1937 Buick Roadmaster Limousine by Brewster

Sold For $38,500

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Auctions - AUBURN FALL 3 - 5 SEPTEMBER 2020 - The Roadmaster Collection - Offered on Saturday

Chassis No.
Body No.
  • Offered from The Roadmaster Collection
  • Believed to be one of two Brewster-bodied Buicks
  • Built for prominent socialite Esther Maria Chapin
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
  • Sympathetically restored over the years

According to Brewster Society records, Brewster body number 9062 was originally ordered for a 1935 Ford chassis and delivered to Esther Maria Chapin, a prominent socialite and direct descendant of Martha Washington. Esther was the wife of Charles Merrill Chapin, a member of one of the founding families of Merrill Lynch, who had passed away before taking delivery of the Brewster Ford. Mrs. Chapin, a dignified East Coast woman, felt that the Brewster’s trademark heart-shaped grille was “outrageous” and Ford underpinnings insufficient for a proper formal car. She demanded the car be returned immediately to J.S. Inskip, head of Brewster and a family associate. He obliged and eventually had the custom body lightly modified and moved to a chassis Esther considered better suited for her stature, a new 1937 Buick Series 80 Roadmaster.

Mrs. Chapin reportedly used her Brewster for decades to attend social events in the Manhattan area. It was sold by her family in the early 1970s to prominent collector James Tushinsky, who later passed it to Barrett-Jackson founder Russ Jackson, where it remained part of Mr. Jackson’s collection until his passing in 1993. During his ownership, the car was given CCCA Full Classic status, by virtue of its custom bodywork, and was pictured in Beverly Rae Kimes’s The Classic Car in 1990.

The car was sold by the Jackson Estate to Rich Ritchie, of Ritchie Buick in California, and it was displayed in the Preservation class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2008. It joined prestigious The Roadmaster Collection in 2016. Today, it remains in lovely condition, having been sympathetically restored over the years, this included being repainted its original burgundy color years ago. The Buick rides on wide whitewall tires mounted on painted steel wheels with factory wheel covers. The exterior features Guide Super Ray driving lights, dual sideview mirrors, dual side-mounted covered spares, and luggage trunk. The interior features a glovebox clock, sliding divider window, rear jump seats, and the car is still fitted with its original intercom.

One of very few custom bodied Buicks, this Full Classic Roadmaster by Brewster enjoys an illustrious past and would make for a wonderful CCCA tourer.

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