1939 Lincoln Zephyr - Ray Dunham

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1939 Lincoln Zephyr 'Custom Fastback'
Ray Dunham of Costa Mesa, CA
Built By
Steve Wilk of Wilkworx & Ray Dunham
Special Thanks to
Steve Wilk of Wilkworx, Chet Miller, Merv Adkins of Pomona, CA, Dalton Hill of Hillview Customs, Boos-Herrel - Zephyr Parts Ohio, Westminster Auto Upholstery, Jose Herrera of Long Beach, CA, Lil Louie of Red Lizard Molding

For Ray Dunham, Starting with a 1939 3 window Lincoln Zephyr project far from being complete, he had a goal to create a custom fastback version that appeared as if it came from the Lincoln factory back in 1939. Body lines had to flow from every angle, & most importantly body modifications had to appear as if they were original. When Ray bought the Zephyr it already had a fastback roof in place; which needed some help.

Mr. Ray took the project to Steve Wilk of Wilkworx in Nuevo, CA to help with the build. To start off the build, Mr. Ray envisioned to reshape the roof lines to flow smoothly with the fastback roof. To begin with these modifications the roof of the car from the front windshield to the belt line had to be removed for modifications. With many body modifications made some included enlarging & reshaping quarter windows, custom fabricated running boards, doors & rear fenders were stretched to help it flow better, and windshield to be split. As for most of the front end; the plan was to leave it all stock. Side Hood badges were restored and glass color changed to Amber Brown. 1947 Cadillac Taillights; custom Amber lenses made by Kris Olsson of Steering Wheel Kris.

When it came time to choosing a color Mr. Ray wanted a color different than any other custom while still appearing original. He took the Zephyr to Hillview Customs in Lake Elsinore, CA to have bodywork and paint done. He chose to use a custom-mixed Caramel, Butterscotch, Chocolate Brown, & Olive Green single-stage Nason brand paint.

As for wheels, Mr. Ray chose to run 15" steel wheels with 1947 Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps with 1936 Lincoln K-541 Amber Brown medallions wrapped in 650 x 15" Goodyear Super Cushion 4.5" whitewall tires.

Within the Zephyr, drivetrain included a GM small block 350 v8 engine; Black & Custom Caramel Butterscotch paint color backed by a 700R transmission and a Ford 9" rear end. For suspension, Accuair air ride suspension was used all around with 4-link in the rear. To help stop & control this beautiful custom, an upgrade to disc brakes with power steering was needed. It was important to dress up what was visible to better suit the style Mr. Ray was looking to achieve. As for dressing up the engine bay, he used Lincoln Y block valve covers, modernized both early oil bath air cleaner, and vintage oil filter canister with modern internal filters. To add on to the desired look, polished copper & stainless hard lines were needed with a perfect balance of chrome & paint.

To finish off the build, it came time for upholstery by Westminster Auto Upholstery of Anaheim, CA. A combination of late 40's German wool with high quality leather, German square weave carpet & some unique fabrics chosen to achieve an elegant yet subtle feel. To top it off with a NOS 1947 Lincoln Steering wheel.

3 Window converted to Custom Fastback; chopped & channeled
Front fenders modified; smooth slope
Rear fenders modified; stretched 
Rear wheel wells reshaped to fit custom flush-mounted skirts
Chopped Wing window air deflectors
1938 Lincoln badges; custom Amber glass.
1938 Lincoln Stock Door handles
Custom rear license plate mount & split windshield
Custom fabricated running boards with trim, side trim, & rear quarter windows by Wilkworx
Custom window trim by Lil Louie of Red Lizard Molding. San Bernardino, CA
Hood & trunk modified; pancaked & re-skinned
Modified front bumper; narrowed
Doors modified; stretched
1949 Mercury Accessory drivers side mirror
1939 Lincoln headlights stock
1947 Cadillac Taillights; custom Amber lenses by Kris Olsson of Steering Wheel Kris. North Hollywood, CA
1940 Chevrolet Amber fog lights
1939 Lincoln Zephyr stock front grille
Metalwork by Steve Wilk of Wilkworx. Nuevo, CA
Early Bodywork by Bob Cole of Huntington Beach, CA & Final Bodywork by Hillview Customs. Lake Elsinore, CA
Custom-mixed Caramel, Butterscotch, Chocolate Brown, & Olive Green single-stage Nason brand paint
Paintwork by Hillview Customs. Lake Elsinore, CA
Late 1940's German wool & Leather upholstery
Upholstery by Westminster Auto Upholstery. Anaheim, CA
Honey Brown German square weave carpet
Chocolate Brown Garnish moldings
Stock 1939 Lincoln seat frame
Original Gauges - 12 volt restored by North Hollywood Speedometer. North Hollywood, CA
1947 NOS Lincoln steering wheel
Yankee 960 turn signal switch
Custom heater box cover
Limeworks steering column
1939 Lincoln frame with Mustang II front clip, Custom upper control arms & power steering box, C-Notched
Chassis Fabrication by Wilkworx
Accuair Air Ride Suspension E-Level kit
Ford 9" rear end
Front & rear - disc brakes
15" x 6" steel wheels with 15" 1947 Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps with 6.70-15 Goodyear Bias-ply / Super Cushion 4.5" whitewall tires
Custom 1936 Lincoln K-541 Center Cap Medallions Amber Brown
GM small block v8 engine; Black & Custom Caramel Butterscotch paint color
Lincoln Y Block valve covers
1947 Lincoln oil bath air cleaner
Aluminimum Intake 600cfm carburetor
Edelbrock Performer 4 barrel intake manifold
Polished Stainless ram's horn headers
Polished Stainless & Copper hard lines
Mallory electronic ignition
Engine built by Wilkworx. Nuevo, CA
GM 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission
One-piece steel driveshaft
Wiring by Wilkworx. Nuevo, CA
Chrome-plating by Jose Herrera. Long Beach, CA
2016 GNRS : Best Radical Custom Award
2020 Goodguys : Special Invite to Compete for Custom of the Year (Delayed due to COVID-19)
2017 Seal Beach Car Show : Best of Show
2018 Goodguys Del Mar : Hutton's Color Studio (Charley Hutton) Builder's Choice Award
Featured in Classic Street Rods 2021 Calendar
Photography By:

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  • This car is outstanding !
    I’m looking for a custom Zephyr, if you see one that’s available, please let me know.

    Rob Montalbine on
  • This car is outstanding !
    I’m looking for a custom Zephyr, if you see one that’s available, please let me know.

    Rob Montalbine on

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