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Lot 123

1941 Ford Super Deluxe Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. 186574498

Sold for $126,500

Model 11A. 85 bhp, 221 cu. in. Flathead V8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with Columbia rear end, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 114"

Very significant changes made to the 1941 Fords had a big impact on the station wagon models. The Ford design team headed by E.T. Gregorie undertook a complete redesign, not only of Ford but also its two-year-old sister car, Mercury. Gone was the “pointed prow” look that had characterized Edsel Ford’s thinking and Gregorie’s drawings since the mid-1930s. “We had so much of that pointy effect…that we decided to pursue a fresh-looking effect – a fuller, rounder, more bloated and horizontal effect,” he later recalled for historian Henry Dominguez. “I sold Mr. Ford on the horizontal effect.” He did so with good reason: all manufacturers were “going horizontal” by 1941, and keeping the status quo would have left Ford looking antiquated.

The wheelbase of the Ford was increased two inches, to 114. Body designs were made smoother, with higher fender lines, the effect most pronounced on the coupe. The frontal aspect, however, was a compromise, for manufacturing reasons, with which Gregorie was less than happy. “It had that hangdog look,” he once said.

To blend with the new cowl and fender shapes, the station wagon bodies had to be modified. This meant a new roofline and body contours. The doors were flared out at the bottom to partially cover the running board, and vent windows were added to the front doors. Bodies were framed in maple, with panels of either birch or gumwood. There were still two series of wagons, but “series inflation” had crept into their names. What had been Standard and Deluxe became Deluxe and Super Deluxe, respectively. The entry-level Ford had become a new low-priced Special series, not offered as a station wagon. All Fords were now available with a new six-cylinder engine, replacing the small 60-hp V8. The number of six-cylinder wagons is not recorded. Production levels of the two wagon series were almost the same, 8,128 Deluxe models, slightly more than 2,000 of them built in Canada, and 9,485 Super Deluxes. It was the best showing for Ford station wagons yet.

Despite their beauty, and partly because of it, wood-bodied station wagons are difficult to maintain. The varnish takes much attention and work. It not only gives the wood an attractive finish, it also preserves it from the elements, particularly if the car is stored outside. When new, it was recommended that the bodies be revarnished once a year, perhaps more often if not garaged. Owners frequently tired of this regimen, and let their station wagons weather, with unhappy results. Others took more drastic action, resorting to house paint for longer lasting protection.

When found at auction in Norcross, Georgia by Nick Alexander, this car’s body had been painted white. Because it was impossible to see the condition of the wood underneath, there were few potential buyers. “I think everyone was afraid of what might be underneath the paint” said Mr. Alexander, “I looked it over, and the rest of the car was tired but it was original. I saw that the latest New Jersey inspection sticker was from 1962, and I thought there was a good chance that the paint had been on there all that time. I gambled and bought it.” When brought back to his shop and stripped, he discovered “some of the most gorgeous and original factory wood you’ve ever seen. It had gumwood panels and every joint was tight.”

Now completely restored, this 1941 Super Deluxe station wagon displays its varnished wood with pride. The years spent hiding under white paint preserved it well, and it shows none of the normal weather-related issues expected with 68 year-old wood. The doors shut well, and all exhibit even gaps. The Lockhaven Green paint has a good, deep shine. Lockhaven is a light green with a taste of gray, very popular in its day and almost the archetypal 1941 woodie color, even now. The roof is newly covered in black artificial leather.

The car’s chrome brightwork is new, and the stainless trim is excellent. The running board rubber looks new. The Ford script glass has a bit of separation and shows a few scratches, but is over all very presentable. A 1962 New Jersey inspection sticker remains on the passenger windshield, an pivotal artifact from its earlier life.

The seats are newly upholstered in brown leather. The front has lap belts for two and there are new black rubber floor mats, front and rear, and new pedal pads for the brake and clutch. The dashboard is newly restored in Sequoia woodgrain, and it has excellent plastic. In fact, the instruments and Super Deluxe steering wheel are also nicely restored and there is an electric clock above the glove box.

The engine is carefully restored in Ford green, but not excessively detailed. The whole engine compartment reflects the look of a car a few months old, lightly used but very, very clean. The original 85-horsepower flathead has been enhanced with a Mercury four-inch crankshaft and later Mercury cam to give a noticeable boost in performance. The chassis and underbody are painted gloss black, and are also very clean. Goodyear 6.50-16 blackwall tires were fitted in 2000 and the spare is mounted on the tailgate, under a metal cover.

Acquired by Nick Alexander in May 1999, and restored immediately afterwards, it was honored with a Dearborn Award by the Early Ford V8 Club at Pismo Beach in 2001, earning a score of 981 points. It runs and drives well, like all cars in the Alexander collection, and is ready for turn-key operation. Its Columbia rear axle makes it ideal for touring or freeway use. Current mileage is 49,935 and thought to be original. The car, whose body number dates from June 1941, is registered with California year-of-manufacture plates 97D327, which are included in the sale. An uncommonly correct car from the Ford woodie’s best prewar year, this Super Deluxe wagon is sure to please a new owner.


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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

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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

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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

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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

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Ontario, Canada

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Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

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Kurt Forry

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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