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"Ford" section. 1936 Ford Expertise Requested

Guest BJM

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Hello all,

This is my 1st post in the "Ford" section. I am looking at a 1936 Ford 2 door trunkback sedan project. I typically only buy projects because I am poor and like to do my own restoration projects. I understand the concept to "buy the most car you can for your money", but I am still poor.

Now, this car is located at an old car dealer in South Dakota and has an honest description and the dealer is honest in my past dealings.

The car has no drivetrain. It has rough fenders but is basically straight. It has "no interior/seats". I at least like to buy my cars complete - even if in deplorable condition, so this worries me.

I am focused on the 36 Ford because it was the last car owned by my Uncle Jake who died in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII and this was the model he had. I wanted to locate one and restore it. I have found this one at a reasonable asking price $1500 but am worried about industry support and club support.

I have always collected GM cars and Chryslers, frankly because I avoid Chevys and Fords because most everyone else has them. I live in Iowa, where clubs are heavily skewed toward Chevy Ford and Pontiac.

My questions or concerns:

1. I have heard you can practically build a pre war Ford from aftermarket parts providers. Is this true and if so who are they? [websites please]

2. How available are the mechanical parts i.e. the engine trans etc I need to bring this back?

3. Where do I get seats? I see seat kits are available but I guess this car does not even have seats.

4. Are there hydraulic brake conversion kits available? 1st year for Ford hydraulic brakes was what? 1937-38?

5. What clubs should I join for fellowship and support?

Thanks all.

Bryan Moran - Madrid, Iowa

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Hi Bryan,

You should visit the Early V8 section of the FORDBARN site which is very active, has a lot of very knowlegable Ford people who regularly post and answer questions and has a large buy and sell section.


It is true that you could almost build a new ford V8 from repo parts but only the 1932, 34 roadsters, tourers and coupe bodies are avalible however just about all the smaller parts (not full body panels) are avalible from the Model A's thru to the late 40's. Most parts are avalible used, particularly as many are hotrodded and the owners are looking to sell parts like seats, running gear, suspension etc. Also a lot of genuine NOS parts are still on the market including fenders etc. but they are expensive.

Parts suppliers (and there are many) include Drake, www.bobdrake.com

Carpenter, www.dennis-carpenter.com

C&G, www.cgfordparts.com


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Please do not take this the wrong way, but I have around the antique cars for many years and have done the math.

If you are a poor then you are in the wrong hobby.

You can expect to spend at least $8000 to get that car decent and safe to drive. More realistically you should expect to have closer to $20,000 into a restoration. The 36 is not a cheap year as it is desirable and tougher to find parts.

You should spend some time with your wallet and a catalog to figure out if you can afford the car.

The biggest mistake people make is assuming they can restore a car on the cheap. Usually the cars are not mechanically safe to drive and they get a less the good paint and interior. This then give the cars a bad name cause they putt putt along the highway when they should be running highway speeds.

I also suggest you take time to learn about the cars systems. You are making a mistake in thinking hydraulic brakes are better or safer then the original 36 brakes. Actually, 36 was probably the best year for the brakes as they incorporate all the latest advances and do not use cables (in 37 cables came out are were a real problem). Of course the big problem with mechanical brakes today is the people that either do not have the money or are too cheap to properly restore the brakes back to original. They just slap in some old worn parts and find the brakes do not function well.

In the end, your best move is to take all the money you would spend on this car and start putting in a special savings account. When you get to enough money to by a decent older restoration you will have probably saved yourself $5000 to $10,000 over buying and restoring the car you are looking at. The odds are VERY high that you will buy this car and never get near done before you run out of time and money. I have seen too many people do exactly what you want to do.

Please do not just take my word for it. You can do the math yourself. It may not be the answer you want, but it is reality.

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Thanks. I was saying I am poor somewhat tongue in cheek. I am an accomplished restorer have owned well over 100 cars and restoring several of those in the past. I have also owned several originals that just ran and I maintained them. My issue is primarily that I do not do Fords or Chevy's. You want to talk about unobtainium parts? Try some of my Buick, Olds, and Chrysler projects! Ford and Chevy is a walk in the park compared to what I have worked on.

#2 - I don't believe in the concept of buying a finished or nicer car. There are plenty of wealthy baby boomers who can lay cash down on finished cars while unrestored ones continue sitting. I enjoy the process of body off restorations but am getting a little weary of the hard to find parts for my Buicks and such.

I own a 71 Chevy truck and got the LMC parts catalog. If you a had a frame, I think you could build a new truck from the parts catalog! Now, I agree, you are going to end up spending a lot of $$$ even from a parts catalog but I always take 3-7 years to restore a car. I can do the machincal work, cannot do the upholstery normally BUT Fords are well supported for 'kits' which I can install. I can't do body work per se, but I understand fenders are remanufactured, grilles, etc.

I'm just not normally a Ford guy but love the 30's Fords like most people. I can say it gets old seeing a hunk of a 30's Ford offered for $3500 because they are heavily rodded. I only do originals. The 36 tudor trunkback seems to be widely available but many are missing the drivetrains.

It seems almost impossible to get a complete, worn out project 36 Ford tudor sedan. Operative word: complete.

I have not had a chance to follow up with the clubs and I need to get a Hemmings Motor News. I always remember looking through the Hemmings at the Ford parts section and being amazrd and envious at all the suppliers, many doing repops of needed parts while the Buick section - you yawn to long and you are all the way through it!


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You said that you only do originals, but you want to put on hydraulic brakes? They were not original on a 36 Ford.

You may be able to find the parts to restore the car back to original, but I think that you will have to do a lot of searching to find correct seats and interior trim parts. Mechanical parts are easier to find. The correct engine for a 36 Ford will be harder to find than for a 46-48 Ford, but it looks better under the hood than the later engine.

Join the Early Ford V-8 Club and you will find out that there is a lot of knowledge available to restore the 36 Ford. They have a book devoted to the 35-36 Fords. The web site is http://www.efv8.org/site/index.php

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  • 1 month later...
Guest svkiwi

One definite advantage of working on a 36, or any early Ford is the readily available amount of parts. The popularity of these vehicles, both with restorers and hot-rodders, has seen a vast amount of parts reproduced. There is also still nos parts out there. One word of caution; once you get into these old Fords, I doubt you'll ever go back to GM! I have a daily driver 35 sedan [still with rod brakes], and have done a million miles in it. They are great cars. I also am poor, probably because of this!! Good luck and enjoy the experience.

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