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Lot 25
1938 Ford Model 81 DeLuxe Station Wagon


Selling on Saturday

From the Steelewood Collection

CHASSIS NO: 184522106

• Eight-year frame-off restoration
• Beautiful Dartmouth Green exterior
• Three-speed manual transmission
• Excellent woodie for any collection

This lot is available for online bidding at, and

V-8 engine, 85 HP, three-speed manual transmission, hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 112”

The 1938 models were the first automobiles designed completely by Edsel Ford and his chief stylist E.T. Bob Gregorie. Production was still full steam ahead at the Iron Mountain plant and Ford was rightfully earning their title as the “wagon masters of the world”. With the introduction of the 1938 model at Detroit’s Convention Hall, Ford announced the firm was elevating the station wagon from its commercial line roots to its list of passenger cars. They were able to comfortably seat eight and had a classy appearance on the outside, so it was only fitting it was marketed as a passenger car. The new model featured an aerodynamic front end and headlights fitted into the front fenders - a striking appearance for its time, and the rear tailgate was also changed to a drop-down door with a lift up window. Even though the station wagons could still be used as commercial vehicles, the public responded well to the newly marketed passenger cars. Sales rose from the previous year and would again increase in the following year.

Appearing as the only 1938 Ford in the Steelewood Collection, this station wagon has been brilliantly brought back to life with a frame-off restoration that lasted eight years. Before it was purchased by its current owner, this lucky ’38 Deluxe spent most of its life cruising through the hills and valleys of Hawaii. Taking eight years from start to finish, the owner wanted to make sure all the proper steps were taken, and all the correct parts were used. The outside was painted in its factory original Dartmouth Green and the maple and birch doors and panels were restored and covered with multiple layers of varnish. The body is in amazing shape, showing no dents or blemishes. A new leatherette roof was installed on the top and four new whitewall tires have been added to all four corners.

The inside has been restored with brown upholstery and is capable of seating eight including the driver. The interior roof features a hand-built basswood ceiling that radiates a warm glow over the cabin. The dashboard has been restored in period-correct walnut faux woodgrain and all of the instruments are in proper working order. Featured options on the DeLuxe Station Wagons are the radio, dashboard clock, and DeLuxe specific steering wheel. Behind the driver’s seat is the spare tire fitted with a leatherette cover, the first year the spare was moved inside. The engine is well-detailed in Ford green and has been meticulously restored. Powering this passenger station wagon is a famous Ford V-8 engine that is backed by a three-speed manual transmission mated to the floor.

Woodie wagons are loved by many, due to their upscale appearance and reminder of simpler times. Drawing attention everywhere it’s driven, this beautifully restored Dartmouth Green wagon would make for a great addition to any garage or collection.

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