I used to have a 1948 Ford Sportsman, you know the wooden body convertible. They only made about 35 of the 48’s, they were actually 47’s titled as 48’s, but anyway it had a flathead V8 which I overhauled and I added a Columbia 2 speed rear end, correct for that year because it was a Ford factory installed option. I hauled my four kids around down here a few times when they were down from Wyoming and it was a lot of fun. One September weekend I drove it over to Wavecrest a wooden body car gathering over in Encinitas. The wood was pretty much rotted off and driving it down the road people got visions of the Beverly Hillbillies. I pulled into Wavecrest and every eye in the place was on that car as I drove to my parking space. To say I caused a riot might be a little strong but man did people want to check out that car. That was a Saturday and there was so much interest I brought it back the next day, Sunday.
Well there were about 6 or 7 guys wanting to buy it, one of them was a big car dealer out of L.A. and another was the guy that founded Knapp (I think that’s how it’s spelled) shoes. The offers were good, far more than I’d dreamed and I drove the car home that night. The L.A. car dealer was really putting on the pressure over the next few weeks, he had an extensive collection of Marmon Harrington wagons and wanted to add a Sportsman to the stable. One day a guy called that had seen the car at Wavecrest and told me he’d like to bring his brother down to check out the car so we set it up and they came down and we drove it around and ended up at a BBQ joint out here for dinner. We talked a lot about the car and how much it was going to cost to redo all of the Birdseye maple with the special joinery that Henry or his kid insisted on when the wooden bodies were built. The best estimate I had gotten was $78,000.00 and that was in 1996!!! Well I had about $23,000.00 in the car and the one brother told me to name a crazy price and I did and it was a lot more than what I had in it and he agreed! About four years later I visited Wavecrest and there they were with the Sportsman, fully restored to factory correct condition, just absolutely beautiful. I saw one just about like it a few years ago on Hemings and they were asking $750,000.00 for it.