Roger Rabbit’s Ford Hits the Auction Block

Features, Lifestyle I By Justin Cornelison I August 17, 2023
Roger Rabbit's Ford 91A V8

A piece of cinematic history, Roger Rabbit’s Ford, is about to roll onto the auction stage, capturing the hearts of classic car enthusiasts and movie buffs alike. The renowned 1939 Ford 91A V8, which shared the spotlight with legendary actor Bob Hoskins in the iconic film ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, is poised to find a new home as it heads to auction through Car & Classic.

Roger Rabbit's Ford 91A V8

Roger Rabbit’s Ford is a cherished 1939 example, boasting a fascinating journey that has spanned decades and continents. Originally crafted in the United States in the late 1930s, Roger Rabbit’s Ford embarked on a transcontinental voyage to the United Kingdom sometime during the 1960s. A true testament to its enduring allure, the V8-powered sedan underwent an extensive restoration in the 1980s while residing in a museum. Its momentous on-screen debut occurred in 1988, gracing the sets of the groundbreaking movie that masterfully melded the realms of animated characters and live-action actors.

The allure of Roger Rabbit’s Ford is not merely skin deep; its art deco style seamlessly transported audiences into the whimsical world of Toontown, a fictional locale near Los Angeles where the film’s enchanting narrative unfolds. Against this vibrant backdrop, the Ford emerged as a visual masterpiece, embodying the timeless 1940s aesthetic that lent the movie its distinct noir ambiance. Set in the year 1947, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ ingeniously transformed Elstree Studios in London into a convincing simulacrum of 1940s Hollywood, with the Ford sharing the limelight with Bob Hoskins in pivotal scenes and promotional materials.

Roger Rabbit's Ford

A testament to its cinematic significance, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ garnered widespread acclaim, earning four Academy Awards and a multitude of other accolades. The film’s seamless fusion of real-life performances and animated characters marked a new era in cinematic innovation, leaving an indelible mark on popular culture.

This illustrious 1939 Ford 91A V8 underwent a meticulous transformation in preparation for its big-screen debut. Prior to gracing the silver screen, the car received a bare-metal respray in the mid-1980s, restoring its glossy black finish to its former glory. Remarkably, this paint and trim remain in impeccable, original condition, a testament to the craftsmanship behind the restoration.

Roger Rabbit's Ford 91A Flathead V8

Beneath the hood, the legendary Ford ‘flathead’ V8 engine remains an authentic marvel, though subtle enhancements have been introduced. An upgraded Edelbrock intake and a larger aluminum radiator have been seamlessly integrated, enhancing both performance and reliability without compromising the car’s authenticity. The current owner’s commitment to preserving the car’s originality shines through, as they diligently safeguarded this rare survivor from the fate of being transformed into a Hot Rod like so many of its peers.

For the past 27 years, the custodian has lovingly maintained the vehicle’s aesthetic and mechanical integrity, introducing modifications only where necessary to ensure reliability and performance. The car’s remarkable provenance is beautifully documented through an extensive collection of paperwork, bills, MOTs (Ministry of Transport test certificates), an original Ford De Luxe instruction booklet, and ‘running in’ instructions. These artifacts serve as a testament to the owner’s unwavering dedication to preserving the car’s legacy.

Reflecting on this exceptional offering, Dale Vinten of Car & Classic comments, “This Ford possesses a truly unique backstory, playing a pivotal role in a film that continues to resonate with audiences for its unparalleled blend of real and animated characters. Today, the car not only carries the nostalgic appeal of Roger, Jessica, and Bob Hoskins, but it also stands as a testament to the elegance and innovation of pre-war Fords. With subtle enhancements for modern enjoyment, it promises to delight and captivate for years to come.”

Roger Rabbit's Ford

Roger Rabbit's Ford

Roger Rabbit's Ford

Roger Rabbit's Ford

Roger Rabbit's Ford 91A Interior

Roger Rabbit's Ford 91A Interior

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