The least you can say about this car is that it’s quite unusual. I mean, a classy, luxurious towncar bodywork on a model T Ford chassis? Is this for real? Well, apparently it is, cause Dragone Auctions are offering this car on their Lime Rock Auction on Sunday 3 September in Lakeville, Connecticut, USA.
The actual history of this odd car is not known, unfortunately. Dragone assumes, based on the elegant design of the towncar bodywork, that it’s done by a French coachbuilder. The cabin offers a seat to just two passengers, but they are snug as bonbons in a box. The entrance is closed by an aerodynamic cover next to the chauffeur. He himself is very much out in the open, the car doesn’t even have doors in the front, let alone a roof. That indicates that possibly the car was not used for long distance traveling but for traveling in a town or perhaps even on a country estate, as Dragone suggests.
Another remarkable thing is that the car looks like a 1909 T-Ford, but that the driving gear dates from 1920. In those days, Dragone explains, it was not unusual to fit a existing bodywork on a new chassis after a few years. That way the bodywork gets a new lease of life. This is what happened to this little limousine. After eleven years, it was provided with the running gear of the latest T-Ford. The old, straight fenders were kept in place though. Arched fenders had been introduced on the T-Ford in 1915 on the back and in 1917 on the front. Also, the 1909 brass radiatorgrille is still there.
According to Dragone’s info, this car used to be part of the famous classic car collection of Henry Austin Clark jr. This wealthy American petrolhead brought together a remarkable selection of classic cars in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but also built an archive of thousands of books, photographs and magazines about the subject.