Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Edsel Ford's 1932 roadster was at the 2007 Grand National Roadster Show, in an "as found" condition, but was throroughly restored and auctioned off for $770,000

The all-aluminum boattail body was made by Ford's aircraft division. It was just what Edsel Ford wanted and had described. No running boards and a steeply raked split windshield that disguised Edsel's continental car's humble assembly line origins.

Edsel drove the Speedster to work on several occasions. An updated Ford flathead V-8 was later installed for more performance. In 1934, when the 2nd Speedster was built, this car was sold to an Indianapolis mechanic Elmer Benzin.

By the 1940's it was in a Connecticut wrecking yard, where it was saved - but underwent extensive modifications by the new owners by replacing the damaged alloy fenders with a set of four steel fenders, which were sourced from a 1935/36 Chevy. No one knows how it got from Michigan to Connecticut and this is still a mystery.

The car was purchased by John Cox who had no idea what the car was, and sold in the late 1940s. He came upon the car again in 1984 and re-purchased it. He completely disassembled it. Shortly after this it was realized to be Edsel Ford's 1932 Speedster. After Cox's passing, the car was sold to the current owners.

The current owner purchased the car several years ago, and decided to return the car to its original condition. It has been repainted in 1932 Ford Tunis Gray, mated to a sample found on the underside of the cowl vent. Power is from flathead, with a Stromberg 81 two-barrel carburetor, and dual exhaust.




  1. Holden Australia originally built the alloy bodies for the Vauxhall Hurlingham Speedster from 1929 through '30.

    They were also commissioned in 1928 to build a boat tail Speedster on a Buick 'Double Drop' chassis which was to be exported to the UK and raced in the speed trials at Brooklands that same year. This Buick has three compliance plates fitted. One for Australia, One for the UK and one for the USA.

    Eventually making its way back after racing duties, some new owners painted it black with chalk board paint, and took advantage of its speed abilities to run 'Moonshine' during prohibition.
    Running at night, Mildura locals knew it as the 'Moonlight Speedster'.

    In 1931 Holden built and released for sale to the public, the Chevrolet 'Moonlight Speedster'. Due to the depression this body style ended in 1932.

    Knowing Edsel liked poking around and annoying everyone at Ford Australia HQ in those days. I wonder if his design came in the form of a Chevrolet sales brochure....

    1. Paul just beat to you informing me about the Moonlight by a month. http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2016/09/chevrolet-moonlight-speedster-built-by.html I've never heard of it before that

  2. That's OK, Paul's a great guy, I know him well.

    Buick 'Brooklands' Speedster 1928
    Vauxhall Hurlingham Speedster 1929-1930
    Chevrolet Moonlight Speedster 1931-1932
    Edsel's groovy new Ford Speedster 1932-

    Edsel hired 'BOB' Gregorie in 1931. "A year later" Edsel upon his return from 'the continent' gave Gregorie the assignment....
    "Gregorie, equipped with a design for a completely topless boattail speedster with matching prow-like front end and a sporty V-shaped windshield,........"

    The European Chevrolet 'Moonlight Roadster' of 1931 had the Weird swoopy door openings and spares mounted on the trunk in typical euro sports car fashion. Just like Maserati, Bmw and Mercedes.

    If Edsel was enamored with something "as seen on the continent" in 1931, I just wonder which continent.....Australia is a continent.