When we said Rick deviated from his custom norm that applies under the hood of James’ Zephyr. No small-block anything here, rather, the Lincoln’s original Flathead V-12. How can you beat the looks of such a gorgeous engine to begin with? Here’s one way: Have it rebuilt and revitalized by H&H Flatheads in La Crescenta, CA. Mike Herman deftly took on the long project and, using parts supplied by Rick, combined with some pulled from his personal stash, turned the once stinkin’ Lincoln into a badass mill, with looks to match. Those parts with appeal—like the chromed 97s from Genuine Stromberg and polished PowerGen from Powermaster—also lend themselves to improved performance as well. Behind the V-12 now lies a C4 automatic trans rather than the early closed-drive stick, while the radiator is a stock unit that has been modernized by Don Armstrong at U.S. Radiator.
Keith Dean, son of the late king of chops, Dick Dean, is responsible for, among other things, lowering the lid on James’ coupe. And as Rick calls it, Keith also “Coke bottled” the rockers/running boards, molded in ’38 Zephyr rear quarters, leaned the rear edge of the doors forward, added the custom-made taillights, lowered and laid the stock headlights back, and integrated a canted Kaiser overrider into the rear bumper. To avoid having the windshield appear curved in (concave) as they tend to do after chopping a car of this nature, Rick enlisted Timo Tanskaanen to make a convex piece of safety glass for the front. Final prep and the flawless paintwork (including coming up with the custom-mixed colors: Candy Apple Red over raspberry) was all done by Darryl Hollenbeck up at his studio in Concord, CA. Sherm’s Plating is credited for all the shiny brightwork (the lower body trim is all handmade from brass stock).
James provided the vintage Lincoln caps (lettered by Hollenbeck) that adorn the chrome 16-inch artillery custom-made for the Zephyr by Wheel Vintiques; the Firestone 600-16 bias wide whites are via the whitewall source, Coker Tire.
No pearly white vinyl this time around. Instead, for James’ coupe Rick signed on with Craig Hopkins for an Art Deco–inspired upholstery job fashioned mainly out of black mohair. With contrasting vanilla white and Candy Red interior appointments, the choice of going with a darker fabric color seems to work fairly well overall. The steering wheel is a restored piece of the ’41 Lincoln variety, which rests atop a ’40 Ford column. Last but by no means least, Tony Gomes at Tri City Glass (Bay Area, NorCal) handled all the flat glass installation.