows, but otherwise it escaped unscathed. Once cleaned up, it remained on display at the museum until 1992.

The Presidential Limousine then underwent a sympathetic restoration. The body was removed, the engine rebuilt, a new wiring harness fitted, and the glass replaced by the original company, but whenever possible Akers retained the Lincoln ’ s originality, including the original interior. Aircraft restorer Gene Kear of Colorado Springs documented the extensive 11-year long restoration.

Freshly restored, the Presidential Lincoln was part of the 2003 Ford Motor Company Centennial Celebration where it was selected to represent the year 1942 as one of the “ 100 Icons that Moved the World. ” The following year, the Lincoln was the centrepiece of the Secret Service Retiree ’ s Convention in Las Vegas and then displayed as part of “ The Auto Collections ” display at the Imperial Hotel. In 2005 the Limousine was part of the Blackhawk Museum ’ s “ The Fine Art of Being President ” exhibit.

Fully documented and remaining in very good to excellent overall condition, it is with great pride that RM offers this historically significant Presidential Lincoln Limousine for sale.

Reference Number 5825

as of 1/10/2007

Car 1942 Lincoln H-Series Seven Passenger Presidential Limo
VIN H135600 
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