Edsel Ford may have been losing the battle with Harry Bennett for control of the Ford Motor Company in 1937, but his design influence was stronger than ever that year. Increasingly modern and stylish, the Blue Oval’s aerodynamic-looking cars were summed up perfectly by the V8 Deluxe Roadster.
With a more rounded look than the Ford Model 48 (the car that it replaced) it featured fine horizontal bars in the V-shape waterfall grille, new oval headlights, running-board mouldings, a Deluxe bonnet ornament, rear fender skirts, “spider” hubcaps and wind wings. The tan canvas top whitewall tyres were a nice touch and indeed, it was the car to be seen in. US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt bought a four-door convertible saloon, but these two-doors were the best-looking of the range. The cabin was packed with a host of amenities including a radio, clock, locking glove box and rumble seat. The brown buttoned leather cabin with a wood-grain dash added a touch of flair and although it may not seem like much by today’s standards, for the Thirties this was considered a fully loaded car. Power came from a 3.6-litre L-head V8 with a two-barrel carburettor producing 85bhp and it was mated to a three-speed sliding gear manual transmission.
The ride was firm, what with a solid front axle and a live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptical leaf springs, while stopping power came from four-wheel mechanical drum brakes.
They only made 1,250 units that year and they were each priced from $700 (Dh2,570). Today, more than 80 years
later, it is believed that just 12 examples remain. Nobody will sell you one of those — but you can pick up a coupé for around Dh250,000.