Arizona

19-20 January 2017

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Lot 115

1947 Ford Super DeLuxe Sportsman Convertible

  • Chassis no. 799A-1934335

Sold for $154,000


100 bhp, 239 cu. in. V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front and rear axles with transverse leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 114 in.

  • One of the rarest and most desirable post-war Fords
  • Recent interior restoration, including correct red leather seats
  • Original wood trim, inside and out


After the war, Ford was caught flat-footed when word came that Chrysler was planning a new line of wood-bodied cars based on its pre-war Town and Country. With no time to design a car from scratch, Henry Ford II asked Ford designer E.T. “Bob” Gregorie to engineer a wood-bodied car based on the existing Ford lineup to fit between its convertibles and woodie station wagons.

The Ford design and engineering teams met at the company’s Iron Mountain sawmill and body plant with some initial design drawings and a Ford Super DeLuxe convertible, and set about designing what would become the Sportsman “woodie” convertible. They adorned its sides with beautiful mahogany panels, framed and mortised with solid maple harvested from the Michigan forests surrounding the plant. Unlike the Town and Country, which used body panels that were structurally wood, the Sportsman is structurally steel, so the doors are less prone to sagging over time. Ford used the rear fenders from a 1941 sedan delivery model to allow easier fitment of the wood. The power hydraulic window system was taken from the Lincoln Continental, and the gas filler lid from the Ford station wagon.

Inside was an Art Deco-inspired dash in mahogany with handsome color-keyed trim. Considered a premium model, the Sportsman came with seats upholstered in genuine leather facings in tan or red and included French stitching. The Sportsman was intended as a halo car, helping to draw customers into showrooms and serving as an example of the best that the company could produce.

One of 2,274 Sportsmans built in the 1947 model year, the car offered here has been meticulously maintained. An older show-quality restoration with a bare-metal re-paint in correct Glade Green, it is complemented by a tan power-operated convertible top, excellent brightwork, and many desirable options and accessories. Among them are front and rear bumper guards, correct Ford fog lights, dual chrome-plated mirrors integrated into the bodyside chrome strips, and a set of wide whitewall tires, mounted on Glade Green steel wheels adorned with chrome-plated trim rings and hubcaps. The door locks are shielded with small chrome lids.

The immaculate interior was in 2015 fitted with correct red leather upholstery and is equipped with correct heater, electric clock, and Wonder Bar radio. The interior wood trim is original and remains in excellent condition throughout. The correct hydraulic window lifts, quite a luxury in 1947, are fitted. The engine bay is thoroughly detailed and features a correct Ford flathead V-8 engine; the engine is believed to be original, but a fire destroyed records from this period, so this cannot be confirmed. Underneath and throughout, this Sportsman is immaculate.

Among the most desirable of early post-war Fords, the Sportsman is a piece of Americana, a rolling symbol of post-war optimism. This is a fine example that has not been shown publicly for many years and not since its restoration was completed. It is ready to be driven in touring events or to be shown at AACA, Early Ford V-8 Club of America, and National Woodie Club meets.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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