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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Howard Hughes mystery car sells for

Howard Hughes mystery car sells for

Howard Hughes 1936 Lincoln started life as a limousine.

Howard Hughes custom boattailed Lincoln sold for a cool million dollars at Tulsa, Oklahomas Leakey Auction on June 13. The 36 Lincoln Model K started out as a fourdoor limousine but for some unknown reason, the mysterious millionaire decided to make it an opentopped speedster that he named the AeroMobile. Hughes had his Culver City, California aircraft fabricators fashion a new boat tail rear for the car after lopping its top off. The rear body work was left unpainted in airplane fashion. Hughes paperwork was found hidden in the glovebox when the Lincoln underwent a groundup restoration in 2009.

Why did Hughes bother? One theory is that he wanted to use the Lincoln AeroMobile as a chase car to drive beneath airplanes as they landed in order to film the operation of a new landing gear hed designed. Removing the cars roof and replacing heavy steel bodywork with aluminum would save hundreds of pounds of gross weight, thus enhancing the cars performance. And the lack of a top would be helpful to photographers filming overhead subjects. But countering this theory is the fact that Hughes could have simply purchased a new high performance roadster to do the job.

Why customize when you can buy? We will probably never know, but Hughes seemed to favor reengineering his personal cars. He had elaborate air filtration equipment installed in his 1954 Chrysler New Yorker sedan.

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