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Lot 807

1937 Ford Deluxe Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. A-14523
  • Body no. 78 790-63

Sold for $143,000

MODEL 78. 85 bhp, 221 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 mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112"

The Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd. was the first of Henry Ford’s operations outside the United States, chartered in Ontario on August 17, 1904. Production soon began on a one-acre site in Walkerville, part of Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit. Most U.S. models of Fords were also made in Canada, for tariff reasons, although low-production variants were often imported from Dearborn, Michigan. Over time, more and more Canadian content crept into Walkerville-built Fords. The flathead V-8 remained the mainstay, remaining in production longer than in the home market. Due to “empire preference,” Ford of Canada was the principal supplier to countries within the British Empire.

One thing uniquely Canadian was the numbering system for cars. Model As and early V-8s used a complicated system of letters and numbers. Then, in 1937, a simple alpha-numeric sequence began, starting with “A-1.”

The 1937 Fords were heavily influenced by the new Lincoln-Zephyr, introduced in November 1935. The pointed prow, penned by designer E.T. “Bob” Gregorie, was a direct takeoff, as were the teardrop-shaped headlights recessed into the fenders. The V-8 engine was revised for better cooling, placing the water pumps at the bottom and moving the water outlets to the middle of the cylinder heads. Rod-operated mechanical brakes gave way to a cable arrangement.

Station wagons received some updates of their own. A bench replaced the individual seats in the second row, located to the left so that passengers could easily access the third seat via the right side. The raised platform for the third seat was also rounded at the front corner, also for passenger access. For the first time there was a liftgate with a glass window at the rear. This was held up by sliding stays, secured by thumbscrews when open, and jointed rods replaced leather-covered chains as tailgate supports.

This Canadian-built 1937 Ford station wagon has a long and continuous history. Purchased new by the Jarvis family of Aurora, Ontario, it was used on their Hazelburn Farm, south of the town. The Jarvises sold the car to a Miss Sprague, owner of an antique shop in Aurora. She used the station wagon in her business for many years, eventually consigning it to her garage, where it remained undriven.

Gary Gilbert often saw the 1937 Ford station wagon when he was growing up in Aurora. When he returned to town after college the car was no longer on the streets. Miss Sprague’s antique shop was still in business, so he inquired of the wagon’s whereabouts. He was able to buy it in 1963, and with a new battery and fuel pump, drove it home. Over the next 20 years he enjoyed the car in its original condition, but in the 1980s he and his sons decided to restore it. Finding the task a bit ambitious for amateurs, they eventually consigned it to a professional restoration shop.

The car was assembled in Windsor, Ontario, as a cowl and chassis during February 1937. The body, with wood from Ford’s forests in northern Michigan, was constructed in Detroit by the Murray Corporation of America and shipped to Canada for installation.

Purchased from Gilbert by the Dingman Collection in 2002, the car was sent to Lowrey’s Auto Restoration for a full refurbishment, which cost approximately $205,000. This latest restoration was completed with black sheet metal. The paint is excellent quality, with no visible flaws, and the brightwork, although confined to the nose and bumpers, is all of excellent quality. The wood is excellent and correct materials were used on the roof and interior upholstery. All appear new. Wide whitewall tires with bright spider-trim wheels provide a visual highlight.

Mileage showing is just short of 78,000 and is believed correct. Ford built 9,304 station wagons worldwide in 1937. The proportion assembled in Canada is necessarily quite small. This car is, thus, rare by any measure, and remarkable for its continuous history from the day it was built. Furthermore, with its no-expense-spared restoration, it is presented in as new, factory fresh condition.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more