Most bodies were ordered to fit customers’ imported chassis. Once Europe went to war in the summer of 1914 supplies were at risk. Brewster began to build its own cars after the 1915 sinking of the British liner Lusitania and continued until 1925. Though smaller than their usual chassis — for navigating the streets of Manhattan — they cost as much as “a Packard Twin Six limousine plus a fleet of five Model T Ford roadsters.” Brewster’s own cars were easily recognizable by their oval radiators and shiny patent-leather fenders. They were powered by four-cylinder sleeve-valve Knight engines and often fitted with Brewster’s own special design of windshield.
By the time of the Great Depression which began at the end of 1929 there was strong sentiment against the wealthy and their archetypal Brewster-bodied Rolls-Royces and Brewster’s bodies were not selling well. In 1934 sales chief, J.S. Inskip, who had taken control of operations in the hope of saving Brewster bought 135 Ford V8 roadster chassis and designed a body for them easily identified by its swoopy fenders and a heart-shaped grille. Stylish and sold for $3,500 it was a hit at the 1934 New York Auto Show. The bodies were worth more than the chassis. These cars were branded Brewster and sold at Rolls-Royce showrooms. Inskip marketed the cars to New York celebrities (see Notable Owners), with whom it became popular.
The Ford Brewster project was initially profitable but soon Brewster was taking losses and its bondholders and directors insisted on closing down the firm. Bankruptcy proceedings were instituted in July 1935.