Lincoln shows restored 1934 Edsel Ford Speedster at Pebble BeachSat, 20 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Lincoln unveiled Edsel Ford's restored 1934 Model 40 Special Speedster on Friday during a ceremony on the lawn at Pebble Beach. The one-off car, lost for more than 40 years, was acquired by the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in 2009 and treated to a complete restoration.
According to the company, Edsel Ford originally commissioned the Speedster after visiting Europe and growing enamored of the small sports cars on the continent. E.T. “Bob” Gregorie, Ford's chief designer at the time, came up with the Model 40 Speedster after a failed first try was deemed not racy enough.
The all-aluminum body, reportedly originally built by Ford Aircraft metalworkers, rests on a modified 1934 Ford chassis. The Speedster is powered by a Ford Flathead V8 engine running through a three-speed manual gearbox.
RM Restorations was hired to do the restoration work on the Speedster, returning the car to its original gunmetal gray/gray leather interior scheme from the red-over-red hue the car was found in. Over the course of nearly a year, the company dismantled the entire car, documenting each step before restoration and reassembly in time for the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where it will also be shown on Sunday.
After the concours, the Speedster will return to the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House near Detroit, where it will be part of the facility's permanent collection.
In an interesting footnote, Gregorie, the original designer of the car, was shown the Speedster before its restoration, remarking that it “looked really good in red.” The as-found red car is in the photo gallery above. As pretty as the restored Speedster was in person, we agree with Gregorie: The patinaed version looks even better to our eyes. Which do you prefer?
The Monterey Week is packed with car shows, vintage racing and car auctions. Autoweek will be there providing streaming photo galleries and live coverage of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, historic racing at Laguna Seca, the Monterey car auctions and much more. Go to autoweek.com/monterey for complete coverage and live updates.
By Andrew Stoy