Ford Panel Brougham

The car offered here is the only example of a Ford chassis fitted with Panel Brougham bodywork by Rollson in 1940. It was the brainchild of noted designer Rudy Creteur, who had taken over the assets of the Rollston Body Company in 1938 before changing its name to Rollson. This was perhaps his most successful design, featuring a high roofline and Rollson’s characteristically over-engineered construction, with aluminum used for the rear body and doors, while the hood and fenders are steel. Stylistically, its razor-edge styling and open chauffeur’s compartment gave the car an undeniably elegant look, while the excellent Ford chassis and V8 powertrain provided outstanding performance, handling and braking for the era.

According to a copy of the original purchase invoice dated May 22, 1940, the car was purchased new by Mr. John R. Bradley, a resident of the Waldorf Towers in New York City. Priced at $4,284.15, this car was certainly quite pricey for its time. In fact, its Ford chassis and instantly recognizable frontal bodywork were perfectly suited to Mr. Bradley, who apparently preferred not to be seen in a more conspicuous luxury automobile such as a Cadillac, Packard or Rolls-Royce.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

85 bhp, 221 cu. in. L-head V8 engine, three-speed sliding gear manual transmission, solid front axle with transverse leaf spring, ¾-floating rear axle with transverse leaf spring, and Lockheed four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

Gallery: Ford Panel Brougham