Motor City

30 July 2016

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Lot 109

1955 Lincoln Capri Convertible

  • Chassis no. 55LA7631H

$50,000 - $60,000


225 bhp, 341 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Turbo-Drive automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123 in.

  • One of just 1,487 produced for 1955
  • Restored in exciting, year-correct color scheme
  • Power steering, power brakes, and automatic transmission
  • Perfect top-down summer cruiser


Lincoln touted its new models as combining “Elegance with Power,” and mechanical improvements were the big news for 1955. The marque introduced its own Ford-built Turbo-Drive automatic transmission, which replaced the dual-range Hydra-Matic used previously. The new gearbox was essentially a version of the existing Ford/Merc-O-Matic, capable of dealing with the greater torque of the Lincoln V-8. In concert with the new transmission was an increased bore version of the carryover V-8 enlarged to 341 cubic inches. Horsepower was now quoted at 225 at 4,400 rpm, and with a higher compression ratio of 8.5:1, torque was a whopping 332 foot-pounds at 2,500 rpm.

While all of its competitors received new styling in 1954 and 1955, Lincoln’s handsome yet conservative styling was on its third year, having been introduced with the 1952 models. Upfront was a new grille design with new trim rings around the headlights. Fender top ornaments and the “V” emblem at the front of the hood were removed and a slimmer hood ornament fashioned, giving the car a sleek, clean look. The Lincoln name in block letters was once again included on the front hood edge. Rear quarter panels were extended to create a tail fin with a hooded vertical taillamp. Below this was the backup light matching the new bumper shape. Bodyside trim was also redesigned, including a sweeping brushed stainless pieced that extended down to the rocker panel area.

Despite the changes made to distinguish the new models, sales were lost to the competition, which featured wraparound windshields, more distinctive tail fins, and . . . horsepower. As a result, model year production was at its lowest level since the shortened 1948 model year at 27,222. That total included just 1,487 Capri convertibles, making them comparatively rare against comparable convertibles.

At a base price of $4,072, it was Ford Motor Company’s and Lincoln’s most expensive model. New for ’55 was an interior with un-pleated seat bolsters and a convertible top made of Orlon, one of the “miracle fabrics” of the mid-’50s. Lincoln also offered an optional Multi-Lube power lubrication system—an industry first—along with automatic starting, rear door safety locks on sedans, and coordinated-action windshield washers.

Finished in a mid-year color of Huntsman Red with a black convertible top over a red and white leather interior, this eye-catching example is equipped with both power steering and brakes, as well as automatic transmission for easy top-down cruising. It has been in the consigner’s collection for 17 years and has recently been gone over mechanically and given a fresh tune-up prior to being offered for sale.

A fun driver, this car would be an excellent “cruiser” for enjoying this summer in the comfort and luxury that are Lincoln traditions.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more