Rip Van Winkle Lincoln
This is page is about the restoration of the first car I bought
a 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Town Sedan, the car has been sleeping in my garage
since 1973. I bought this car in 1969 while in college for $200. But this was
not the first 1949 Lincoln in my life for the first car I remember my family
having was 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan 6 Passenger Coupe which went on to become
my first car. Which in the fall of 1969 had developed terminal rust problems
with structural rust in the frame becoming serious, and was going to require
serious work that I did not have the ability at that point in my life
My college roommate spotted another Lincoln For
Sale in the next town, Hillsborough
NH, when I went over to look at it one Saturday morning the owner was showing
it to a guy from New York State. They were haggling over the price, which I
never heard, as my girl friend (then wife now)and I looked over the car I was
amazed at its condition and low mileage (around 50K miles) it was clean big
and shinny black. The car was sitting there idling with a bit of exhaust rumble
but otherwise quiet and smooth. Only real problem was the moths had gotten to
the seats, they weren't worn just little holes.
At some point the owner of the car came
over and introduced him self, it turned out that he was the caretaker for a
summer estate in Washington, NH which belonged to a family from New Jersey,
that's when the conversation got interesting because my wife piped up that she
was from New Jersey and it turned out that the family lived was only a few towns
away. We then started talking about my `49 Lincoln which was sitting there looking
very tired in comparison. I told him the story of mine being on its last legs.
He told us that the car had been a summer
car on the estate for the last 10 or so years and was stored there over the
winters. The family had decided to replace it and had given it to him to sell
or use. He then ask what I could afford? I responded $200 bucks, he said sold
and go take it for a test drive. When the guy who had come over from New York
State to look at it heard that he almost exploded. Margaret and I took it for
a drive and everything seemed to work right and the car drove like a dream,
when we returned 15 minutes or so later the other guy was gone. The owner said
he really liked the other guy who was trying to get the car on the cheap.
Margaret and I drove the 10 miles back
to college got my room mate to drive us back over and in that short span of
time I now owned two 49 Lincoln's. I drove that Town Sedan as my daily car for
the nest 4 years before parking it in the garage because of an engine problem
and to protect it from rust. Along with fact that our new house was on a dirt
road which the low ground clearance of the Lincoln did really like.
I've got photos from college that show
both Lincoln's along with family photos of the Coupe that I will add to this
page as I find them.
Here is the Rip Van Winkle Lincoln
sleeping in the back of the garage, we have a strange garage, it is three bays
wide and two cars deep so that it actually holds 6 cars. So along with the 3
CMPS there are 2 more antique cars tucked away as future projects.
Here the Lincoln is up on the role back
for the move from the garage into the shop, I had considered using the winch
on one of the CMPs to move it out and pull it back in to the shop, but as I
thought about this it occurred that it would be a lot simpler call my friendly
tow service and have them send up a rollback. (My wife says I'm actually getting
brighter as I get older) When I told the office who I was and what I wanted
moved this time they said the boss will be right out. When they all one our
regular cars they send one the regular drivers. But as soon as I say antique
the boss comes, he arrived in about half an hour, with one of his friends another
car guy riding along. The Lincoln was quickly pulled from the garage and driven
the 50 feet to the shop and slid into a work bay all for the minimum towing
charge of $65. We then spent the next hour looking over the Lincoln and my CMPs.
The this is the same guy who hauled Beauty
home after it suffered a stuck valve some years ago. He also hauled my Pattern
12 back from Vermont (seePattern 12
The Pattern 12 as found sitting in a field) so he was interested to see
the truck now reborn. I had used the Pattern 12 the day before to pick up and
move a spare engine and transmission out of the family's original Lincoln more
on that engine later.
Here is what the Lincoln looked like when last on the road.
Picture taken at a friends wedding in 1972
The last picture takes us back to circa 1952-1953 look closely
that is me standing in the back seat looking out through the drivers window,
that's my brother standing by front fender. This picture was taken at a small
airport in Maryland which was a favorite family drive.
The airport is now Washington Executive Airport but the dirt
parking area, the plowed field and the house in the back ground are still there.
December 15, 2012 Additions
In cleaning up and taking documentation photos during the last
week came on an interesting discovery on the drivers door jam. The service stickers
from the local American/Amoco Gas station the stickers are interesting for a
couple of reasons one the first one is dated just days after I got the car and
shows a full lube job and new battery, the last is in April of my last year
of collage. The first mileage listed is 51292 and the last 62110. The mileage
on the car when parked was and moved into the shop for restoration 62845 doing
the math says I drove the car 11553 miles.
But there is another thing that is interesting about these service
stickers they're signed by uncle of a friend who I have known for many years
as a result of the my Military Vehicles. Though I've known all along that Larry
grew up and lived in Henniker, NH the town the college I attended was located
it is just sort of interesting that the loop has closed.
To come in the future
On too more on Rip Van Winkle Lincoln and research into the
1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitans
Sources of parts
Progress on the restoration - which is planned as a body off
January 1st 2013 The photos below show some of the December
One month of activity in 2 minutes
of time lapse video.
January 2nd 2013
Engine work starts with removing cylinder head and getting the
I've been looking for this cartoon of how the British viewed
the 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan, what is of particular interest to me was the
cartoon shows the Town Sedan as fastback which was a low production car discontinued
some during the year.
Take a careful look at this cartoon, I've had this cartoon for
probably 20 years and just spotted that the cartoonist has stylized the drawing.
Though the grill, and body details in particular the roof line are that of a
Town Sedan the car is drawn as a two door instead of a four door.