Portola Hotel & Spa
17 - 18 August 2012
Lot 119

1947 Ford Super DeLuxe Sportsman Convertible


$187,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.

Model 79A. 100 bhp, 239.4 cu in L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with Columbia overdrive, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 114"

• Ford’s most desirable woodie

• Ex-Nick Alexander Collection; Dearborn Award winner

• Columbia two-speed rear axle

With the postwar resumption of civilian automobile production, Ford’s dashing Sportsman Convertible was a low-volume image leader for the company. For 1947, model-year Sportsman production reached only 2,250 units, one-tenth the volume of the more conventional, steel-bodied Super DeLuxe Convertible. Although the Sportsman remained in production for the early part of the 1948 model year, except for their chassis numbers, those early ’48s were identical to 1947s. The last Sportsman built, for example, does not have the new ignition lock that was the principal differentiator for the 1948 models. By the end of October 1947, Sportsman production had ended for good.

Restored on the east coast by Kent Bank and Chip Webb, of Automotive Restorations in Stratford Connecticut, this September 1947 Sportsman is finished in the popular color of Glade Green. The body contours are all excellent, and the paint exhibits a deep shine. The maple and mahogany body is highly varnished. The doors both shut well, and the top is new black canvas with 1946-style red piping. It has a tan canvas lining, and the brightwork is all excellent. The glass all has Ford script and is very good and looks original.

The seats are upholstered in red leather, and the dashboard is perfectly restored in maple wood grain; the plastic looks new and is excellent. The instruments appear original and are very nice, as is the steering wheel. Accessories include a radio, heater, and electric clock, while the luggage compartment is complete with correct grey cardboard liner and black rubber mat.

The engine compartment is clean and well-detailed, and there is a bypass oil filter on the left cylinder head. Underneath, the chassis and underbody are nicely restored in gloss black and are very clean. B.F. Goodrich 6.50-16 blackwall tires are fitted, and a matching spare occupies the trunk.

Owned by Melville Warren Garbitt in the 1970s, the car received an AACA National First Prize in 1991. Highly-respected woodie collector Nick Alexander purchased it in February 1995 before it received the Early Ford V-8 Club’s Dearborn Award at Dearborn in 1998, scoring 995 points. Alex Devello, Nick’s wood specialist, drove this car to Dearborn and back, accounting for about half of the 10,000 miles acquired since restoration. This car’s Columbia overdrive axle makes highway travel very pleasant. A nice example of one of the latest 1947 Sportsman models, it is unparalleled for open air motoring. Cruising characteristics were further enhanced with a four-inch Mercury crankshaft, and later a Mercury cam, expertly installed by Tim Krehbiel to increase horsepower while retaining a factory-stock appearance. Acquired by the current owner in 2009, it remains a timeless classic and unquestionably one of the most desirable woodies available—a combination of wood-bodied elegance with the joys of open-air motoring.