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Dave Holls Lincoln Speedster heads to RM’s Hershey auction

A one-off Lincoln Model KB Boattail Speedster designed by former General Motors’ design guru Dave Holls will be auctioned at RM Sotheby’s Hershey auction

One of the last designs by a former General Motors’ design guru will be auctioned at the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Division Fall Meet. The Dave Holls Speedster was devised in the ’90s by a former GM Director of Design for a client who wanted his ‘dream Lincoln’, inspired by the swoopy styles that Edsel Ford might have ordered in period from Parisian coachbuilder Hibbard & Darrin.
Holls joined GM in 1952. Design vice-president Harley Earl soon put him in the Cadillac studio where he helped create the fantastically finned ’59. He later oversaw the 1966 Buick Riviera and the ’71 Camaro before becoming Opel design director in Germany. He co-founded the Meadow Brook Concours in 1979, retired from GM in ’91 and died in 2000.

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Holls’ one-off, on a 1932 Lincoln KA chassis, incorporates Hibbard & Darrin trademarks such as a long bonnet line, pontoon wings, vee windscreen and disc wheels. It also borrows from American styles of the period, with a tapered boat-tail reminiscent of Gordon Buehrig’s Fishtail speedster design for Duesenberg. Holls’ last design was made real by Marcel DeLay of Corona, California, on an ash frame, with completion and paint by Brian Joseph’s Classic & Exotic Service of Troy, Michigan. The chassis rides on air suspension and the KB 448ci V12 wears four Strombergs.
After a 3½-year build it took second in class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1999, followed by prizes at Eyes on Design and the Bay Harbor Vintage Car & Boat Festival in 2000. It was also used as the centrepiece of the Lincoln stand at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show. But it’s not just a concours queen: it completed the Copperstate 1000 and Pebble Beach Motoring Classic rallies, the owner noting it has excellent power. He claims to have seen 80mph many times, backed up by a 72mph speeding ticket. Estimate $200,000-275,000.

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