- Offered from a prominent private collection
- Excellent restoration in the striking color of Pheasant Red
- Features all of its original wood, including bird’s eye maple
- Among the most rare and desirable of all Ford “woodies”
Following World War II, Henry Ford II had designer Bob Gregorie and head illustrator Ross Cousins draw up a 1946 version of a wood-bodied Model A roadster that “Hank the Deuce” had used on the beach in his youth. It was decided that a wood-bodied convertible would be just the thing to draw in customers off the street, serving as a “halo car” for Ford dealerships; while few would be sold, their ability to pull attention would be priceless.
The Sportsman, as it was dubbed, was built at Ford’s Iron Mountain plant in Michigan, using standard convertible body shells fitted with sedan delivery fenders and taillights. The outer bodies were beautifully built of the finest maple, birch, and mahogany, with each maple piece being carved from solid wood. The seats were upholstered with genuine leather facings and included French stitching, while the front floor mats had color-keyed carpet inserts. Power windows, including the rear quarter panes, were standard equipment
Ford built the Sportsman for only two years, 1946 and 1947, with a handful of leftovers being retitled and sold in 1948. Retailing for about $500 more than the standard convertible, it was a luxury few could afford but did indeed serve as an example of the best that the Blue Oval could produce, with style, quality and features rivaling top-end luxury models from GM and Chrysler.
The 1947 model offered here, one of fewer than 100 examples believed to have survived from 2,274 built, is a very well-maintained, high-quality, older restoration in the brilliant color of Pheasant Red with Maroon interior. Significantly, while many of these cars have had their wooden bodywork partially or completely replaced during restoration, this Sportsman retains all of its original wood. Even more special, the original wood includes a few select pieces of the extravagantly beautiful bird’s eye maple, the rarest and most prized wood to be found in Ford’s hardwood forests. Accessories include the aforementioned power windows as well as a power top, dashboard clock, AM radio with cowl-mounted antenna, fresh air heater, a cowl-mounted spotlight, and dual fog lights—nearly everything one could have wanted in 1947. This Sportsman has accrued fewer than 1,453 miles since restoration at the time of cataloguing, accounting for its superb presentation.
This is an exceptional example of one of the all-time greats among postwar Fords.