Amelia Island | Lot 156
1941 Ford Super DeLuxe Station Wagon
Offered from the Pray Collection
$82,500 USD | Sold
| Amelia Island, Florida
8 March 2014
- Offered from the Pray Collection
- Three owners from new; kept by the original family for decades
- Formerly owned by Ralph Marano
- An outstanding restoration
85 bhp, 221 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 114 in.
Before the station wagon became an iconic part of American family life, it belonged to a different social class. The gentleman with a townhouse in the city would commute on the weekends to his country place, where an appropriate open car would share the carriage house with an equally well-maintained station wagon. The wagon’s purpose was as a utility vehicle for servants, and it was perhaps used for the occasional picnic or quail hunt. Yet, it was as much a part of the life well lived, and as much a symbol of genteel prosperity, as the Packard with which it shared space.
That is the purpose that this 1941 Ford Super DeLuxe serves in the Pray Collection. It is a symbol of a bygone time in Greenwich, when these wagons could be seen regularly on the road, often with their owner’s monogram or yacht club burgee proudly borne on the doors.
The Pray Ford was originally owned by a family near Blairstown, New Jersey. It would be more accurate to say that it was part of the family, as it remained in their care until the late 1980s. Near the end of their ownership, it was comprehensively restored by Marty Beron, of Grey Hills Auto Restoration in Blairstown. As Mr. Pray later recounted, the family had wanted their much-appreciated car to wind up with a collector after their ownership was over. Accordingly, it wound up in the fine stable of Ralph Marano, where it remained for approximately five years, and then it moved to the Pray Collection in May 1996. It has remained in Greenwich since.
The Ford is finished in the appropriately titled hue of Coach Maroon, and its 25-year-old restoration has mellowed in the best possible way. It still exhibits its outstanding level of finish and detail, and it is better than it was in 1941. Under the hood, the correct hoses and clips are evident. Much of the body wood remains original, and all of it is varnished to a superb shine, with the inside of the body resembling the hull of a fine wooden boat. The authentic imitation leather interior is in superb condition, and the odometer shows 80,375 miles, which is believed original mileage. The dashboard even contains an original radio and dash clock.
This Ford Wagon is a fine older restoration that can still be a point of pride in any collection, and it is among the most evocative cars in this gentleman’s carriage house.