The crystal balls were playing havoc with various scientists with each one of them going insane after they were attacked with the crystal balls. A few attacks were carried out on Tintin and Captain Haddock as also Marlinspike Hall. Tintin and the Captain were seen driving around in a yellow convertible car. This car is a Lincoln Zephyr model.
The model name Lincoln Zephyr was used by Ford Motor Company for their lower priced mid-size luxury cars. These cars were in production from 1936 to 1942. These were equivalent to the LaSalle cars introduced by General Motors as companion model for Cadillac. The Zephyr was designed by Eugene Turenne Gregorie under the guidance of Edsel Ford. The car driven by Captain Haddock was a 1939 model. The name Zephyr was drawn from the name of the Greek god for westerly winds, Zephyrus.
The Zephyr were extremely stylish cars. They had a low raked windscreens and aerodynamic bodies which included fenders integrated into the body. Though they were launched after the Chrysler Airflow models, despite being way ahead of their time, these cars were so much of a sales success that from 1941 onward all Lincolns were based on the Zephyr. Ironically, this led to the demise of the Zephyr brand.
Prototypes of the car were built by Briggs Manufacturing Company which had been contracted by Edsel Ford to supply Lincoln’s standard “factory” body styles. These prototypes were based on a series of concepts developed by the Dutch born Engineer John Tjaarda called “Sterkenberg”. Aviation was a new developing concept in the 30s and was associated with speed and long distance travel. Like so many engineers of the time Tjaarda was fascinated by the possibilities of applying aircraft design and construction principles to cars leading to “Sterkenberg”. However most of these prototypes had rear engines.
The Zephyr was sold in various body shapes like:-
- 4-door Sedan
- 2-door Sedan
- 2-door Coupe
- 2-door Convertible Coupe, car driven by Captain Haddock.
Notwithstanding the prototypes, the final version of these cars were powered by a naturally aspirated 4,380 cc (267 Cu-inch) V-12 petrol engines. These engines had Aluminum alloy heads and Cast Iron blocks. They were capable of producing 110 BHP at 3,900 rpm. They also churned out 252 N-m (186 Ft-Lb) of torque at 2,000 rpm. At least 244 N-m (180 ft-lb) was available at as low as 800 rpm allowing for great drive ability. This turning moment was transferred to the rear wheels through a three speed manual gear box.
Tjaarda’s cars had to worked on by Gregorie who improved the looks mainly by lengthening the wheelbase and the bonnet to fit the new V-12 engines.
Zephyrs were large cars with lengths varying from 5,144 to 5,334mm. They had solid axles front and rear suspended by traditional transverse leaf springs. Braking was also provided through the proven mechanical brakes favoured by the old man at Ford.
Due to the futuristic tag associated with these cars as also the low and aerodynamic shape, these cars are in great demand with hot-rodders also.