If you had to pick the ultimate playboy car, what would it be? An Italian roadster? A British limousine? Maybe a stretched Hummer with a hot tub in the back? Something as small as this little runabout might not fit the bill, but its name says otherwise.
What you’re looking at is a 1948 Playboy A48 convertible, a little-known American car that resulted from the joint efforts of a Packard dealer, a service-station owner, and a Pontiac engineer. It’s one of less than 100 made, and it’s coming up for auction.
The Playboy marque debuted in Buffalo, NY, back in 1946, originally with a rear-engined design before switching to a more conventional front-engined layout, along with an early retractable hardtop (like the one on this example).
The company went bankrupt in the 1950s, and the remaining cars were sold by Connecticut distributor Alvin Trumbull. According to an urban legend, a young Hugh Hefner fell in love with one of these in his childhood, and later borrowed the name to build his “gentlemanly” entertainment empire.
This example is one of the last made. It has been in the hands of its current owner in Florida since the 1960s, and was recently restored and repainted in two-tone Seafoam Green and white. That owner has now consigned the rare roadster to RM Sotheby’s for its upcoming sale in Pennsylvania.
If your taste in cars runs towards the unusual, the Hershey Lodge will be the place to be come October 11-12. Just don’t expect it to come with (or for that matter even attract) a couple of “bunnies” to ride with you in the two passenger seats.