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Hot Rod Material? 1935 Ford V8 Convertible Sedan Project

In 1935, one of the most successful cars Ford ever produced – the Model 18 V8 – was given a facelift. By now, Art Deco design elements were influencing car designers, and the new Ford – called the Model 48 – incorporated ideas like integrating the radiator into the car’s front and hood, fairing the fenders into the body, and raking the windshield back towards the cabin. These streamlined features made cars look speedy even while at a standstill. The newly stylish Model 48 helped Ford leap ahead of Chevrolet to win the sales race that year when 820,000 were sold. Here on eBay we have a 1935 Ford V8 Convertible Sedan project car, with an asking price of $23,500. This car is located in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

The seller provides a video of the car running and driving.  The motor is said to be from an early 1940s Ford. The heads have 24 studs, so it’s one of the 221 or 239 cu. in. motors made starting in 1938. These motors put out around 85 to 95 bhp. The transmission is a manual floor shift; the original 1935 V8 would have had a three-speed. The car has a rebuilt carburetor, a new distributor, and a new coil. It’s been converted to a 1940s Ford hydraulic brake system and has new shoes, master cylinder, brake hoses, and wheel cylinders. There’s a new battery, gas tank, and sending unit, too.

The interior could use some help, though all the parts seem to be present. This body style is a four-door with four seats, but with a convertible top – thus the “convertible sedan”. The top is faded and has at least one rip. The rear seating area is roomy – we’re not talking about a glorified parcel shelf. The car also has Kelsey Hayes bent spoke wheels, a pretty rare option.

The underside is dirty and parsing through the photos shows some rust here and there, including the undersides of the doors and in the frame supports. None of this looks terminal, but it needs to be fixed at some point. The seller indicates that if you want to restore the car, virtually every component will need to be touched. Aaaannnd, so long as you’re doing that, why not hop it up! If this were in your driveway, what would you do with it?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Bet there aren’t a lot of these running around out there. Good example of Ford’s car art of the late 30s. Am I correct in saying the B pillars lift out when the top is down? Certainly wouldn’t change anything during a restoration but would probably put a few more ponies in the engine.

    Like 11
  2. Ricardo Ventura

    Nothing is like seeing an old car in motion.

    Like 4
  3. Tom Bell

    Hot rod material??? Are you serious?

    Like 12
    • PeterfromOz

      The world already has enough hot-rods. Those that want a hot-rod should use fibre glass bodies with new chassis that are designed for the enormously powerful engines that go in them.

      Like 5
  4. George Birth

    Price on this one plus repairs needed will take rich pockets to afford it.

    Like 2
  5. Steve

    I would never “hop this up.”

  6. Joe Haska

    The center post on all the Converiable Sedans, was a removable piece. It was done, so the top would fit much better and not leak as bad rain and snow. When the top was down and the piece was removed, it looked like it should. Big difference between Phaetons and Convertiable Sedans, roll up windows and this removable pillar in Convertiables.

    Like 5
  7. Lowell Peterson

    Maybe upholstery? Then just drive it! Yer’ at $30k with the upholstery and any other issues to make it roadworthy. This model of every car is horrible at speed with winthout side glass!

    Like 1
  8. charlie Member

    Fix it up to make it a driver. There are enough of these which are museum quality to fill the museums that want one, so no sense in making it so nice you do not dare to drive it to the supermarket in case someone’s cart gets loose and damages the paint. Install a dual master cylinder, bias look radial tires, and electrify the windshield wipers and fuel pump, and if it does not have a Columbia 2 speed rear axel install one, and then you can go. No, not 80 mph all day, but fast enough not to be a danger to others.

    Like 3
  9. GitterDunn

    Beautiful old car! These are so uncommon anymore, it’s worth the effort of restoring it to original factory appearance. As far as “hot rod material”, maybe – it’s got a newer engine and juice brakes already, but keep it at most a mild, period hop-up, and not some custom resto-mod!

    Like 4
  10. RMac

    That is quite a blue dashboard I would change that to the fake wood grain like originally and repair reupholster and repaint those wheels beg to be red with black car love this one
    A neighbor restored a 35 business coupe in his garage back in the 60’s same wheels his has offenhauser aluminum heads and triple carbs it was very cool

    Like 3
  11. Gary

    About twenty years ago I had gone to a guys shop to look at a 64 four speed Sport Fury that turned out to be very misrepresented. (he owned a A990 65 Coronet, a D Dart and a 68 Hemi Dart, so he knew what he had) I was pissed as I had just driven six hours to look at the pile of junk with trailer in tow and had to drive six hours back home when I spotted a row of early International pick ups beside this barn and inquired about them. The owner said he had just turned ninety and was thinking about having a auction in the next several years. He was super nice and said he wanted to whet my appetite for the auction and show me his cars. I said ” You have cars too?” He said “Son, there are probably fifty cars in that barn.” When he opened up his barn for me the first car I saw was a 36 Ford convertible sedan. I said “Holy cow, that’s a 36 Convertible Sedan”, he was surprised and said “You know what that is!” I told him I had been in love with them since I was a kid and saw them in the hot rod magazines. He had 2 34 Ford phaetons, a 34 Ford three window, a 33 Ford roadster, 1 40 and 1 41 Ford Woody wagon, Model A Ford phaetons, Model A Ford coupes, a 29 Ford Sport coupe, a hotrodded 40 Lincoln Continental with a Cadillac engine, a 35 and 36 Ford five window coupe and the 36 Convertible Sedan on the main floor. I couldn’t get into the basement floor as the cars were pretty much rubbing each other and he didn’t want me to walk on the fenders to look at them. He said they were more Fords and Mercury’s. He said he put the last car in the barn in 1961 and they hadn’t moved since that time. Of course nothing was for sale at the time, but I tried. I left my phone number with him and told him that I wanted the convertible sedan in worst way. He showed me a worn spot on the driveshaft hump behind the front seat and said his son stood there when he was little when they were cruising around and wore the spot on the carpet. I was there for two or three hours and had a great visit with the old gentleman. I never heard from him always wondered what happened to them.

    Like 3
    • GitterDunn

      Wow. Sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime was lost! Maybe he forgot your phone number was in his pocket, and it got dissolved in the washing machine. Moral of the story is: Always get a guy’s name, address and phone number!

      Like 2
  12. Gary

    It was a opportunity lost for sure. I didn’t want to badger the old gent and figured it it was meant to be he would call. I looked for auctions in that area for several years and never saw anything. I figured he probably kept them until he passed on.

    Like 1
  13. Kenn

    There is badgering and then there is being interested and interesting. Old folks get lonely, their friends die, and yes, they do lose a bit of memory and scraps of paper with someone’s ‘phone number. Suggestion to folks who, in the future, run across something like this: Go ahead and call a couple times a year. It’ll pay off for sure.

    Like 2

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