Motor City

30 July 2016

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Lot 157

1937 Ford V-8 DeLuxe Roadster

  • Chassis no. 18-3556313
  • Body no. 78-710250

Sold for $55,000

Model 78. 85 bhp, 221 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112 in.

  • Formerly of the renowned Milton Robson collection
  • Older restoration freshened and well cared for
  • Last of the Ford roadsters; sporty and fun

In the days of the Model T, touring cars or phaetons easily outsold all other body types. Open cars were cheaper, and tourers were more spacious and convenient than roadsters or runabouts. By the era of the Model A, however, creature comforts had become more important and less expensive. The most popular Ford body style was a two-door sedan – “Tudor,” in Ford parlance. This held true right through to World War II.

As the 1920s came to a close, convertibles with roll-up windows and better weather protection began to make inroads into roadster sales. Ford’s first was the Cabriolet, added to the 1929 Model A catalogue. At first the Cabriolet sold in very modest quantities, but by 1935, Ford Cabriolets outsold Roadsters three to one.

The Roadster, however, still had appeal, and the style remained in the catalogue through 1937. But the handwriting was on the wall; just 1,250 were built that year, the rarest of all body styles. The only Ford Roadsters built with the new-for-1937 yacht-inspired styling by designer E.T. Gregorie, the ’37s stand clearly apart from all predecessors.

This rare 1937 Ford DeLuxe Roadster was previously in the famed Milton Robson Collection in Georgia. The recipient of a body-off restoration some years ago, it was freshened around 2008. Repainted at that time in Ford’s Coach Maroon, it has a brown buttoned leather interior, wood-grain dashboard, and correct rubber floor mat. Accessory wind wings provide passenger comfort with the top down, and side curtains are provided for inclement weather.

The rumble seat provides open-air motoring for two passengers, or a limited luggage space, if needed. The car has a tan canvas top and matching boot cover, as well as sports wide whitewall tires. Great care was taken with the restoration, which displays a tidy engine compartment with correct wiring, hardware, and hoses. Since acquisition by the current owner six years ago, it has been carefully maintained by a full-time mechanic.

Surviving 1937 Roadsters in the Early Ford V-8 Club register number about a dozen, making this car rarer still. If your bucket list includes riding in a rumble seat, then this is your car.

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