On the Auction Block: 1934 Brewster Ford

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The unusual styling and the cane applique on the body of this 1934 Brewster-Ford caught my eye at the preview to RM Auctions’ St. John’s sale. Brewster was a custom body builder that adapted to the hard times of the depression by offering distinctively styled bodies for Ford V-8 chassis. It ended up selling for $49,500 with no reserve, missing estimates by $15,000. Catalog description after the jump.

From the auction catalog:

Estimate:
$65,000-$75,000 US
Chassis No. 9065
Offered Without Reserve
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $49,500
85 bhp, 221 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear transverse leaf spring suspension with solid axles, four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 127″ 

 

– Known ownership history from new
– The only Ford V-8-based car recognized as a CCCA Full Classic
– Unique and rare design by Brewster coachworks

A century after the founding of his company, James Brewster’s descendants realized that the day of the horse-drawn carriage was ending, and the firm shifted to automobile body production. In 1926 the firm was absorbed into Rolls-Royce of America as the primary coachbuilder for the Springfield Rolls. When the Depression struck Rolls ceased Springfield production, and the company adapted by offering bodies with a distinctive radiator shell and bumpers on the Ford V-8 chassis. From 1934-1936, approximately 135 Brewster-Fords were built in four body styles with the majority being Town Cars.

This example has a fully documented ownership history with correspondence. Chassis 9065 was purchased new by wealthy New Yorker Mrs. Muriel Stokes. After subsequent owners it was gifted to actress Gertrude Lawrence and later purchased by the owner of Old Man’s Hat, a landmark New York City establishment. This example has been in its current ownership since the mid 1990s. Original features of this car include a rear call button, vanity mirrors, jump seats, foot rest, divider window, trunk and Philippine mahogany trim. Common to the period, the original engine was replaced with a V-8 from a 1940 Ford. The steering wheel is also a correct 1935 Ford banjo wheel, but the diameter has been reduced for aesthetics.

Having been a driver for some time, the owner stripped the paint to replace body filler with proper sheet metal, applied attractive new Beige and Brown livery and had every piece of chrome re-plated. The refurbishments culminated in a display at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in the early 2000s where it won Most Elegant Car. The Brewster-Ford was embraced by the Who’s Who of society and is just as highly prized today for its rarity and styling. With exceptional provenance and presentation, this example will be a star in any collection.

Please note this lot is titled by its body number.

Addendum 

Please note this car is actually finished in tan and burgundy. Please note this title is in transit.

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