At his vintage car restoration shop in San Carlos, California, Ray Menefee has been blessed to watch many beautiful cars come through. But there’s one in particular that came to him in a most unusual way, and it now sits in his personal collection.

You see, some time ago the next-to-last owner of an all-original 1930 Lincoln Model L 183 approached Ray, completely distraught that he needed to sell the Model L. Ray knew the exact person who to call, a longtime friend who had been keeping a vintage car at Ray’s garage. Within a half-hour of ray’s friend coming over, he had struck a deal to buy the car. Ray continued to maintain the Model L for his friend, until the friend passed away in 2012.

Not long after, Ray surprisingly received a copy of his friend’s will. “I nearly fell out of my chair when I read what was to be done with the Model L,” he commented. Naturally, the will dictated that the Model L was to be permanently parked at Ray’s garage.

After retiring from a career in steel working, Ray busied himself by fixing people’s cars – for free. He improved that business model by opening a specialized restoration shop, choosing only to work on the cars he wanted to. Fortunately, the Model L fell into this category. Ray has now officially retired from this second career, but he still keeps the Model L in perfect condition. “I feel a sense of responsibility to maintain this car for generations to come,” he states. “It will probably outlast us all.”

Because 1930 was the last production year for the Model L 183, this car is extremely special. The luxury vehicle boasts a magnificent backseat with full-tufted upholstered seats and five copper-colored silk window roller shades plus little holders that are affixed to the doors (a smoking set, complete with corded lighter, is on one side, a cosmetics case on the other), and analog clock (the only element in the car that doesn’t work).

Contact James Hodge Lincoln to discover why Lincoln vehicles have been inspiring such devotion for decades.


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