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Back to Inventory The Scottsdale Auction | January 26 Register to Bid

Selling on Friday

From The Ron Thorne Collection

1946 Ford Super DeLuxe Convertible

  • Original 1946 body with modified V-8 engine
  • Upgraded Offenhauser heads and intake
  • The first post-war model offered by Ford

VIN: SDE703295

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The story of the 1942 model year halt of American automobile production is nothing new to historians and automobile collectors, but the people behind the design of each car during the era are not always remembered. Ford, as with other manufacturers, resumed civilian production in July of 1945, with an early start to the 1946 model year, quenching the public's thirst for new cars. The 1946 Ford was virtually identical to the 1942 model under the skin, though a heavy new grille with horizontal bars and red accents somewhat modernized the car. The most notable change was an enlargement of the famed Ford V-8 engine, now at 239 cubic inches and capable of 100 horsepower for the first time.

Edsel B. Ford was the avatar of tasteful design at the Ford Motor Company since the early 1920s. Rather than being dependent on local body firms, Ford decided to develop special bodies at his personal direction. To head up the operation, he hired young Eugene "Bob" Gregorie. They hit it off almost from the beginning; Edsel was delighted with his marine design background and his quiet air of confident authority. Gregorie's career at Ford began with the assignment of designing the Model Y for the Ford market in Europe which was well-received by the English, French, and Germans. The young designer's compatibility with Edsel Ford, combined with his talent for creative design innovations, led him to become the Chief of Ford's new Design Department in 1935. Gregorie left Ford Motor Company soon after the death of his patron Edsel in 1943. He returned the following year at the request of Henry Ford II, only to leave after two years due to conflicts with top management, but not before designing the car on offer.

Documented by a handful of photos, this 1946 Super DeLuxe Convertible received a body-off-the-frame restoration that was conducted in the late '90s and completed in the early 2000s. The body was finished in the attractive period-correct color of Dynamic Maroon and a new light tan power convertible top was fitted, combining for a charming appearance all while riding on classic Firestone whitewall tires with chrome hubcaps.

Retaining its original body, under the hood lies a custom twist. At the heart is a Ford flathead V-8 engine that has been dressed up with a chrome generator, Offenhauser heads and intake manifold with dual carburetors. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a three-speed manual transmission and the rippling sound of the upgraded flathead can be heard through the dual chrome exhaust pipes. Adding to its drivability on tours and weekend cruises, this '46 Ford is equipped with a radio, heater, dual mirrors, and turn signals.

In 2018, this Super DeLuxe Convertible received a handful of mechanical refinements that included a rebuild of the carburetors and radiator, new spark plugs, and the brakes were replaced. Ready to hit the open road, top up or down, this Super DeLuxe Convertible from The Ron Thorne Collection is sure to give its next owner many memories to and from their desired destination, just like it did for Mr. Thorne.

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