Barn Bound Sedan: 1936 Ford

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

Barns can often be a life saver, but in general long term storage for any classic car is a gamble. Some stories are miraculous of rare and unique cars surviving as if their age froze in time until some lucky person happened across the machine. On the other hand, some very gorgeous machines were put away into storage, and the idea of what the car was versus what it became is a heart breaking story. But with a bit of luck, those cars that suffer the wrath of storage are often still of great use, and often worth restoration like this 1936 Ford Sedan. Very original, it would seem this Ford was put away in very nice condition until the elements, and perhaps rain splash back from the ground took a toll on the lower portions of the fenders, and the running boards. But don’t fret too much; this Ford is still a promising project that is definitely worthy of hitting the streets once again. With a running flathead V8, this great project is offered for $4,000. Take a look at it here on craigslist out of Holton, Kansas. Thanks are in order to Rocco B. for yet another great submission!

Relatively clean and still wearing the Ford “seal of approval” this flathead is in running condition, but the car is not drivable. Currently the brakes are frozen preventing movement. Looking the car over, it would almost seem that a brake job, and some fresh fluids would make this Ford a driver once again.

Inside there is an acceptable condition interior that isn’t perfect, but also isn’t a complete mice feast either. The floors are questionable, but appear to be in place. A new patch panel around the gas pedal is in place, so it would seem someone had interest in either driving the car, or keeping rodents out. Although the dash is quite clean, there is some surface rust on the passenger side likely from a moisture leak either around the windshield, or from the passenger door. Also there is some water staining on the lower portions of the door panels as well. The gauges and steering wheel look excellent, which is a rare treat. Another cool feature to this Ford is the “Philips 66” service stickers on the driver door jamb area. It is almost as if this beauty of a Ford Survived WWII and was cared for until one day it was simply parked in its near perfect condition.

As you can see, it is really a shame that the barn this Ford lived in wasn’t a little more water tight. The seller has described this Ford as “really rusty” but it would seem the worst of the rust is in the lower portions of the fenders, and in the running boards. Now Kansas is snow country so to speak, so perhaps this rust is more snow induced than wet barn induced? Looking past the rust there is little other damage present, and even most of the original looking paint remains. The seller throws out “Rat Rod” but this Ford looks like it could be made into a very original style example, not to say that it couldn’t be repurposed in another way as well. What would be your choice for this classic Ford find? Original, or something else?

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Comments

  1. Will Owen

    Can’t tell if it has a trunk or not. If not, then as I recall it is called a “coach.” My dad’s next-to-last car was a ’36 coach that he bought from a carpenter friend for $25, I think in 1954. With its bootless flat back, there was almost enough back-seat floor space for three kids to do calisthenics in. As he was a sign-painter that floor was usually covered in paint cans, his toolbox and drop cloths etcetera.

    I never got to drive that – my learner was his last one, a ’48. Ford of course – the only non-Ford he bought that was worth a damn was a ’39 Dodge pickup – and aside from his lack of teaching talent I found it a lot easier to drive than the school’s stick-shift car, a bottom-line six-cylinder 1956 Pontiac. I wish I had driven the ’36, though, with its nice trim lines and floor shift. I think I would go for original mostly, upgrading brakes and maybe adding vintage mods, like aluminum heads.

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    • marty parker

      Never heard of a six-cylinder Pontiac in ’56.

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      • Pete in PA

        I don’t know squat about this era Pontiac so I looked it up. A book I have says that all 56 Pontiacs sold in the US had a 316.6 cid V8.

        Maybe Will is from Canada where all sorts of weird variations of US cars were sold.

        Different standard engines, Dodges with Plymouth interiors, Chevy front ends on Pontiac bodies, etc. I’d be interested in buying a book that covered all those variations if one exists.

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  2. Rustytech

    Judging from the condition of the front fenders, I think there’s more rust here than meets the eye. A very carefull and through inspection would be my recommendation before putting down $4000 on this one.

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  3. geomechs

    Nice project! If this was to come my direction, restoration would be a no-brainer. That 21 stud motor, being a Ford rebuilt, would likely have the newer block with the precision main bearings. Not any better than the old poured babbit mains but a lot easier to work on. This would be a good, fun project. Mechanical brakes with the old linkage rods. Personally, I prefer the rods to the cables, and prefer either one to the juice system but that’s just me.

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  4. glen

    I think restoration should always be the first priority,clearly, not everyone agrees.

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  5. jw454

    In my neck of the woods this would be called a “Hump Back” as it has the body work encompassing the rear integral trunk as opposed to the “Slant Back” which did not include a trunk compartment at all. My 1935 two door sedan was a Slant Back. I was told the non-trunk version was done so that a rack could be mounted on the rear bumper and a separate travel trunk could be used. At the destination the whole trunk could be removed from the car and taken into a hotel or home. I can’t say if that was true but, it does make sense.

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  6. Pete in PA

    This car is interesting to me for a few reasons. I bought a black 1936 Dodge 4 passenger sedan (slant back, apparently) last year around this time and I can’t help but compare this car to that Dodge. I’ll bet that the Dodge was a higher priced car but this Ford has a V8. No V8 available on the Dodge. With the Dodge *touring* sedan (hump back) the spare tire was stored inside the trunk. On my 4 passenger sedan the spare tire was stored on the back of the car inside a metal cover like on this Ford. On the *Ford* touring sedan you got the hump back *and* the spare tire stored on the trunk lid inside a metal shell. The grills for the horns are similar. The steel wheels are similar. The suicide doors are similar.

    It would be interesting to drive the Ford and my Dodge as new cars to compare them on styling, features, and performance.

    2+
  7. Joe Haska

    Ford did not make a 4-door slant back, just 2-doors. Being a 36 Ford 4-door, in this condition, $4k, is not very realistic, its just too much!

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  8. 64 bonneville

    The 36 Dodge may have been the better car since Chrysler corporation started installing hydraulic brakes in 1928, while ford did not change to hydraulic brakes until 1946. some of the early 1945/6 models still had mechanical brakes.

    this particular Ford is worth a very strong consideration to restoring to stock, with the upgrade to “juice” brakes for safety reasons. At $4K is a good bargaining number to begin at.

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    • Pete in PA

      When I was deciding whether or not to buy the Dodge, a car much older than any other I’ve owned, there were 2 main determining factors. 1) Does it have hydraulic brakes and 2) Is the transmission fully synchronized. When the answer to both those questions turned out to be “yes” I decided to buy. I did not want to be adjusting brake rods or cables to equalize braking forces. Nor did I want to be clashing gears. As I have gotten more familiar with my Dodge I have been amazed at how many design features were continued into the 1960s. Eight and 3/4 front loading rear axle? Yep, I know all about those.

      This Ford does look like a great candidate for restoration to stock condition. I prefer a 4 door over a 2 door so I’ve never “gotten” the “oh, it’s a 4 door” disappointment. IMO certain designs look better as 2 doors and other look better as 4 doors. Why is a 2 door “sportier” when the exact same drivetrains were usually available in both body styles? I think my 66 New Yorker four door hardtop with it’s 350 hp 440 and factory bucket seats is plenty “sporty”!

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      • El Chinero

        First gear was not synchro …

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    • marty parker

      Ford changed to hydraulic brakes in 1939.

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  9. bog

    No pictures of undercarriage could, in fact, clarify the seller’s claim of “very rusty”. That wouldn’t add to any restoration “fun”. No pictures of the back seat area either… I like ’36 Fords styling, had several models of 2 doors and one convertible as a kid. Revell or Monogram. Think they look better wearing light or medium grey rather than black. Have never been a fan of 4drs though…

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