Auctions and Brokerage
Vic Turner, Shore Acres, New Jersey (acquired in 1951)Jack Bunda, Sister Bay, Wisconsin (acquired from the above in 2006)Current Owner (acquired from the Bunda estate in 2011)
Jonathan Club Auto Show, Los Angeles, California, October 2012 (Best in Show)Early Ford V-8 Club, South Lake Tahoe, Nevada, June 2013 (Dearborn Award for Authenticity)Early Ford V-8 Club, Thousand Oaks, California, September 2014 (Dearborn Medallion Award for Authenticity)San Marino Motor Classic, San Marino, California, June 2014 (Best in Class)Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, Beverly Hills, California, May 2015 (Outstanding Restoration Award)
Quite possibly the best Sportsman in the US today, this 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Convertible is a stunning combination of superb craftsmanship and design excellence.
Henry Ford II requested a one-off convertible to be used for outings to Southampton Beach, so Bob Gregorie took a bare chassis, bodied it with mahogany from the Ford factory, and produced a design that became the envy of all Ford executives. A version of the car soon went into production, and the first Sportsman was delivered to movie starlet Ella Raines on Christmas Day, 1945. Although fewer than 4,000 were built between 1945 and 1948, the Sportsman’s fine woodwork and leather interior drew crowds to Ford showrooms, and the model is considered to be a Certified Milestone car by the Milestone Car Society, an accepted benchmark of distinction for postwar automobiles.
Deluxe by name and nature, this Sportsman came with power windows, power top, radio, heater, and full chrome trim. Although the original owner’s name is unknown, this Sportsman was purchased by Vic Turner of New Jersey in 1951 and remained in his care for 55 years. Mr. Turner related in a 2006 Woody Times article that he nearly traded in the Sportsman for a newer vehicle in 1954, but did not receive an offer he found acceptable. It turned out to be a fortuitous turn of events, as years later he and his family “got great pleasure with the kids in the back seat getting the thumbs-up sign wherever we went.”
Jack Bunda of Door County, Wisconsin, purchased the Sportsman in 2006. Although the car was in very sound unrestored condition, Mr. Bunda had it restored, as documented in the accompanying photographic catalogue and a 2008 article in the Woody Times.
The current owner acquired the Sportsman in 2011 from the Bunda estate and made a few subtle changes to return the car to its original state. The chrome rings on the wheels were removed and the correct pinstriping added, the dual exhaust was switched back to single exhaust, and the original rear-view mirrors were traced back to a cardboard box under Mr. Bunda’s workbench. The top was changed from tan to black, which was a factory optional color.
In recent years the Sportsman has been entered into many shows and won numerous top awards. It gained almost perfect scores at two Early Ford V-8 Club of America events in the past three years, taking 992 and 993 of 1,000 possible points – a remarkable achievement that is a testament to the standard of its stewardship. In May 2015, the car was presented at the Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance and won the Outstanding Restoration Award.
Nationally recognized as the superlative example of the model and the era, this stunning Sportsman embodies a classic design that has received loving care.