This 1936 Ford Cabriolet is the perfect “no-stories” collector car. Except, of course, for that time it received coachbuilt bodywork, carried its owners from the Nazi’s tightening grip, survived WWII stored near a fabled English hotel and won its class at Pebble Beach. Find it for sale here at RM Auction’s upcoming Dingman Collection Sale.
For better or worse, the term “no-stories” gets thrown around the collector car world as if some vehicles traverse the decades as well as the DeLorean in Back to the Future. We say the longer the story the better and instead marvel at the provenance of this particular ’36 Ford.
Built in Ford’s Cologne, Germany plant the Cabriolet displays an interesting mix of factory and custom bodywork. Much of the front end consists of earlier 1935 Ford Model 48 panels—the European constructed cars received updates later than their US built counterparts—while all other bodywork bears the design and craftsmanship of Gläser. Long celebrated for designs gracing high-end cars and later for bodywork gracing Porsche’s America Roadsters, Gläser crafted an interesting and appealing body for the Ford that combined the best of European and American styling. But the real merits of this particular car are much more than skin deep.
Purchased in 1936 by the Westermans, a wealthy German Jewish family, the Ford carried the family and their worldly possessions out of their home country and into England when it became apparent Hitler’s rising political career posed a great threat to the Westermans’ well being. In their new life they bought the Hotel de Paris in England and catered to a clientele that included English royalty. The Ford saw use to the end of the war and was then rolled into careful storage where it remained for 1987. The story that follows includes a cosmetic restoration, the bequeathing of the Ford to the man who insisted it be restored, its sale to a Ford Motor Company board member, a comprehensive restoration by Kevin Westmoreland and Best In Class honors at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
It is, in short, a storied car in the best sense of the word and offers its next owner the opportunity to show and enjoy a significant piece of Ford’s prewar history. And to tell quite a story.