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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1929 Lincoln Town Car - Antique Car For Sale (Click Here)


The Lincoln automobile was designed and produced by one of America's greatest engineers, Henry Leland. Leland was trained as a precision engineer, and he created one of the most successful luxury automobiles of the era. When another Detroit automotive pioneer, Henry Ford ran into financial trouble with his first commercial venture, the Detroit Automobile Company, Leland was instrumental in taking over the company. Ford was removed. The company was renamed Cadillac, with Leland in control. With greatly improved engineering Cadillac became quite successful. A few years later it was bought by GMC. When the US entered WW1, Leland left Cadillac. In four month's time he built a factory that would ultimately employ 6000 men, and produce over 6000 of the famous Liberty V12 aircraft engines. The end of the war left Leland with a factory and a highly trained work force but no further orders for aircraft engines. It was a logical step for him to reenter automobile production. His engineers designed a V8 powered car to be built to the highest possible, "Aeronautical" standards. By 1920 the first cars were being delivered. Based on Leland’s reputation over 1000 orders had been taken before the first car left the factory.

However, post war shortages of materials combined with Leland’s obsessive demand for perfection in every aspect of the manufacture of this automobile caused delivery delays of 9 months or more. With the onset of the depression later that year Lincoln was faced with insurmountable financial losses. Bankruptcy was declared in 1921 and Henry Ford, now flush with money from the phenomenal success of his “Model T” swooped in and bought the Lincoln Company for pennies on the dollar. Leland was ousted soon afterwards.

Fears that Ford would ruin the luxurious and high quality Lincoln through mass production methods proved unfounded. Instead both companies benefited. Ford incorporated Lincoln’s precision manufacturing techniques and Lincoln, run as an independent company by Ford’s son Edsel, learned much from Ford’s mass manufacturing expertise.

The original Leland 60° V8 engine, beautifully designed with it’s “fork and spade” connection rods, full pressure lubrication, light weight pistons and aluminum cylinder heads, was improved steadily over the next few years. Towards the end of its production in 1930, it had become an exceptionally smooth and powerful engine. Producing well over 90 horse power from 385 cubic inches, (6.3 L), and with stunning acceleration thanks to it’s compact design, light crankshaft and superb engineering detail, and with chassis and coachwork to match the “Model L” Lincoln became the icon of the 20’s.

This combination of quality, style and performance did not go unnoticed. Under the guidance of the artistic Edsel Ford, some of the country’s finest coachbuilders such as Dietrich, Murphy, Brunn and others were designing and building small runs of bodies. The “Brunn” bodied “Model L” Town car that is the star of this story was considered to be one of the most elegant chauffeur driven automobiles of the 20’s.

Movie stars and bankers were not the only people buying the model L Lincoln. This was the time of Prohibition, and the gangsters of the era appreciated the combination of flair, powerful engines and excellent road holding the cars provided. Men such as Al Capone, Dutch Schultz, Lucky Luciano en Jack “Legs” Diamond were quick to press them into action and the Lincoln soon gained notoriety as the favorite car of the well-heeled bootlegger. Its tremendous acceleration made it the ideal getaway car, particularly when the lawmen were trying to keep up in a model “T”! Once the Lincoln had become established with the underworld, the law had little choice but to follow suit. The factory built the “Police Flyers” to different standards then the cars available to the public, gangsters included. The engines were souped up to give them an additional 10 miles or more of top speed, and the cars were equipped with factory engineered front brakes, three years before they became available to the public! These special police cars earned an awesome reputation both with the underworld and the public.

Jack "Legs" Diamond, 1897- 1931, was a famous Irish-American gangster in New york City during the Prohibition era. A bootlegger and close associate of gambler Arnold Rothstein, Diamond survived a number of attempts on his life between 1919 and 1931, causing him to be known as the "clay pigeon of the underworld." In 1930, Diamond's nemesis Dutch Schultz remarked to his own gang, "Ain't there nobody that can shoot this guy so he don't bounce back?"

This car was originally sold to Mr Jack "Legs" Diamond. The car is completely in original condtion, with bullit holls and original paint. Very unique! Don't hesitate to contact us for more informtion.

Born July 10, 1897 as Jack Moran, Diamond soon joined a New York street gang called the Hudson Dusters. Diamond later served in the U.S. Army, but deserted. In 1918-1919, he was convicted and jailed for desertion.
After his release from prison, Diamond was hired by "Little Augie" Jacob Orgen to murder an enemy. Diamond became Augie's personal bodyguard. He was shot twice when Louis Buchalter, seeking to move in on the labor rackets that Orgen was running in the garment district, shot and killed Orgen.

Diamond was known for leading a rather flamboyant lifestyle. He was a very energetic individual; his nickname "Legs" derived either from his being a good dancer or from how fast he could escape his enemies. For a gangster, Diamond was also loyal, but was not averse to double-crossing someone when he saw fit. His wife, Alice Diamond was never supportive of his lifestyle, but didn't do much to dissuade him from it. Diamond was a womanizer; his best known mistress was showgirl and dancer Marion “Kiki” Roberts. The public loved Diamond; he was New York’s biggest celebrity at the time.

During the late 1920's, Prohibition was taking place. The sale of beer and other alcohol was illegal in the United States. This, however, did not stop Diamond, nor anyone else in the crime business, from closing shop. He travelled to Europe for a couple of months, hoping to score beer and narcotics that way, but he came back unsuccessful.
Following Orgen's death, Diamond went to work overseeing bootleg alcohol sales in downtown Manhattan. That brought him into conflict with Dutch Schultz, who planned to move beyond his base in Harlem. He also ran into trouble with other gangs in the city, and on one occasion, after failing to make a payment, he was shot at in the Hotel Monticello. He then moved up to the Catskills to get away from the threat of Schultz and the others. It wasn't enough. Diamond was shot five times on one occasion when Schultz's men surprised him at a private dinner. He managed to escape, getting bullets torn into the back of his car, as well as various locations on his body. The car that saved his life on this occasion is this 1929 Model “L”, the bullet holes are still in the back and the car has been kept in completely original condition ever since.

In 1930, Diamond and two henchmen kidnapped Grover Parks, a local truck driver, and demanded to know what kind of beer or alcohol he was carrying. After he denied that he was carrying anything, they beat and tortured him. They eventually let him go. A few months later, Diamond was brought up on kidnap charges. He was sent to Catskill, New York for his first trial, but was acquitted. However, a federal case on related charges case turned out different, and he was sentenced to four years in jail. A third trial, in Troy, New York however, also saw an acquittal.

During another attempt on Diamond’s life in early 1931, Schultz' gunmen opened up with machine guns at the Aratoga Inn near Cairo, New York, killing two bystanders in the process.

On December 18, 1931, Diamond's enemies finally caught up with him, shooting him after he had passed out at a hideout on Dove Street in Albany, New York after a night party on the day of his trial in Troy. The killers shot him three times in the back of the head at approximately 5:30 AM. However, there were six shots heard, so there's reason to believe a minimal struggle took place. Had he not been killed, he would have gone on to serve the jail time mentioned above.
There has been much speculation as to who was responsible for the murder, including Dutch Schultz, the Oley Brothers (local thugs), and the Albany Police Department. According to William Kennedy’s book 'O Albany, Democratic Party Chairman Dan O’Connel, who ran the local political machine, ordered Diamond's execution, which was carried out by the Albany Police. The following are Dan O'Connell's own words recorded during a 1974 interview by Kennedy and appears on pages 203 and 204:

"In order for the Mafia to move in they had to have protection, and they know they'll never get it in this town. We settled that years ago. Legs Diamond...called up one day and said he wanted to go into the 'insurance' business here. He was going to sell strong-arm 'protection' to the merchants. I sent word to him that he wasn't going to do any business in Albany and we didn't expect to see him in town the next morning. He never started anything here."
"Prior brought him around here...but he brought him around once too often. Fitzpatrick finished Legs."

O'Connell added that Fitzpatrick (a Police sergeant and future chief) and Diamond were "sitting in the same room and (Fitzpatrick) followed him out. Fitzpatrick told him he'd kill him if he didn't keep going."
Given the power that the O'Connell machine held in Albany and their determination to prevent organized crime other than their own from establishing itself in the city and threatening their monopoly of vice, most people accept this account of the story. In addition it has been confirmed by other former machine officials.

A film, a Broadway musical and books!

Diamond is the subject of director Budd Boetticher's 1960 film “the Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond starring Ray Danton and Warren Oates as well as a 1988 broadway musical later based on the movie, which starred Peter Allen.

Further reading:

Levine, Gary. Anatomy of a Gangster: Jack "Legs" Diamond, Purple Mountain Press, 1979.
Curzon, Sam. Legs Diamond, Belmont Tower Books, 1973.
Kennedy, William. O Albany, Viking Penguin Inc, 1983.
Downey, Patrick. "Gangster City: The History of the New York Underworld 1900-1935". Fort Lee, New Jersey: Barricade Books, 2004

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  1. I just acquired one of these sight unseen has been stored in a barn by the original owner. Looking to sell it to fund other projects.

  2. I am looking for a vintage car to add to my collection.So far I have the old school Impala and the Mercedes Benz. I am very much interested to have this car. Please advise. More power to you and thanks in advance.

  3. Do you have better photos of this car? I have photos that a cousin of Mr. Diamond send to me recently, but I desperately need better reference photos. I am doing an illustration of Mr. Diamond's vehicle. Please contact me asap! Where are the bullet holes located? I will draw those into the final illustration. If you can provide better .jpeg photos of this car, I will give you full credit in the final drawing, and send you a copy!