Introduced in 1932 as a replacement for the Model A, the Ford Model B did not look radically different than its predecessor. It was, however, a brand-new vehicle with a redesigned chassis. More importantly, Ford also introduced the Model 18, which featured the now-iconic “Flathead” V8. While V8s were nothing new then, the Model 18 was the first low-priced, mass-produced car with such an engine. A milestone that changed the American car industry.
While not as common as the Model A, the Model B/18 isn’t spectacularly rare nowadays. Sure, many examples have been hot-rodded over the years, but plenty of survivors are still out there. However, some versions, like the Roadster and the Pickup, are pretty scarce. But no Model B is as rare as the 1934 Town Car.
A fancied-up, limo-style four-door with a convertible front section and a privacy divider, the Town Car wasn’t actually made by Ford. While built on a Ford chassis, it was modified and bodied by Brewster & Company, a coachbuilding business from Long Island, New York.
Established in 1810 as a carriage manufacturer, Brewster entered the automobile market in 1905, when it began importing Dlaunay-Belleville cars in the US. In 1914, the company started supplying bodies for Rolls-Royce luxury cars sold in North America. The British eventually acquired Brewster in 1925 and owned it until the early 1930s.
The company went bankrupt during the Great Depression and was liquidated in 1937. But before that happened, Brewster built over 100 custom vehicles based on the Ford Model 18 chassis. A few inches longer than the regular 1934 Ford, the Brewster Town car also featured a unique, heart-shaped front grille, larger bumpers, and restyled front fenders.
Brewster reportedly bodied about 135 chassis between 1934 and 1935, but only 83 got the Town Car configuration. And according to a registry put together by owners, only 26 of them are known to still exist. And that’s why stumbling upon an example that spent decades in storage is spectacular, to say the least.