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Lot 129

1938 Ford Deluxe Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. 544615696

Sold for $154,000

Model 81A. 85 bhp, 221 cu. in. Flathead V8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with Columbia two-speed rear end, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112"

The 1938 model year was doubly significant for Ford station wagons. It was the first year that Ford’s Standard and Deluxe series were differentiated by their front end sheet metal. Through 1940, each year’s Standard cars had hoods and grilles similar to the previous year’s Deluxe, with slight differences, while Deluxe cars had a completely different look.

Standard model cars had a modified 1937-style grille and hood, while the Deluxe models, the first to be styled by E.T. Gregorie’s new design section, adopted a heart-shaped motif. Sedans also got new bodies, with a curved fastback contour. All cars were available with the 85-bhp V8, while Standard models could be ordered with the economy 136 cubic inch 60-bhp unit, which had become available in 1937. In mid-year, Ford upgraded the 85-bhp engine by adding three head bolts per side – these became known as “24-stud” engines.

On station wagons, the spare tire was moved inside, behind the driver’s seat and furnished with a canvas or artificial leather slip-over cover. The body was newly revised, the five horizontal panels of 1935-37 giving way to a two-panel configuration. For 1938, the station wagon was built only as a Deluxe model, with 6,944 built.

The epitome of a 1938 Ford Station Wagon, this car is an award winner and magnificent driver. Both the wood body and sheet metal are excellent, the former exhibiting original maple from Henry’s forests. Its varnish is impeccable. The metal contours show no flaws, and the Coach Maroon paint exhibits a deep shine. The brown artificial leather roof, running board rubber and chrome and stainless trim all appear new. All doors shut perfectly, with even gaps. It has glass all around, with only the slightest clouding on rear side windows.

The interior is newly upholstered in brown artificial leather, the front seat equipped with lap belts for two. The brown front floor mat has seen some use, but the rear appears new. The dashboard has been restored in correct walnut woodgrain and the instruments are restored; the Deluxe steering wheel is unmarred and attractive in medium gray. There is an eight-day clock in the glove box door.

The engine is well detailed in Ford green; it is the later type “24-stud” engine introduced in mid-year, commensurate with the June 1938 date of the body number. The undercarriage and underbody are clean and painted black and the Goodyear 6.50-16 blackwall tires were purchased in 2001. The spare, attached to the rear of the front seat, is fitted with an artificial leather cover.

Purchased from Michael Rainey of Beaufort, South Carolina, in September 2000, this car has been completely restored. It earned a Dearborn Award from the Early Ford V8 Club in 2002 at Park City, Utah, scoring 984 points. Registered in California with year-of-manufacture plates 6J9498, which go with the car, it is ready for any trip.

The car was driven from Los Angeles to Park City, Utah by Tim Krehbiel, the man largely responsible for the high quality restorations of the cars in The Alexander Collection. It performed flawlessly on the 1,600-mile round trip, cruising Interstate 15 at 70 mph in overdrive. When Tim rebuilt the engine he installed a four-inch Mercury crankshaft and later Mercury camshaft to facilitate the long uphill climbs through Nevada and Utah. The odometer reads 3,793 miles, which have been accrued since restoration. In this condition, the car is ready for many more.


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Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
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

+1 203 912 7168
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

+1 415 302 2247
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

+1 310 559 4575
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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California, United States

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

+1 519 352 4575
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