Two historic motor cars, custom built for Edsel Ford, were reunited at the annual auction of Vintage Motor Cars at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Amelia Island, Florida, on March 8, 2008. As the President of the Ford Motor Company from 1919 to 1943, Edsel Ford was the company’s mover in implementing fresh body designs. This 1934 Ford Model 40 Special Speedster and the 1934 Brewster Edsel Ford Custom coming to Amelia Island, are prime examples of his genius.RM Auctions hosted the annual auction of Vintage Motor Cars in conjunction with the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. In a press release, Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions stated: It is very rare for such two such historically important, original custom-built cars to come up for auction, yet alone be offered at the same time. There is no other explanation other than fate that would bring these two cars together. The additional fact that these two cars both languished in storage for so many years, labels them “hidden gems” and makes this event a truly historic meeting,”
It is reported, that the Model 40 Special Speedster was inspired by a trip Ford took to Europe and was built for his own private collection in 1934. Often referred to as the Continental Series II Speedster, it was the personal vehicle and alleged favorite of Mr. Ford from 1934 up until his death in 1943. The ’34 Speedster has the overall effect of a pure racing car - a low riding aluminum body, twin windscreens, no doors and headlamps positioned at axle height. Sold after Mr. Ford’s passing, it remained in storage for nearly 40 years before being purchased by its current owner in 1999. Its sale at RM’s Amelia Island event presented an extremely rare and unique ownership opportunity and drew significant global interest. The hammer finally dropped and the car was sold for $1,760,000.
The Brewster was a collaborative effort between the Ford Motor Company and Brewster & Co, who at the time was regarded as the country’s oldest and most prestigious coachbuilder in the 1930s. The car came into production after Ford approached Brewster to produce a series of limited production motor cars combining a Ford chassis with a prestigious Brewster body. When production commenced, Mr. Ford arranged for one of the cars to be personalized for his own collection. This car was differentiated from the rest of the line in its color scheme, use of a ’34 Ford Front end, and various other special amenities. Launched at the 1934 New York Auto Show, it is believed the Edsel Ford example was the first Ford-Brewster seen by the public. Mr. Ford owned the car from 1934 through to 1941, after which it was sold to a collector in New Jersey. It then languished in storage for some 55 years before being purchased by its current owner in 2005. The final bid was $198,000 which we thought was a bit under expectations.