Did the Lincoln Model K of the thirties make money for Ford or was it a loser?
Good question (I have no idea). However, the thirties (Great Depression) rang the death knell for many of the "classic" car makers, so it's difficult for me to imagine any high end (or possibly any auto manufacturer for that matter) made money through that period.
My assumption is the car makers with good balance sheets weathered the depression, while many went under.
I've not had good luck determining profitability of automakers when trying to find information during the NRSK Ford cars. I suspect automakers were not too excited to show their "financial underwear" to the public for fear economic strength might hurt sales.
I think the older style [custom body] Lincoln sales were declining as were all the top end makes due to the depression and the availability of better [more variety] mass produced bodies/cars.
The introduction of the Zephyr increased sales for Lincoln and probably saved it during the prewar years.
Thats how I see it anyway,
Manuel in Oz
From what I have read, when Edsel Ford was asked why Lincoln left the large luxury car market, he replied "Lincoln didn't leave the luxury car market, the market left us."
In the late 30's Lincoln was developing a plan to re-enter the luxury car market. At least one full scale mock-up was made. It was code named 05L.
05L apparently stood for- 0 or zero being the projected model year-1940, 5 being the fifth design proposal in the series, and L for the product line the design was projected for-Lincoln.
05L was planned to use an all aluminum, dual overhead cam V-12. This engine was later proposed for use as an aircraft engine minus four cylinders. However, the power-to-weight ratio was not acceptable for aircraft use. The engine ultimately saw use as a replacement for the troublesome radial engine that was originally used in the early versions of the Sherman tank.
The other feature of the 05L that saw production was the grille design. It was used on the '46 Ford truck.
Having the privilege of working and rebuilding the Model K and KB engine at the moment, I would say from an engine labor perspective that the V12 was a loser in terms of assembly time.
Each of the counter weights has to come off for the crank to clear the crank case. Don't have that issue with the K engine V8.
While In high school, one summer I bought a 1932 Lincoln Model K (8) four door sedan. Dual side mounts and a trunk on a trunk rack in back. Paid $100 for it and it was in almost new condition. Could start up in high gear if I wanted too. It got about 10 MPG. Sold in in the fall for $125 to a used car lot and bought a low mileage 1935 Chevrolet 2dr sedan. Sold that when I joined the US army during the Korean conflict. (I got in under the GI bill, which paid for 6 years of college.)
Thats quite a substantial crankcase. Is it alloy?
Manuel in Oz
The crankcase is Aluminum it just has been sitting in the Bush for many years.
The K engine's crankcase V8 is also Aluminum.
Once the case is polished and jugs re installed it is very striking.