Phoebe Wall Howard
| Detroit Free Press
FIRST LOOK – Edsel Ford II Collection – BARRETT-JACKSONA pair of vintage Ford Wagons from the personal collection of Edsel B. Ford II will be sold by Barrett-Jackson Auctions on Saturday, March 27, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona.Provided by Barrett-JacksonMany people have fond memories of the family station wagon.For Edsel B. Ford II, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, it’s just a little bit different.Because the car carries his name.Yet, like so many people, even Edsel Ford II is cleaning house during the pandemic.He’s putting not one but two of his family wagons up for sale.“This is an amazing opportunity to buy ‘Edsel’s Edsel,’ as well as his Ford Woody Wagon,” Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, said in a news release. “Edsel B. Ford II, who was at Le Mans in 1966 when Ford beat Ferrari, is a serious enthusiast. As a young man, he even interned for Carroll Shelby in his high-performance shop. This pair of handsome cars carries the gravitas of being owned by an icon of the American automotive industry.”Costco to increase its minimum wage: Upped to $16 per hourIs it worth it?: Should you pay that 1% to have someone manage your retirement fund?The auction house is selling a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Custom Woody Wagon and a 1958 Edsel Bermuda Wagon from Ford’s personal collection during the auction on March 27 in Scottsdale, Arizona.Neither vehicle will have a minimum bid. Both have been updated.Each is autographed by Edsel B. Ford II.Roush updated the Bermuda Wagon’s V8 engine, frame and floor pan in 2016. The rear axle was rebuilt with new seals, bushings and brakes. The interior was updated with additional heat shielding, new carpet and seals. The dash panel gauges have been cleaned, painted or polished, the radio and amplifier repaired and seatbelts installed.”I loved the process of giving them new life with modern technology that made the classic cars more fun to drive,” Edsel B. Ford II said. “Over the past few years, I motored along, relishing in the history they represent. I hope the next owners of these two beautiful Ford cars will also enjoy great adventures in them.”The auction house said the 1947 custom Woody has been modified with a modern-style Ford 302ci V8 engine, automatic transmission, 2¼-inch custom ceramic-coated exhaust system and power steering. A high-capacity radiator has been installed, as well as a 4-wheel power disc brake system with dual system master cylinder. The electrical system was changed from 6 volts to 12 volts. The vacuum-operated windshield wiper system has been replaced with an electrical one.“Edsel Ford’s pair of vehicles are great representations of two different segments of the collector car hobby,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “The handsome ‘Edsel’s Edsel’ was carefully updated with an automatic transmission that maintains a stock appearance. The other car, a custom Ford Woody Wagon, has a heavy dose of contemporary technology that makes it a unique work of rolling art.”For automotive historians, the vehicles reflect important periods.”Those Ford Woody station wagons are a testament to Henry Ford’s vast resources and his philosophy of vertical integration. Chassis built in Dearborn, fitted with bodies built in the Upper Peninsula, made with wood harvested from Ford-owned forests,” said Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at The Henry Ford museum.Meanwhile, the Edsel Bermuda is a little more complicated.”It’s hard to think of another automobile brand built for so short a time, so long ago, that is still a household name today,” Anderson said. “Granted, the Edsel’s legacy is not one of success, but the car’s unique place in popular culture earns it loyal fans even today.”The 1947 Ford wagon really provided a preview of the future, designers say.”Early tall wagons never really went out of style, they just added some ground clearance and became SUVs — one look at the 1947 Ford Super Deluxe and it’s impossible not to see a modern utility vehicle. Somebody at that auction’s gonna drive away with the precursor to the Flex or the Expedition,” said Maeva Ribas, manager of design research and strategy at The CARLAB Inc., an automotive product planning consulting group based in southern California.Edsel Ford II’s ownership provenance will add storytelling power to these vehicles, and that can be powerful for owners, said Jonathan Klinger, vice president of car culture at Traverse City-based Hagerty, the world’s largest insurer of collector vehicles.“The market for vintage station wagons is a fiercely loyal crowd. Case in point: Market value for some Edsel models has decreased in the past five years, but Edsel wagons have increased 18% during this same time,” Klinger said.”Only one Edsel Bermuda wagon has been offered at auction in the past decade, so this is a chance for the new owner to not only stand out in a large gathering of cars but stand out even within the station wagon crowd,” he said.It is nearly impossible to predict the selling price of these cars because there are too many variables — owner, provenance, modified mechanicals — but that doesn’t preclude a bidding war driven by sentimental passions.”The 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Woody Station Wagon is one of the more sought-after Ford woody wagons compared to the newer versions,” Klinger said. Current market values are $93,500 for a stock example in excellent condition. “The Edsel Bermuda wagon is a very rare model. So few of these sell we don’t even track it in the Hagerty Price Guide.”Follow Detroit Free Press reporter Phoebe Wall Howard on Twitter @phoebesaid.