’70s Build: 1934 Ford Three-Window Coupe Hot Rod

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The hot rod scene was born out of equal parts necessity and ingenuity. A segment of society didn’t have the funds to lay their hands on the latest performance offerings from Detroit, but they wanted to go fast. Therefore, with necessity as the mother of invention, they adopted and adapted anything at hand to construct their own muscular classics. The sector suffered enormously during the late 1970s and 1980s but is returning more vigorously than ever. That is demonstrated by this 1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe, which has attracted thirty-one bids since the seller listed it here on eBay in Naples, Florida. The bidding sits below the reserve at $35,100, although they offer a BIN option of $55,000 for anyone wishing to recapture the good old days.

The seller has listed this Ford on behalf of its owner and is candid about its overall condition. The Blue Metallic paint carries a selection of chips and marks, which is understandable since around fifty years have elapsed since it was constructed. It is developing a matte appearance, suggesting a cosmetic refresh will probably be on the agenda. However, the panels are straight, with only a few insignificant bumps and bruises. There is rust present in the rockers, but a replacement set is included. The rest of the car is rock-solid, meaning the successful bidder could enjoy the car immediately, tackling the rust and cosmetic refresh as time and circumstances allow. The chrome and glass are in good order for a vehicle of this type and age, while the huge wheels give the Ford the muscular stance that is a hallmark of hot rods.

There is one simple fact to remember about traditional hot rods; There are no rules. The formula is incredibly simple. Creators take a frame and body that is essentially sound and bolt in whatever performance parts they have on hand or can buy for a song. Brand loyalties and boundaries mean little, and this Ford demonstrates that thinking. The V8 under the hood isn’t a Blue-Oval product but found its way here courtesy of the good folk at Chevrolet. It is a 327ci small-block that is bolted to a Turbo 350 transmission. The power feeds to a Corvette rear end, while the front end started life in a Corvair. It is an eclectic mix, but one that delivers results. The specifications of the small-block are unclear, but it is safe to say the driver will have considerably more than the 85hp at their disposal that this car’s flathead produced when it was new. The panels and paint might need some love, but that isn’t the case with the mechanical components. It runs and drives well, and is a turnkey proposition for the new owner.

As with the mechanical components, there are no rules when creating a hot rod’s interior. There was a time when diamond-buttoned or tuck-and-roll upholstery was king, but those can be expensive to create and maintain. This Coupe features a stitched vinyl bench seat that looks excellent, with the oh-so-cool rumble seat wearing the same material and pattern. The dash is largely original, although the speedometer has been supplemented by a collection of Stewart Warner gauges to monitor the car’s mechanical health. A Sun Super Tach and a radio/CD player for tunes on the road hang below the dash. The condition is tidy, although the successful bidder might decide to refinish the painted surfaces when they tackle the exterior. Once again, it isn’t a pressing need, but it could be an enjoyable undertaking once summer shows us a clean set of heels.

The BIN on this 1934 Ford Hot Rod is not cheap but is in keeping with market expectations. Some might argue that many modern models could offer similar performance and greater comfort for the price, and they would be right. However, none of those cars are genuinely unique, nor do they provide such an engaging ownership experience. The bidding history proves people wish to recapture the era of American Graffiti. I wish the lucky winning bidder many years of motoring enjoyment behind the wheel of this gem, and I admit I will envy them the journey upon which they are about to embark.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Woofer WooferMember

    Buy a 34 cheebie to put your cheap engine in.
    Leave the FORDs for the Ford people!

    Like 30
    • John M.Stecz

      Love the Henry Ford plaque. That’s the way I feel about. I could not own a car with a engine from a different brand vehicle!

      Like 3
    • Mike


      Like 1
      • MrMachMN

        And, D.M. Carroll ~ FORD YOU!! ~

        Like 0
  2. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    That’s pretty funny ^^^,,not sure ol’ Hank was that gruff,,maybe, but I’ve made peace with the “Chevy in a Ford” thing. It’s a “hot rod”, and vehicle loyalty goes out the window in the name of such a vehicle. The fact it was made in the 70s, tells me, someone took the best and made a really neat hot rod. While the SBC has more zing than a Ford V8 for some reason, and a standard swap, I find it interesting, folks can’t find a stylish Chevy from the period and use Fords. All that Ford/Chevy stuff aside, it’s a really neat car.

    Like 20
    • Gary

      Henry was a prick, no doubt about it

      Like 16
      • Randy

        I don’t get it people paid $49,000 (Plus 10%) for a rusted out hulk sitting in the dirt in a field but won’t jump at this for $55K

        Like 4
    • Ricardo Ventura

      Best bodywork with best mechanical assembly.
      True Hot Rod.

      Like 3
  3. bobhess bobhessMember

    As I remember it from my hot rod days if you had an early Ford like this one the only engines that would fit into them other than modified flat heads was the early Oldsmobile, Buick, and Chevy small blocks. Other cars had the same problems. My ’32 coupe and ’34 pickup got flatheads but my ’53 Studebaker coupe got a big Olds. Didn’t want to cut up the cars just for a bigger engine. I thought when Ford put out the 289 it would be a good substitute for the Chevys but it didn’t work out that way. BTW, the blue on this car is identical to the blue on my ’53 Studebaker. Nice car here. Only thing I’d do to it would be to put dropped spindles and smaller tires up front to minimize the off road look.

    Like 8
    • Gary

      I saw a gorgeous 37 Chevy coupe at the SRNE in York Pa years ago that was running a 351 Cleveland. I laughed and ask if he was just tired of a SBC in everything and he smiled and said he pissed off everyone that looked at it

      Like 16
      • Lance

        Gary, that is hilarious!

        Like 1
      • George DrayMember

        There is a beautiful 57 BelAir in the SF bay area with a 351 Clevland in it. Owners reason? You guessed it. Just to PO people because he can. LOL

        Like 4
    • George DrayMember

      Oh contrare. Small block Fords were narrower than the Chevy. Many used in XKE Jag swaps. Chevy’s were too wide. The Buick,Olds engines, 215 cu in BOP engines by chance?

      Like 1
  4. Woofer WooferMember

    Well, Howard A, you’re a much more understanding gentleman than I am. I have to blame my hangups on my dad. He served in ‘Patton’s army’ in WWII and only bought Fords or Mercurys. Brought me home from the hospital in 1952 in a 1950 Merc. He always told me if I ever bought ‘brand X’ he would take me out of his will. Thanks for the inheritance dad, but someday I’m gonna buy a 1955 Nomad and put a 351 Cleveland in it, put Powered By FORD stickers on the fenders, stand back and just listen to the cheebie people just cry and whine and moan. That’ll be the day.

    Like 13
    • HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

      Hi Woofer, oh, don’t get me wrong, in case you are new, it’s well known to most, that my old man too served in Dubja, Dubja 2,,der, and would not allow any foreign cars in his driveway, well, British and French were okay. I’m much more universal than he was, but still think a car should be powered by the brands engine. It’s the heart and soul of that car, and shan’t be messed with. When this car was built, it was just a hot rod and a Ford 3 window was the body most used. Corvette being the buzz word for performance, a Ford coupe with a Corvette motor was mighty impressive.

      Like 9
    • Dave

      Waaah! Get off my lawn!

      This car is a period piece. The reason a Chevy is in it is because the chevy was cheaper, fit in a smaller envelope, and all the performance parts were built for Chevy first before engineering was done for the other makes. Still the same today. If you want to be a purist cry that it was hot rodded in the first place and should have been preserved for future generations to ogle or some such nonsense that “retirees” often spout.

      Like 18
  5. Dave Phillips

    Unlike several of you, I have no issue with a chev in a ford (most rods were chev simply because chev was first with a small 265 hipo V8 – took ford several years to come out with the 260 and sadly, they never caught up). My issue is with an automatic tranny. In the day the cool rods all had manual gearboxes, I never once lusted after a rod with an auto. Hydramatics sometimes for drag racing maybe, but all the others were just slushboxes for Mom’s car.

    Like 16

      Amen, Dave. It would be the coldest day in hades when I would build or buy a hot rod with a slushbox. They are the antithesis of high performance and make the builder look lazy, especially the power and joy sapping 3 speeds from back then.

      Like 3
      • Derek

        Maybe the engine/box was in a free/cheap/knackered car that was available at the time. I agree in general about automatics, though.

        Like 3
    • bobhess bobhessMember

      Used the GM 4 speed hydromatics in a couple of our cars. Can’t beat them for street or drag racing. Now the transmissions in my Dad’s Buicks are another story.

      Like 2
    • Richard Kirschenbaum

      Right Dave.
      Simply put, an automatic is like a condom. You miss the whole experience.

      Like 7
      • Chris

        If it means I can spent money on cars not kids, I’m willing to make the trade.

        Like 1
  6. Rw

    Maybe Dick Rawlings will buy and rebuild with catalog part and sell for 500k.

    Like 2
    • Howie

      Rw, only if they can meet the deadline!!

      Like 2
  7. Troy

    Wow I didn’t really think I had been out of touch with the car market $55k for this and its in need of a complete restoration that will cost at least $50k and when its done you will have a car worth $50k

    Like 11
    • bobhess bobhessMember

      Missed the part about needing a complete restoration. A paint refresh isn’t going to cost 50K.

      Like 2
      • Troy

        There is a lot of rust under the paint so that means blowing the car completely apart repair any rust blocking and sanding then put it back together easily $50k

        Like 2
  8. Steve

    This engine has been in this car longer than any others, so it should get to stay!

    Like 5
  9. Lowell Peterson

    Is it just me? 40/50 year old build $35k is 10k above market for a good one. This one needs rockers??? How many of you have replaced rockers?
    It needs a $40k refresh!!!IMHO!

    Like 9
  10. bigbird

    You may need to wait, but finding a Boss 302 motor is a perfect fit. You can stiff gear it, and have a very streetable, fast car(4/5/6 speed only). Still this one is really nice. I would not change the build….just enjoy it.

    Like 0
    • Michael

      Chevy is standard replacement in old Fords! (Small block Fords have way too long water pumps/fans for these aps.)

      Like 1
  11. Robert

    Had a ’51 Bel Air HT with a 303 Olds and a Lasalle 3 speed. Clutch went out and I put a Hydro in it. It was easier to tool around ” Making the drag” down town easier. I actually liked the change. Now in my late 70s I kept the overdrive auto stock tranny in my 90 Silverado 2wd Swb behind a 468 Cu W-31 Olds from ’71. Still havin’ fun!..I don’t care much for the ” cross dressers” I like Ford in Ford, GM in GM, Stude in, well you get it..Robert

    Like 6
  12. Cowboy

    A lot of guys went with a bowtie motor because it was cheaper, there were a lot more aftermarket parts available, and the blocks didn’t require altering the firewall to accommodate the more modern Ford engines. A little less money and a bit less work. With that out of the way, the seller of this rod is hoping to get over twice what it’s worth. The market is a bit lean and you can find much fresher hot rods that are turnkey go-to-the-show for less than $40k.

    Like 1
  13. Rob Jay

    The only reason to put a chevy in there is cost not fit. A ford 289 is quite a bit smaller (narrower) than a small block chevy. I have a 28 Dodge with a Ford 302 in it and the side wings fit over it easily.

    Like 1
    • Cowboy

      Length is the general issue between GM and Ford blocks. We’ve had to rework the firewalls of two 32 Fords (one steel sedan body and one fiberglass roadster body) where they received 351 mills, and a steel 34 Ford pickup to cleanly fit its 289. Just our experience.

      Like 3
  14. Glenn ReynoldsMember

    Hate the wheels. They belong on a Ed Roth creation, not this somewhat tried old hot rod. I’d take the high bid and run.

    Like 1
  15. Rod Lustila

    Way too much again,but don’t worry cars priceswill drop, drastically,soon.so just hold off buying for abit. Dealers are going out of business.even brand new cars and trucks are going straight from dealers …to auction! Classic car dealers can’t sell what they have so, auction again.have patience.

    Like 5
  16. Joe Haska

    Boy, I didn’t see that coming, people were upset because a Hot Rod has a Chevrolet engine. One quick way to stop this terrible atrocity is to buy the car and put whatever you want it, until you own it, it doesn’t matter what you think. I assume the body is all steel and appears fairly nice, but I do think it is priced high for the market today. There are some good things, but also some that could be costly, even if you just wanted to drive it as is. The front and rear suspension certainly not ideal. In the day those wire wheels were the best and the most expensive you could have. The best part of this car is it is an uncut 34 3-window. Realistically to have a nice car it needs almost everything else.

    Like 2
  17. Tailgunner Tailgunner

    I don’t think size played a big part in engine choice. I think it was mostly availability and cost of horsepower.
    I’ve got a stroked 460 in my ‘34 under a stock hood with enough leg room to comfortably shift the Top Loader. I’m 6 foot.
    I used to care what engine was in what.
    Hot Rodding is about making what you got faster and cooler with what you can to make it yours!

    Like 2
  18. Lee Wells

    I was a kid in the 60s, and we lived in Mira Loma, California which has a huge hot rodding car culture. My dad was a hot rodder his whole life and owned just about every brand of car ever produced. Back then, he raced a T altered with Ford motivation, but also had different rods with different power trains, so a Chevy in a Ford was the norm. His “going to the dump”truck was a 1933 Ford with a built Chevy smallblock.

    Like 0
  19. ACZ

    This car would be perfect for an Arden converted flathead and a 5 speed manual.

    Like 2
    • ACZ

      Ardun. Sorry.

      Like 1
  20. Dennis6605

    I’ve heard this anti “Chevy N Ford” thing many a times over the years. Especially on the BAT [Bring A Trailer] auction site. Mostly by commenters that never bid. I’ve built several rods over the years and the two I put Fords in were by far the hardest to sell. A couple with SBC’s were sold or traded before they were even finished. Just sayin.
    Prices are down lately. Someone would be better off buying a finished car and just tweaking it to his or her liking. Materials and labor is too high. $12-$13 K for paint and body work. $10-$12 K for interior. These prices are from 2013. In 2003 I bought a gallon of paint for $300. In 2013 that same gallon was $1100. I have no idea what it cost now.

    Like 2
    • bigbird

      Agreed, prices for both the product and labor are out of site. I took my Impala in for an estimate on paint and body(car looked good as a daily), 20K, and this was leaving the stainless on the car. The interiors are the same, if you want it nice, at least OEM, the product was 6K without installation. Please don’t jam me, and say drive it to Mexico and have it done almost for free, not happening anymore.

      Like 2
      • Dennis6605

        @..bigbird I got a chuckle when you mentioned Mexico. When I was stationed near San Diego in the late 60’s guys would go across the border to get interiors but you had to sit there and watch them or you would wind up with straw or horse manure as stuffing in your seats.

        Like 0
  21. TheGasHole

    Lets put a 2.3 Ecoboost in it

    Like 2
  22. Robert

    51 chevy ht. the one I mentioned with the early Olds. Got the candy stripe roll and pleat done in Juarez back in the 60s. Poultry feathers started working their way out a year later!

    Like 0
  23. Anthony Wixon

    Chevy engine, not a Ford. The only reason people use Chevy engine is the junkyard is full of them not because they are better, just cheap.

    Like 1
  24. Joe Haska

    Mr. Wixton, You might be oversimplifying this, all Chevrolet Engines are cheap, even LS and Crate Motors , I did not know that! How about this “THEIR CAR- THEIR CHOICE”. Remind you of something else, depending on your politics.

    Like 0
    • Dennis6605

      @…Joe If they are so damn cheap I would like for Mr. Wixton to pick me up a few.

      Like 1
      • Anthony

        I do Mopar.

        Like 1
  25. Joe Haska

    So Anthony, what you are saying is you really don’t know what you were talking about. Interesting ,maybe you should have said that in the beginning!

    Like 1
    • Anthony Wixon

      Not that at all. And I don’t argue with air haeds.

      Like 0
  26. Joe Haska

    Anthony, I am not arguing. I am just saying.

    Like 1
  27. Anthony

    All I’m saying is, in my opinion, the engine makes the car. Chey engine ruins a Ford. I’m a MOPAR guy and that would ruin a Ford. Better than a Chevy but an old Chevy with a MOPAR engine is also wrong.

    Like 0
  28. Joe Haska

    Anthony, I am not trying to be rude or nasty. I understand your point and if someone was starting a new build, they should listen to your views. My point is, that when it comes to modifying a car, it is freedom of choice by the owner and builder. We have all seen some really bad choices (an opinion) also I have seen some real creativity, that I would have never thought of. I think of it as an art form and there should be no restrictions on a person’s creativity.

    Like 1

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