Built using aircraft engineering, the 1940 Special Speedster was one of several cars that were made for the personal collection of Edsel Ford.
He had Lincoln-designer Bob Gregorie design a new Speedster on the Ford V8 platform. The result was six boat-tail Speedsters that were custom built a modified chassis and unique aluminum body. The second was built in 1934 and was much more streamlined than the initial car.
For the second Speedster, the chassis was modified at the rear into an underslung setup that dropped the body by six inches. Along with a custom front suspension the car was much lower than the Model 40 Fords on the road.
Mounted to the tubular steel chassis was a custom aluminum body that was unique with its cut-down doors, boat-tail rear end and special V-shaped front grill. For fenders, the designers used modified landing gear covers. Inside the car had two bucket seats, aluminum dashboard and grey leather interior and small windscreens.
The Mercury V8 engine was used, but with straight pipes and it produced 75 bhp.
Initially painted Pearlesent Gunmetal Grey, the car was stored on Edsel Ford's own property. In 1940 the car was modified by Bob Gregorie to have a lower front grill to aid with cooling between the headlights.
The Ford family retained the car until 1957 when it fell into private hands. Eventually the car was painted red with red leather interior. It was found this way by Amelia Island-founder Bill Warner who purchased the car with only 19,000 original miles on the car. Sympathetically cleaned it was displayed several times by Warner before being sold at RM Auctions' 2008 Amelia Island Sale for $1,760,000 USD. Later it returned at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance fully restored by RM for the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House.
Text & Images: Supercars.net