Edsel Ford’s Cars to Debut at RM’s Amelia Island Sale

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1934 Ford Special Speedster
Jacksonville, FL – Preeminent international auction house, RM Auctions, will celebrate its 10th annual “Automobiles of Amelia Island” auction event with the sale of some of the world’s most significant and valuable automobiles, including two historic motor cars custom-built for Edsel Ford, once President of the Ford Motor Company.

To be held at the elegant Ritz-Carlton Hotel on March 8, 2008, the annual multi-million dollar sale is held in conjunction with the world-renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Combined, these events make for the ultimate vintage car weekend for discerning collectors.

“To many collectors, the Amelia Island vintage car weekend is regarded as the ‘Pebble Beach’ of the East Coast,” said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions. “Both the auction and the concours events have attracted increasing international interest over the years – including strong European attendance – with many European collectors choosing Amelia Island over Pebble Beach due to its closer proximity,” he added.

For those with a passion for Fords, one of the star attractions of the 2008 auction line-up is an historic 1934 Ford Model 40 Special Speedster, custom-built for Edsel Ford. A sports car enthusiast with an affinity for European style, Edsel Ford had the Model 40 Special Speedster built for his own private collection in 1934 after being inspired by a trip to Europe. Often referred to as the Continental Series II Speedster, it was the personal vehicle and alleged favorite of Mr. Ford from 1934 up until his death in 1943. The ’34 Speedster has the overall effect of a pure racing car—a low-riding aluminum body, twin windscreens, no doors and headlamps positioned at axle height. Sold after Mr. Ford’s passing, it remained in storage for nearly 40 years before being purchased by its current owner in 1999. Its sale at RM’s Amelia Island event presents an extremely rare and unique ownership opportunity and is expected to draw significant global interest.

“The Edsel Ford Speedster is an American Icon and one of Ford’s most significant motor cars ever built,” added Kelleher. It is quite possibly the most famous and well-documented unique one-off custom cars in American automobile history. Seen by millions of people around the world, it’s significance in U.S. history is never to be duplicated.”

Also set to cross the block at RM’s Amelia Island auction is an original, one-of-a-kind 1934 Brewster Edsel Ford Custom Town Car.

“If the ’34 Speedster reflected Edsel Ford’s passion for sports cars, the elegant ’34 Brewster surely portrayed his predilection for refined sophistication,” said Kelleher.

This elegant automobile was a collaborative effort between the Ford Motor Company and Brewster & Co, regarded as the country’s oldest and most prestigious coachbuilder in the 1930s. The car came into production after Ford approached Brewster to produce a series of limited production motor cars combining a Ford chassis with a prestigious Brewster body; when production commenced, Mr. Ford arranged for one of the cars to be personalized for his own collection. This car differentiated from the rest of the line in its color scheme, use of a ’34 Ford Front end, and various other special amenities. Launched at the 1934 New York Auto Show, it is believed the Edsel Ford example was the first Ford-Brewster seen by the public. Mr. Ford owned the car from 1934 through to 1941, after which it was sold to a collector in New Jersey. It then languished in storage for some 55 years before being purchased by its current owner in 2005.

“The combination of both the 1934 Edsel Ford Special Speedster and the 1934 Brewster Edsel Ford Custom Town car being offered at the same auction, presents a very rare and not-to-be missed ownership opportunity for professional collectors, particularly those with an affinity for the Ford marque,” added Kelleher.

“It is very rare for such two such historically important, original custom-built cars to come up for auction, yet alone be offered at the same time. There is no other explanation other than fate that would bring these two cars together. The additional fact that these two cars both languished in storage for so many years, labels them “hidden gems” and makes this event a truly historic meeting,” he added.

Other notable consignments for the March sale include:

* An elegant 1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy

* A rare 1933 Packard Super 8 Convertible Victoria

* A 1911 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Seven-Passenger Touring

* A handsome 1932 Lincoln KB Dual Cowl Phaeton.

RM’s much-anticipated “Automobiles of Amelia Island” – formerly known as “Vintage Motor Cars of Amelia Island” – will be held at the elegant Ritz-Carlton Hotel on March 8, 2009. An auction preview will be held March 7 between 9 am and 6 pm. Doors open on March 8 from 9 am, with the auction action getting underway from 11 am.

The event precedes the famed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, coincidentally the very same show that the prized 1934 Edsel Ford Speedster has participated in on two previous occasions, and the 1934 Brewster Town Car took out the ‘Amelia Award’ in the Custom Bodied Fords category in 2006.

Admission to the auction is by catalog only, which admits both the catalog holder and a guest. The full-color collectable catalog is available for $80 U.S. (plus shipping), by calling (800)-211-4371 or visiting www.rmauctions.com.

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