The distinctively styled 1934 Brewster-Ford was the inspired brainchild of well-respected luxury-car dealer and coachbuilder J.S. Inskip. Having served as president of Rolls-Royce of America and of the renowned Brewster & Co., coachbuilding firm, Inskip strove resolutely to save the latter as many of the greatest names in American coachbuilding were falling victim to the ever-widening effects of the Great Depression. As sales of Rolls-Royces and custom Brewster coachwork waned during the early 1930s, Inskip envisaged a completely new car to offer straight from the showroom floor, one that retained the considerable prestige and styling prowess associated with the Brewster name in a more affordable and somewhat less ostentatious package.
Inskip based the design on Ford’s ubiquitous V-8 chassis, stretched to a generous, yet manageable 127-inch wheelbase, ideal for busy city streets. Several body styles were available, ranging from a sporty Roadster to a versatile Convertible Sedan and of course, the formal Town Car. Visually distinguished by their flowing fenders and distinctive heart-shaped radiator grille, directly attributable to J.S. Inskip and inspired by the tip of a fountain pen, the captivating Brewster models offered luxurious appointments and exceptional quality with robust, readily available, and easily serviced Ford mechanicals. However, a handful of Brewster bodies also graced Buick, Packard, and Rolls-Royce chassis when new or subsequently upon customer request. Priced from a still-considerable $3,500, yet far less than most competing luxury cars of the era, the Brewster-Ford entered production in 1934 through late 1935. While some sources have claimed that as many as 300 were produced, chassis records reveal that the true number that left Brewster’s New York factory was closer to 113.
Predictably, most Brewster-Fords were purchased new by Inskip’s loyal and discerning clientele in New York City and the Eastern Seaboard, including members of the Astor, du Pont, Guggenheim, Harriman, and Rockefeller families. Fittingly, Ford Motor Company president Edsel B. Ford, well-known for his fine design sense, appears to have been the first Brewster-Ford buyer. These distinctive and rational luxury motorcars were also favored by the era’s top entertainers, including Al Jolson, who was perhaps enticed to acquire his car by legendary songwriter and early Brewster-Ford owner Cole Porter, who penned the smash hit song “You’re the Top,” which included a lyrical homage to the excellence of Brewster’s handiwork. A healthy secondary market for these desirable and uniquely styled motorcars continued through the late 1930s and well into the 1940s. Significantly, the Brewster-Fords of the mid-1930s are the only Ford Motor Company products afforded Full Classic® status by the CCCA (Classic Car Club of America).
Bearing Chassis Number 18-1030-781, this exceedingly rare 1934 Brewster-Ford Town Car is offered in well-preserved condition with an older, well-maintained restoration. According to production records, this car was originally delivered to Dr. William B. Cadwalader of Villa Nova, Pennsylvania. Little else of its early history is know, though it clearly has been cherished by devoted enthusiasts. Attractively finished with period-appropriate Gray coachwork and Black fenders with Black accent lines, this Town Car is a charming example that is well-suited to touring enjoyment. Paintwork is attractive overall, with a few minor imperfections consistent with the restoration’s age. Red-finished steel wire wheels and wide whitewall tires heighten the Brewster’s curb appeal.
Interior appointments include a black leather-trimmed driver’s compartment and excellent tan broadcloth passenger area, with a sliding division window adding formality. In addition to a sumptuous rear bench seat with generous armrests at each side, the rear compartment is appointed with twin vanities, an intercom, twin folding jump seats, rope-style grab handles, and even a flower vase. Powered by a robust and correctly finished Ford “Flathead” V-8 engine, the Town Car features select upgrades for touring pleasure in a wide range of conditions, including the welcome addition of hydraulic power steering gear and an electric cooling fan.
Luxurious and finely crafted yet with sturdy and readily serviced Ford V-8 chassis and running gear, this Brewster-Ford is, as it was in 1934, a uniquely stylish bargain among classic coachbuilt motorcars.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 6988
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