Saturday, April 13, 2013

What Could Have Been; A Production 1932 Ford Boattail

Whenever we look back at our favorite car designs, one that is always near the top of that list is the Auburn Boattail. The cross-pollination of sporty race trim and jaunty maritime design was a striking combo, like this 1929 Auburn...

1929 Auburn 8-90 Speedster

But what isn't as well-known is that Edsel Ford was inspired enough to enlist the design effort of E.T. Gregoire to pen a 32 Ford version, with an aluminum body and one of the first Deuce frames. It featured suicide doors and E&J style bullet headlights

Look, it has issues. The length of the chassis limits it to more of a 32 Ford Tugboattail look then the sleek Speedster design. But hey, if you have your own auto manufacturing company, the largest in the world, why not take a flyer on something different. Why, even the name "Edsel" is synonymous with "different" (but not successful, unfortunately).

But 1932 was not the best year for model expansion. The Depression was washing ashore on the economy, and sweeping away and undermining many car companies. So we are left with another "What could have been".

After such a long time, it seems natural to assume that it  had been tossed in to the dustbin of history, but in one of those all-too-familiar stories about long-lost cars, this one was saved from the scrapper by a couple who had no idea what they had in their hands, and when they did, they did the best thing possible and restored it to it's former glory.
Here's a shot in all of it's resplendent  trappings...

 It still holds up pretty-well, and since the going rate for a complete 1932 Ford is escalating daily, it may be one of the only examples of this type made, cloned or scratch-built. 

Maybe there's someone out there with a 32 cowl and decent English-wheel skills, and we'll see the first new build of a first Ford Boattail!

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