Founder’s Trophy Best in Show American
1938 Graham 97
Off Brothers Collection
William Johnston and Ron Elenbaas – Richland, MI
Joseph, Robert and Ray Graham introduced their first automobile in 1927, but in 1938 they showed their most striking design, the ‘Spirit of Motion,’ better known today as the ‘Shark-Nose Graham.’ This unusual car is one of a pair of supercharged Model 97 Grahams bodied by Saoutchik.
The final creation of the late Amos Northrup, an early pioneer in automotive aerodynamics, it sported a jutting prow flanked by curved fenders, with headlights blended smoothly into their leading edges. Among its many unique features are parallel opening doors and a short, swept-back chrome-framed folding windscreen. An aerodynamically inspired fin molded into and forming part of the rear deck adds to its streamlined look.
Chassis number 141747 was one of two Saoutchik-bodied Grahams displayed at the 1938 Paris Salon. This award-winning car has an extensive history and a worthy example of streamlining from the Art Deco period.