19-20 January 2017

Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection

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Lot 176

1929 Ford Model A Station Wagon

  • Engine no. A1935462

Sold for $30,800

40 bhp, 200.5 cu. in. L-head inline four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 103.5 in.

  • Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection
  • Formerly of the Richard Williams and John Woodhead collections
  • The finest surviving original and unrestored example
  • Believed to have 9,580 actual miles

The phrase “station wagon” was born from vehicles that were exactly that—wagons used to carry hotel guests’ luggage to and from the train station. This eventually evolved into wooden bodies, built for the same purpose on rugged Ford Model T and A chassis, initially by commercial body shops. In 1929, Edsel Ford, who desired such a vehicle for his estates in Michigan and Maine, commissioned the first factory-built Ford station wagon. Body production was entrusted to Murray Corporation of America in Detroit, one of Ford’s principal body suppliers of this era, while the wood came from Henry Ford’s forests at Iron Mountain, Michigan. Framing was high-quality maple, while birch plywood was used for the insert panels.

Only 4,954 of these original “woodies” were built, and certainly few, if any, have survived as well as the spectacular example offered here. It has been a participant in the collector car hobby for almost its entire life, with stickers on the windshield attesting to its having been judged by the Model A Restorers Club in 1959, and to have completed the AAA Glidden Tour two years later. The roughly 1,000 miles that it traveled on the Glidden in 1961 are about 1/9 of its original miles, as the 9,580 miles showing are believed to be the actual mileage from new. The Manila Brown and Seal Brown paintwork, the rubber roof covering, the synthetic leather interior, and even the plastic partition behind the driver are all believed original and have a healthy but attractive patina.

The provenance of this woodie is unbeatable. It spent several decades in the renowned Grosse Pointe, Michigan, collection of Richard E. Williams, noted during the 1960s and 1970s as the finest collection of early Fords in the world. In 1989 the station wagon was purchased by John Woodhead, a Minnesota Ford dealer assembling a private museum that would come to include one of every important Ford model from the company’s first 100 years. Like the Williams collection, the Woodhead stable was known for the excellence of its automobiles, all of which were either restored to a superb standard or, as here, a mint original.

In a recent road test by an RM Sotheby’s specialist, the Model A proved to run and drive quite well, its carburetor having recently been rebuilt, and was driven some 20 miles across Scottsdale. It has originality, quality, and history in spades—everything demanded by a discerning collector in the mold of Williams and Woodhead.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more