Arizona

19-20 January 2017

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Lot 114

1932 Ford V-8 Drophead Coupe by Carlton

  • Chassis no. C18R1642

$175,000 - $250,000


Model 18. 65 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 spring suspension, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106.5 in.

  • Extremely rare and attractive British custom coachwork
  • Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance award-winner
  • Beautifully and authentically restored for its owner of 30 years
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
  • An iconic ’32 Ford that looks like a small Bentley!


While Fords were being built in England in 1932, the new V-8 model was not among them; it was being produced only in the United States and Canada. British customers who desired the latest and greatest Henry Ford engineering had to look across the pond for a chassis, and then would have coachwork produced by their own country’s fine craftsmen. This resulted in a handful of custom automobiles that combined the “Deuce’s” excellent performance with gorgeous European styling.

The car shown here was built at Ford’s Canadian factory with right-hand drive, as signified by its original chassis number. Its chassis was exported to England, where the well-proportioned and attractive drophead coupe body was built by the Carlton Carriage Company of London. Carlton was perhaps the builder of dropheads in England during the 1930s, specializing in very attractive examples of this style on a wide variety of chassis. In particular, they were famed for their work on Rolls-Royce and Bentley, and thus it is no surprise that this Ford wound up resembling a jewel-like “miniature” of one of Crewe’s finest!

The current owner notes that he acquired the car in 1986, from a retired United States Navy captain who had owned it since 1958, when he purchased it in England. “The 1932 V-8 Ford engine had some initial problems since it was the first year of production,” the owner notes. “This resulted in many of these engines being replaced with later models, and this car was no exception. We were able to source and install a correct ’32 engine. Many other parts in 1932 were special to that year, and finding them was a difficult and time-consuming process.”

Nonetheless, several years were spent in the authentic restoration, and all of the correct parts were found to make “the Carlton” as it had appeared in 1932, including new woodwork throughout. The body was finished in a rich, menacing black, with contrasting bright red interior and wire wheels shod, as was typical for a British car of the period, in blackwall tires.

Following completion of the restoration, the Ford was exhibited at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as part of a special class for pre-war Ford V-8s with custom coachwork, where it was awarded 2nd in Class. It returned to Pebble Beach in 2011, receiving another class award. Further, the owner was successful in having the Classic Car Club of America recognize the car as a Full Classic; it was subsequently judged at 96.75 points at the Annual Meeting in 2011.

Very few 1932 Fords were built with custom coachwork, and fewer still remain. “The Carlton” is certainly among the most attractive and most beautifully restored, with lines and a color scheme that evoke the best of Bentley and other sporting British machines of its era. It would be a wonderful addition to any collection of fine coachbuilt automobiles—just as it has been for the current owner for 30 years.

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

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

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

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