An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

The new Lincoln Zephyr, a Douglas DC-3 and the Ford Trimotor at work and play

This publicity photo by the Ford Motor Company, which was taken in 1936, is showing off the all new Lincoln Zephyr. The new teardrop design came out at a time when streamlining was all the rage. It was cleverly parked next to a Douglas DC-3 airplane, when the photo was taken to heighten its modern look.

The drivetrain was quite similar to the Ford of the time with the exception of it having a new 267 c.i. V-12 engine, with a 2.750″ x 3.750″ bore and stroke. The new car featured integral body-frame construction that rode on a 122″ w.b.

Above is a Ford Motor Company photo taken only nine years earlier than the photo (at the top) and shows us the rapid progress made with not only automobiles, but also with airplanes. The photo is dated, March 2, 1927, and shows a Ford Trimotor airplane being loaded with what appear to be Ford auto body parts. This may have been a Ford publicity photo to show the aircrafts freight capabilities.

DO NOT MISS seeing this short film showing Harold Johnson at an air show, where he looped, spun and snap rolled a Ford Trimotor during the 1930’s. Johnson reportedly performed 17 consecutive loops during one demonstration. The film was found in in the archives of

The photos above are courtesy of the Henry Ford, where you can to learn all about the Henry Ford Museum and Dearborn Village. Many other photos from The Henry Ford, (scroll down) can also be seen here on The Old Motor.

10 responses to “The new Lincoln Zephyr, a Douglas DC-3 and the Ford Trimotor at work and play

  1. That’s a beautiful Lincoln! But it’s parked next to a Douglas DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport), the sleeper version of the famous DC-3.

  2. The “A-117” painted on the nose is one of many airmail route numbers, in a numbering system originally established by the Department of Commerce in 1926. Holders of the various federal airmail contracts would often add the route number to the aircraft flying the route.

    You can tell this is a DST sleeper (not a DC-3), due to the narrow “slot” windows above the square windows. Sleeping berths were upper and lower, each having its own window. The DST provided seats for 24 passengers; seats converted to berths for 16 (later 21) passengers.

  3. Holy crap! Mr. Johnson was sure wringing that Tin Goose out, hey? Not the optimum craft for ærobatics, but he pulls it off. Rugged old things, they were.

  4. Liked the beautiful picture. My dad had a 40 Ford when I was a youngster am 74 now and my sister wrecked it and he traded it in and got a new Ford. Those were the days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *