A 1939 Ford 91A V8 that featured in the groundbreaking movie ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, is heading to auction with Car & Classic.
Having rolled off the production line in the USA in late 1939, the classic Ford made its way to the UK sometime in the 1960s. The 1980s saw the V8-powered sedan benefit from a lengthy restoration whilst spending time in a museum before its screen debut in 1988 in the hit movie that witnessed cartoon characters living alongside real people. The Ford’s art deco style body ensured it was the perfect prop in Toontown, near Los Angeles, the backdrop for the movie. It was a core element of the famous 40s iconography that gave the film its distinct, noir tone. Set in 1947, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was actually filmed at Elstree Studios in London with the Ford appearing alongside Bob Hoskins in multiple scenes and the film’s promotional material. The Disney-backed picture received critical acclaim and was praised for its successful mix of live action and animation and went on to win four Academy Awards alongside many other accolades.
After a bare-metal respray in the mid-80s ahead of its silver screen debut in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the glossy black paint and trim remain in excellent, original condition, confirming the quality of the work. The legendary Ford ‘flathead’ V8 is equally original but benefits from subtle improvements, such as an uprated Edelbrock intake and larger aluminium radiator to enhance both performance and reliability. The current custodian has endeavoured to retain the car’s originality and status as a rare survivor with so many examples being converted into Hot Rods.
Since owning the vehicle for the past 27 years, the vendor has endeavoured to keep the car as aesthetically and mechanically original as possible, only adding modifications where necessary to improve reliability and performance. A comprehensive file of paperwork, bills and MOTs, an original Ford De Luxe instruction booklet and ‘running in’ instructions go to confirm the care its owner has clearly lavished on the car.
“This is a Ford with a very special backstory, playing a key part in a movie that many will remember for its unique blend of actors – both real and cartoon” says Car & Classic’s Dale Vinten. “Today the car not only holds that appeal to fans of Roger, Jessica and Bob Hoskins but it also is a very original pre-war Ford that benefits from subtle upgrades to enjoy and show for many years to come.”
The five day auction starts on 19th August and with estimates that the car could sell for somewhere between £20-30,000.