Rip Van Winkle Lincoln

December 2012


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 restoration.

January 1st 2013 The photos below show some of the December activity.


One month of activity in 2 minutes of time lapse video.


Medium Resolution Video 7.6 MBs file size


High Resolution Video 12.4 MBs file size


January 2nd 2013

Engine work starts with removing cylinder head and getting the engine unstuck.


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.




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