Frank & Linda Venturella's 1939 Lincoln Zephyr Convertible
(from Volume 13, Issue 142)

For decades some car guys have been trying to give their cars a “flowing look”. Ways that this can be achieved are by chopping the top, and shaving items like door handles and other unwanted trim. Of course some cars are more naturally elegant than others, so the guys at Deco Rides teamed up with Speedster Motorcars in Clearwater and started out with the basic Lincoln Zephyr body, then gave it a few “tweaks”. Reminiscent of the famous custom built purple Zephyr by the name of “Scrape” that debuted in 1998, after more than a year of development they have come up with the “production” Z-Series coupe and convertible, which was unveiled in January of 2005.

When Frank Venturella heard about the Z-Series it sounded like something right up his alley, so he and his wife Linda went over to Clearwater to check it out firsthand. After resoundingly positive feedback from Linda, soon Frank commissioned them to build a Z-Series 1939 Lincoln Zephyr for him. The process involved choosing items and features he wanted incorporated, along with colors and other personal decisions along the way.

At the base lies a 125-inch wheelbase rectangular steel chassis with a sturdy X-member, front and rear coil over shocks, an independent front suspension with rack and pinion steering, and 4-wheel disc brakes. To that a General Motors Vortec 5.3 liter V-8 was added with a Flowmaster exhaust, putting out 270 horsepower through a 4L60E transmission with a Lokar shifter and 2.73:1 posi gears in a 2002 Camaro rear end. Looking under the hood you’ll find a custom color matched cover on the motor and master cylinder, bronze trim on the firewall with the “Z” logo incorporated, plus a nice aluminum radiator to keep everything cool even in the hottest of months.

Frank chose 2005 Rolls Royce Magnolia as the paint color, which was paired up with a cafe latte colored canvas top and a set of Colorado Custom wheels with the air stems on the backside for a smooth look. Adding a nice vintage touch are the “waterfall” Lincoln grill and the 1949 Kaiser rear bumper, while the California style rear view mirrors with turn signals integrated into them blend nicely with the car’s curvy lines.

Inside taupe leather hides were used for the upholstery, with suede inserts on the doors and seats, and bronze trim on the dash. A custom round gauge resides in the center of the dash, and really evokes that art deco feel. Billet Specialties is responsible for the polished door handles and steering column, which is topped with a Colorado Custom half wrapped Switchblade billet steering wheel.

Frank and Linda have had nothing but smiles on their faces since receiving their Zephyr. The same goes for everyone that stops by to check it out at the shows, as it has certainly drawn its share of attention and admiring looks. CN