Owned Since ’78: 1935 Ford DeLuxe “Trunkback”

‘This 1935 Ford DeLuxe Sedan underwent a repaint in the 1970s, and although it has been sitting since the late 1980s, it has survived remarkably well. It needs someone to revive this classic after more than three decades of inactivity. This is a car that deserves to be plying our roads, not left locked away in a shed. It is located in Crawley, West Virginia, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN has been set at $14,500, and there are already 19 people watching the Ford from a very early stage in its listing.

The Ford DeLuxe Sedan was available in both flatback and trunkback configurations, and this car is the latter. Its styling might not be quite as attractive as its sibling, but it is far more practical. The Black Ford has never been fully restored, but it did receive a repaint in 1975. The current owner purchased the vehicle in 1978 and used it regularly before parking it in the 1980s. It has survived surprisingly well because below the coating of dust, the paint looks like it still holds a healthy shine. There are a few marks and scratches, but I believe that this car would pack a surprise with a bit of basic washing and polishing. The same would appear to be true with the trim and chrome. It looks dull, but I suspect that it might respond well to some polish. This is a rust-free vehicle, and while the floors wear a dusting of surface corrosion, there is no evidence of penetrating rust. The wheels are wearing some light spots of corrosion, and these should probably be inspected thoroughly before the car is returned to active duty.

Powering the Ford is its original 221ci flathead V8, which is backed by a 3-speed manual transmission. In good health, this is an engine capable of producing 85hp, a respectable number back in 1935. The engine was treated to a rebuild back in 1975, and it was still running well when the vehicle was parked. Three decades of inactivity means that it doesn’t currently run, although the V8 does turn freely. These engines are as tough as old boot leather, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a bit of essential maintenance and fresh fuel sees it coughing into life once again. It goes without saying that this Ford will require a full mechanical inspection before being considered roadworthy. That sounds like it could be a satisfying project to tackle this Winter. That way, when the sun shines bright once again, this old classic could be ready to go.

I would class the interior as serviceable, but it would benefit from a refresh. Some of the upholstered surfaces are looking tired and dirty, and I believe that they are beyond the point of a simple cleaning. The cover on the front seat has some tears, but the rear seat looks to be in good condition. An aftermarket radio was fitted under the dash on the driver’s side, and a fan is mounted behind the wheel. I would be getting rid of the latter item pretty quickly. It doesn’t have a guard or shroud around the blades. If your hand slipped off the wheel while it was running, you could finish up with a few fewer fingers. One item that would definitely go would be the carpet. It is looking worn, and its color is entirely out of character with the rest of the interior. I did a bit of hunting around, and a full interior trim kit can be found for $2,500. That would have this interior presenting perfectly once again.

If you are anything like me, you hate to see classics like this 1935 Ford DeLuxe Sedan left to go to seed. This one shows a lot of promise, and if it can be coaxed back to life, getting it roadworthy once again might not be a difficult job. The buyer might choose to treat the vehicle to a full restoration, or they could potentially clean it thoroughly and then drive it as is. I would be inclined to replace the interior, give the outside a polish, and then hit the road. What about you?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Wash it, do fluids and tires, tune up the engine, and drive it.

    Like 8
    • nlpnt

      The original upholstery may not be washable but it’s only original once. I’d look into some period-style plaid if not Indian-blanket seat covers for a fraction of the cost of $2500.

      Like 1
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Nice car overall. The worst part of it all is that it isn’t at my place. That’s a 24 stud, center-outlet engine that didn’t come out until the latter part of the ‘38 production run. No big deal, lots of 24 stud engines in cars of this vintage. This doesn’t look like it needs a whole lot of work other than a good detail.

    Like 6
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Oh, and get rid of the blue dot taillight lenses.

    Like 3
    • Little_Cars

      Why knock the blue lights? They are a great inexpensive upgrade to old cars. When you follow a car at dusk into night they magically draw your eye in with the purple hue derived from the red/blue back illumination. Granted, they are better suited to a car with working brake lights a couple decades later.

      Like 6
  4. dirtyharry

    That looks like fun. I hope it gets back on the road as-is.

    My neighbor crashed his classic car into a parked Rolls. The owner came out and demanded 10k or he would “beat him up.” He said he would get his son to the accident scene, who happens to train dolphins, just 5 miles away. The Rolls owner grabbed the phone and demanded 10k or he would beat up the old man. 10 minutes later a car drives up with 6 big guys, who punch out the Rolls owner.

    Son says to Dad: “Dad, I don’t train dolphins, I train seals.”

    Like 19
    • John Taylor

      hahaha, very good, but Dad was still in the wrong hahaha

      Like 0
    • Lance

      I’d rather have that green Buick.

      Like 0
  5. oldsoldie

    As I recall, most of those fans had rubber blades on them if they weren’t enclosed in a cage but those got pretty stiff when petrified by time. I wouldn’t fear for losing digits, but I imagine it still could be quite uncomfortable. This old gal is so sweet I’d have to find a way to get her into my bed. I’d shine her up and drive her. Checking out her cooling system one be a priority. I’ve seen more than a few flatheads that didn’t circulate well after sitting for long periods of time. Gawd my broke ass wants this car so bad!

    Like 6
  6. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    I’m more interested in the Eldorado parked in front of the Ford.

    Like 0
  7. charlie Member

    And if any of you followed the dozens of comments on the ’58 Pontiac with the enormous “continental kit”, here is another car where carrying the spare, behind the trunk, looks just right!

    Like 4
  8. Kenn

    Hey little_cars, my 1930 Model ‘A’ has “working brake lights”. I expect this does too, or did when new.

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars

      I just didn’t know if brake lights were common on all automobiles in ’35 and, of course, was making light of the fact this car may not have ANY lights functioning at this time. I was thinking too that the standard Fords in the 1930s only had one taillight.

      Like 0
  9. keith carson

    My Grandfather had one of those rubber bladed fans in his ’37 Chevy and my Uncle had one in his ’47 Studebaker. They did a good job of moving the air around the driver in pre A/C days. I was only 6-7 years old but remember them well.

    Like 0

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