The Zephyr was a luxury passenger car produced by Lincoln from 1936 to 1942 and from 1946 to 1948. Until 1942, the car kept the name mentioned, but after the break of war, or from 1946 to 1948, the model was called simply " Lincoln, "without so no official name, although, to identify and distinguish it from other cars, was unofficially called H-Series.
The Zephyr was introduced to bridge the gap between the line made by Ford De Luxe models with a V8 engine, and the exclusive Lincoln K-Series. The Zephyr was designed and built by Edsel Ford, and was designed by Eugene Turenne Gregorie. The model was comparable to contemporary cars produced by LaSalle, the Packard 110, the Packard 120 and the Cadillac Series 60, and in fact stood for the offer of Lincoln, which was made up of luxury cars.
Introduced November 2, 1935 for model year 1936, the Lincoln Zephyr was equipped with a modern style and aerodynamics. After the Chrysler Airflow, the Zephyr was the first car with a particularly aerodynamic shapes to have a great commercial success. The Zephyr also had a coefficient of aerodynamic resistance lower than that of Airflow thanks especially to the line of the front. The model lifted the sales of cars and Lincoln from 1941 all brand new models were based on Zephyr. The number of copies sold of Zephyr was not high, but its percentage of the total number of cars sold Lincoln was remarkable. For example, in the first year of commercialization were sold 15,000 copies of Zephyr, however, that corresponded to 80% of Lincoln models produced in that year. In 1940 was launched on the market a production model that later would become a model in its own right, the Zephyr-Continental.
The U.S. auto production was discontinued in 1942 with the entry of the country into war in World War II, as the industrial plants of large U.S. companies were converted to war production. The last pre-war Zephyr came out of the assembly line February 2 of the year mentioned. After the war ended, many automakers returned to civilian production with the pre-war models, and Lincoln was not an exception. In 1946, however, the Zephyr name was no longer used and the model was simply called "Lincoln", though unofficially, to distinguish it from other cars, was known as H-Series.
The idea that he was behind the launch of the Zephyr, which is to market a luxury model but by its compact size, it was echoed later by other models of the brand as the Lincoln Lido in 1950, the Lincoln Versailles in 1977, the Lincoln Continental 1982 and the Lincoln LS in 2000. Zephyr The name was later used again in 2006 for another model which, however, was renamed MKZ in 2007.
The car body was designed by John Tjaarda and was equipped with a drag coefficient of 0.45. The structure, monocoque was stiff but lightweight.
The engine was installed in a 75 ° V12, which was derived from the Ford V8 Flathead engines. Despite the same arrangement of cylinders, the V12 of the Zephyr was very different dall’omologo engine of the K-Series. In addition, the engine of the Zephyr was presented with side valves and compact dimensions that allowed the creation of a rather low bonnet line.
From 1936 to 1939 the model was fitted with a V12 engine of 4.4 L displacement which, in 1938, were installed hydraulic tappets. This power unit delivered 110 hp, which allowed the vehicle to reach 140km/h top speed. From 1940 to 1941 the engine was enlarged to 4.8 L, while the models produced in 1942 and early 1946 passed the displacement to 5 L. The latter version instead it distributed 130hp. Since the end of the 1946-1948 displacement of the engine instead reverted to 4.8 L. This reduction in capacity was due to the attempt to extend the life of the engine, since it suffered from overheating problems and premature erosion of the mechanical parts. The suspension was leaf spring, while the brakes, the models produced from 1936 to 1938, were controlled by a cable. After 1939, it became the hydraulic brake system. The manual gearbox was instead to three reports.