1934 Luxus

  • Owner: Chris & Kathleen Koch (on loan)
  • Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company (Detroit, Michigan, 1903-present)
  • Bodystyle: Cabriolet
  • Number produced: 1
  • Special features: Brewster dash, a Seth Thomas electric clock, French electric windshield wipers, movable windshield, racing-style steering wheel, side louvers cut into the 1934 hood, and a hood ornament handcrafted and signed by Jacques Cartier of Paris.
  • Provenance: In 1963 the car's current owner Chris Koch spotted a strange-looking Ford in the back of a body shop. It had been there for quite some time and there was a mechanic’s lien against the car. The owner had disappeared, the mechanic thought it was possibly built and used by Edsel Ford personally. Chris borrowed money to buy the car. He spent the next 37 years following leads, trying to document its origin. He finally had a breakthrough when he and his wife Kathleen visited the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village Research Center in Michigan, where Kathleen discovered the information they had been looking for. In the Ford of Germany 1934 Annual Report, they found Edsel’s original telegrams, a moldy swatch from the original Lincoln top, pencil sketches of the trunk, and a shipping manifest from the S.S. Hamburg listing the Luxus body. Finally, the story was complete.Chris completed restoration of the Luxus in 2000, and it has since won numerous prestigious awards.
  • Additional info: This car has a special connection to Mount Desert Island, in that Edsel Ford and his wife had a summer home on the Island in Seal Harbor. Drama, intrigue, and secrecy all played a role in Edsel’s designing this unique two-window cabriolet. You might think that one of the giants of industry would have an easy time creating a one-of-a-kind vehicle, but that wasn’t the case for Edsel. Henry Ford was respected and admired by his staff, however he ruled by fear and intimidation, and this carried over to his family life. Henry was often disappointed with Edsel, preoccupied as Edsel was with such “nonsense” as art, culture, and design. Henry once went so far as to destroy a car that Edsel designed, chopping it with an ax in front of a horrified group of employees. As a result, Edsel had to create his one-of-a-kind cabriolet in the strictest of secrecy.