Gimme All Your Lovin’: 1935 Ford 3-Window Coupe

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The opportunity to grab a Ford 3 window coupe is certainly rare and whenever one is offered for sale it generates plenty of excitement, as well as discussion and debate.  Available here on eBay with a BIN of $18,000, this car is located in Phoenix, Arizona. Is the asking price too high?  Should the car be restored or modified as a hot rod? I feel silly posing such obvious questions, but when considering a car like this it’s inevitable, if not downright obligatory to do so. The BIN price may elicit ridicule from some, but if you were the seller would you not try to get top dollar for such a coveted car?

I admit I couldn’t resist referencing one of ZZ Top’s most popular songs in the title of this post but allow me to clarify a couple of things.  I did so because the seller mentioned the rock band in his eBay listing by saying “yes, this is a true 1935 Ford 3 window…just like the famous rock star ZZ Top himself.”  I say c’mon, man!   ZZ Top is not a rock star, but a band that consists of three guys!  After all, who can forget their long beards and the ironic fact that the drummer, who doesn’t wear a beard, is named Frank Beard?!  It was singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons’ Ford that was featured in a few of the band’s famous videos in the 1980s.  That car, nicknamed “Eliminator,” was a ’33 coupe, not a ’35.  As for this ’35, the seller mentions some metal work has been done on the rear and the doors need to be “reskinned.”  Additional parts included with the sale are “hard to find” rear and side molding and an extra set of wire wheels.  What about the original spare tire carrier?  I don’t see it in any of the photos.  It appears all of the window glass is gone too.  It is nice to see most of the original chrome parts in place, however, even though some straightening and refurbishment is needed.

I find it humorous that the seller was so anxious to photograph his soon to be flipped car that he stopped along the side of the highway to take pictures while it was still on the trailer!  The pictures are nice and clear though, and we can see some close-ups of the newly fabbed metal floors although they’re already showing some flash rust.  No mention is made as to whether a seat frame is included in the sale and it’s probably safe to assume the original wooden one is long gone.  Exposure to the hot Arizona sun has taken a toll on the steering wheel and three-quarters of it are all that’s left.  Would you replace it with a banjo style wheel instead?

This is the only photo of the original flathead V8 and it looks fairly well preserved.  No mention is made as to whether it turns freely though.  If you’re interested in reading a bit more about the early history and specs of the 21 stud Ford flathead V8, VanPelt Sales LLC has some awesome information posted on their website.  The seller states “this is a true once in a lifetime car and perfect to start an awesome project.”  No argument here, although I’d be quick to replace the word “awesome” with “expensive.”  I’m typically a purist when it comes to classic cars and trucks, preferring they be restored to original specs rather than modified or customized.  But I think Billy Gibbons absolutely nailed it when he commissioned Buffalo Motor Cars to customize his ’33 Ford way back in 1976.  Maybe I’m just a product of the MTV music video generation but let’s be honest, has there ever been another car as cool as Eliminator?

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  1. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Cool car for sure. If that black and white photo had a hot chick in it, it would be one to frame. The exit 428 pic was not bad either, I probably would have done the same. I am pretty good at doing stupid stuff like that myself.

    Like 1
  2. Blueprint

    Fun trivia: Eliminator has a SBC under the hood…

    Like 1
    • Al

      What is an SBC, I see it mentioned often.
      The only other definition I’ve seen is suicide-by-cop, a rather poor choice in my opinion.
      Maybe it’s Suicide Buying Crap and thinking you want to restore this.

      Like 2
      • PhiljustPhil

        Small Block Chevy

        Like 2
      • Mike

        Al, You are certainly correct. Either, suicide by cop, or small block chevy….both poor choices, imho

        Like 3
  3. Vance

    Without looking it up on YouTube or Google, all I remember is the hot women. Yeah, the car is cool, but those were the days of my youth. Everything worked and nothing hurt. I was burning the candle at both ends and had unlimited energy. Guitar licks and hot chicks, the eighties were it man. It was fun and I wouldn’t change a thing, and every girl’s crazy bout a sharp dressed man !

    Like 7
  4. JACKinNWPA Jack in NWPAMember

    Ummm wasn’t the ZZ car a 1934? Jusk askin’

    Like 1
  5. Derek

    You’d think that, for 18K, you might be able to buy something that you can legally drive, no? It’s nothing particularly special.

    Stick it in for a test and then sell it, ya bunch of chancers…

    Like 4

    There will be mods.

    Like 2
  7. Kenneth Carney

    Saw one of these at the 1st ever Street
    Rod Nationals in Peoria, Illinois in 1970.
    My God, that thing was sharp! Dazzling
    black lacquer exterior with a grey leather
    inerior, filled roof insert and so much more. It ran a 389 Pontiac V-8 backed
    by a Turbo 350 auto tranny. Got to see it
    up close and personal after reading about
    it in Rod & Custom Magazine. The work-
    manship on that car was astounding.
    Really left an impression on this starry-
    eyed motorhead who’d only seen cars
    like that one in magazines only. If I were
    building this one, I’d use either a 389
    Pontuac or a 394 Olds V-8 breathing
    through 3 deuces. Add some 10.5:1
    pistons, a 3/4 race cam and some tube
    headers, and she’ll run like a raped ape!
    Back that up with a beefed up Turbo
    400 gearbox to send all those ponies
    to the rear wheels, add an HD rear axle,
    add some modern brakes, and you’d have
    yourself a real winner! Drop the stance a
    cuople inches, make it look stock, and
    go out and have a great time. It’s amazing
    how long such a car will last in someone’s memory. That one and many
    more like it. Oh to be 16 again!

    Like 3
  8. BuickLover

    How times have changed. I bought a ’35 back in ’73 from a co-worker for $75. Couldn’t get the money out fast enough. It really needed work. Was going to rod it with Buick power, but life got in the way. Sold it to a buddy and that was the end of my involvement. Ah, the good ol’ days.

    Like 4
  9. Kurt SeidlerMember

    I would keep it all Ford, with age specific speed mods. You are still pushing a lot of metal around and some more ponies and torque would make it safer on the freeways.

    Like 3
  10. Woody

    Old Fords like this deserve original flat head power! Please don’t mention “dime-a-dozen” tin SBC’s…..

    Like 5
  11. geomechs geomechsMember

    First of all the ZZ Top Eliminator is a ‘34. Now for this one: One this complete shouts ‘Restoration!’ This is an artifact and deserves the original treatment. I might add that they perform quite well with a flathead. Maybe warm it up a tad for freeway driving. My preference to this is a Five-window but I sure wouldn’t kick this one off my driveway. I recall a couple who inherited a three-window, original, barely had the paint scorched on the manifolds. If it wasn’t a #1 it was a #2. Well, they went and butchered it beyond recognition. I heard hot-rodders condemn it. Yes, we live in a country where we are still allowed to do what we want with our vehicles but this was tasteless…

    Like 2
  12. cidevco

    Well Guys… The Red Ford Coupe that is known as “Eliminator” by ZZ Top seen in videos and was in the music video “Gimme All of Your Lovin'” was a 1933 Ford 3 window coupe. Not a 1932 or 1934 or 1935. The engine is a SBC Corvette engine. Ask me how I know, I actually know Billy.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechsMember

      ‘33 huh? I was looking at a photo of it a few days ago and I thought the V of the grill was quite straight. However I won’t argue with you; I have a friend who built up a ‘33, and he used a ‘34 grill and hood.

      Like 0
  13. ctmphrs

    Restoration is for people with no imagination.

    Like 0
  14. J.M. Bartholomew

    IMO, putting a chevy engine in a FORD is disgraceful! I’m ok with some modifications but that’s where I draw the line! Keep it 100% FORD! Again, my opinion.

    Like 1

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