Crazy about those coachbuilt coupes

When most people think of “big ‘C’” Classics, they think of roadsters and big seven-passenger limousines and open-front town cars. However, I think of coupes, those personal cars that provided only enough room for the driver and a passenger. Not only does this configuration provide intimacy between the driver and the passenger, it provides an intimacy between the driver and the car.

When spared the distraction of a passenger, a coupe driver can become one with the car. A coupe’s owner is then afforded the chance to listen to his car, feel his car and smell his car. He can sense the car’s steering, the reaction of the tires to
the road, the harmony under the hood, all the while taking in every passing tree among the blurred scenery. It’s as close as man and machine can come to being one.

While nearly any coupe is a handsome machine, those of the coachbuilt Classic persuasion boast the best proportions. Often, coachbuilt cars carry long hoods, healthy wheelbases and proud radiators designed and constructed on the finest chassis developed by engineers of genius quality. Of equal importance, these Classics carry coachbuilt bodies built by a team of artists working from paper drawing to wood frame to final paint with each artist adding his own personal and skilled touch in this nearly perfect relationship between car and man.

At this year’s Classic Car Club of America Grand Experience at the Classic Car Club of America Museum at Hickory Corners, Mich., closed cars were highlighted. For me, the coupes stole the show. More precisely, Lincoln coupes. From Bill Parfet’s Dietrich-bodied 1932 Lincoln coupe to Gene Nau’s adjacent Judkins coupe-bodied 1932 Lincoln to the Judkins coupe-bodied 1930 Lincoln brought by David Schultz (of the Glenmoor Gathering), the scenery was incredible.

At a previous CCCA meet at Hickory Corners, Schultz graciously allowed me to drive his 1931 Lincoln Town Sedan, a handsome and wonderfully original car, and at this year’s event, he again entrusted me behind the wheel of his Lincoln, this time his recently acquired Judkins coupe. This blue-and-black beauty was an absolute joy to drive around the groomed campus of the Gilmore Car Museum. It ran smooth and quiet, shifted confidently and had a very commanding feel, all the while maintaining all the attributes that make riding in a coupe among the most unique experiences in the hobby. Thanks to Schultz, I was able to get an idea of what it feels like to become one with a fine coupe of the Classic era. And Judkins and Lincoln clearly teamed up to produce one of the finest. Thanks, David!

David Schultz drives his magnificent 1930 Lincoln Judkins coupe onto the field of the CCCA Grand Experience held June 6 in Hickory Corners, Mich.


Bill Parfet’s perfect Dietrich-bodied 1932 Lincoln has a V-windshield while Gene Nau’s handsome Judkins-bodied 1932 Lincoln sports a flat windshield.

MORE RESOURCES

Read about Lincolns in the Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805-1942

Get Lincoln prices in the Collector Car Price Guide 2011

Identify Lincoln cars with the Car Spotter’s Guide

Read about Lincoln cars frequently, and access online Lincoln OCW Reports

One thought on “Crazy about those coachbuilt coupes

  1. David Schultz

    Angelo’s comments are very appreciated. It’s always a pleasure being with him at a Classic car event. He has a wonderful appreciation of the big Classics’ place in automotive history. The CCCA Museum Experience was another wondefrul weekend.

COMMENT