Before the days of fiberglass and bondo, smoothing out dents and dings was a task that typically involved the skillful mastery of flowing lead. Any repair or modification that couldn’t be pounded smooth by hand required some type of body filler and since materials like bondo weren’t around yet this left lead as the material of choice. As hot rods became more radical, they gained the title Lead Sleds, as some were more lead than steel. The dangers of working with the material and the ease of working with bondo has made lead work a dying art, with just the products of the craft left as a reminder of this old art form. Having seen the time and skill it takes to flow lead I have a keen appreciation for period hot rods. This 1941 Lincoln Lead Sled isn’t the prettiest custom I’ve ever seen, but the amount of work and energy that went into crafting it is absolutely astonishing. Have a look at this period lead sled here on eBay in Rutledge, Tennessee.
The seller doesn’t seem to know much about the history of this car, but they do know that it is based on a 1941 Lincoln Limo chassis, which has been extensively modified to lower the car. The body was clearly custom built. The front and rear fenders look to be the rear fenders from a ’42 Lincoln Continental, but the rest of body is a mixture of bits and pieces from a variety of cars, as well as lots of hand fabricated pieces. It’s hard to fathom how many hours must gone into building this body alone. Even if the chassis was shortened the Lincoln Custom Limousine chassis it is based on is was well over 130 inches long, which means this roadster has to be nearly 12 feet long!
With so much car to move around, this custom must have had a massive engine at one time. Sadly, it currently lacks an engine, but it does have a 3 speed transmission in it. One can only assume what must have once been under the hood of this beast, but based on the chassis and transmission I would assume it was the V12 that came with the Limousine. This engine has almost always been in demand, either by hot rodders for customization or by restorers looking to replace the missing or damaged engine of a Zephyr. While it would be great to have a V12 in it again, a more modern V8 would provide more power and would be much easier to find.
While I have an appreciation for this car and the work that went into it, I have a hard time seeing a ton of value here. The seller seems to believe it will be in extremely high demand and even claims that cars like this one are starting to grab the attention of some big name enthusiasts. That doesn’t really make me want it more though. If it had its original motor or if the seller could provide some of the car’s story and history, than perhaps I could see more value here. Maybe I’m wrong and period customs like this one will be the next big thing in the collector car world? Who knows, but whether they are ever worth much, one thing is for sure, it sure is a cool piece of history! So does anyone else have the song Hot Rod Lincoln stuck in their head now?