A Lincoln Steeped in History Returns to Pebble Beach
June 29, 2022
On May 30, 1932, as the Indianapolis 500 was about to get underway, spectators learned they were to witness an unexpected sight: the pace was to be set by Ford Motor Company President Edsel Ford driving an elegant new Lincoln KB Murphy Sport Roadster.
That same year, amidst the Great Depression, Ford Motor Company produced the Ford Model 18 with flathead V-8—the versatile car that would become the preferred platform for hot rodders for decades to come. But it was Lincoln’s new flagship, the Model KB, that Edsel wanted to share with the roaring crowds—and fitted with a powerful yet smooth-running 448-cubic-inch V-12 engine, the automobile was more than ready to set a fast pace.
About 1,500 of these magnificent machines would be built that year, and catalogs showcased more than two dozen body styles to suit the taste of every purchaser. Although production numbers diminished in ensuing years as hard times increased, the KB was recognized immediately as the ultimate Classic Era Lincoln—and it continues to be that today.
A Murphy-bodied Sport Roadster, such as the car Edsel showcased, is perhaps the ultimate KB. Just five such cars were built. The first of these made its debut at the 1932 New York Auto Show and is now the only survivor. When it appeared at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance about a decade back, it very nearly took the top award.
That car returns to the Pebble Beach Concours competition field this August when the event celebrates the centennial of Lincoln. The Roadster will be displayed with other mighty Lincoln V-12s. Additional classes will feature early Lincoln V-8s, Lincoln Zephyrs and Continentals through 1962.
The latest Lincolns will be displayed at Concours Village and the Concept Lawn.
In an interesting counterpoint, the forthcoming Pebble Beach Concours will also be celebrating 1932 Ford Historic Hot Rods.
“The designs and technology that emerged amidst the Depression continue to amaze me,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “Difficult times have often been the impetus for innovation.”