Hot Rod Potential: 1936 Ford Cabriolet V8

When I initially spied this 1936 Ford Deluxe Cabriolet, the first thing that went through my mind was an old episode of The Three Stooges, it just looks like the result of something that Larry, Moe & Curly tried to “fix” and only made worse. In reality, a 1936 Ford Cabriolet V8 is a pretty collectible car though this one will need quite a bit of help. The details can be found here on eBay where this Ford, which is located in Addison, Illinois, is available for a BIN price of $16,500. There is a “make an offer” option too.

Ford offered a broad array of models in 1936. Besides this cabriolet, there were two-door coupes, two-door three-window coupes, four-door sedans, four-door convertibles, and four-door phaetons. The common link was Ford’s relatively new flathead V8 engine. The rumble seat really caught my attention too. Today, it just seems like such an unusual automotive feature.

This cabriolet comes equipped with a 221 CI V8 flathead engine, rated at 85 HP, and the requisite three-speed manual transmission. The seller does not know the condition of the engine through it’s evident that there is a lot missing. One image does show what appears to be a manifold and a water pump lying on the ground. He further states that the car had some modifications performed (built?) in 1955 but was parked in the 1960s. Beyond that, there is little detail regarding its provenance or how it ended up like it is today.

Nevertheless, a picture is worth a thousand words so let’s start with one of the interior, or what’s left of it, it’s pretty well trashed. The floors are gone and the seat, frame and all, are missing. The convertible top frame is there sans the fabric, no telling if it’s complete. No sign of the door cards either.

The seller states that the doors are “really nice” and the fenders “are solid” but much of the rest of the body, not so much so. The floor in the rumble seat is absent as well. Add to that, trim, lights and other necessary bits.

There is an image of the underside included. From what can be seen, the frame looks intact but the rotted out floors are obvious (the rope exhaust system hanger is a nice addition). There is a reference in the listing to boxes with additional parts, and some pictures of the parts too, so this Ford may not be as minus everything as it initially appears. In the parts stash, I did note a bumper, a generator and what looks like a headlight bezel. Beyond that, there’s really not enough detail to know what’s present and what isn’t.

I imagine this Ford Cabriolet was a pretty neat car in its earlier years but it seems past that now, possibly at the point of no return once you consider the needed investment vs. its restored value. Beyond the obvious, there is much to consider like wiring, glass and the total drivetrain integrity. And then there’s the price…..My initial thought is that this may be more a parts car than a restoration candidate but I’ll leave that discussion open to those that are knowledgeable about ‘30s vintage Fords. What say you?


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  1. Joe Haska

    Are you kidding $16,500, maybe $1,650 and thats a stretch!

    Like 8
  2. Bob McK Member

    If I had a bucket full of money i would buy one of these already restored. They are truly beautiful done correctly.

    Like 4
  3. Bob

    “Make an offer” $50.00 tops

    Like 5
  4. TimM

    All I see here is a lot of welding and grinding!!! Let’s not mention looking for parts!!

    Like 3
  5. Chen Lee

    As Grandpa used to say: “Fools and their money, are soon parted!”

    Like 1
  6. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I like 36 Fords, but this one has seen better days. It must be a sad story that led it to this point. As a teenager (maybe 1960-61) I had a three in one model kit of this car. I chose to do an original version, so I guess I’ve always been a purist at heart. I think you can buy fiberglass bodies for these, so that might be an option here using the original chassis and drive train.
    God bless America

  7. Lance

    Didn’t Lumpy Rutherford drive one of these?

    Like 2
  8. Sam Dibitonto

    Interesting thought;
    How does one arrive at a doable price???
    There ARE like cars on the market, so value is somewhat defined,,

    Potentials of time, investment return are Not part of the scheme so what is the key???

    Like 1
  9. Terry Furness

    You Americans are spoilt. Other Countries would class this as “Great find and ready for restoration” I have restored cars 10 times worse than this 36.
    The difference is maybe Australians and New Zealanders do 80 % of the work themselves so the cost is a lot lower. And in this case $$ would not deter a restorer. Just save the car while it is still possible.

    Like 5
    • bigdoc

      Well then my friend make it yours

      Like 1
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      I too do all my on work. I’m in a project so I don’t want another. This car maybe rough but it is restorable and would be a rewarding and challenging job. Price is to high though.

      Like 1
    • Joe Haska

      Terry, I was fortunate to holiday in New Zealand for a month, and what you said is true, however I don’t think you will find a Kiwi, dumb enough to pay that much money for that amount or car!Xx

    • TimM

      I do 99% of my work!! I farmout nothing!! In my opinion there are to many hackers that try to cut corners and cover it up with bondo or paint!! That one percent I don’t do is any machining on motor parts!! That’s just because I don’t have the machines to do it!!

  10. bobhess bobhess Member

    On with Joe. Too much money, too little car. But neat…!

  11. Paolo

    Absolutely worth it. Beautiful when finished. Parts readily available, new, used and reproduction. Extensive club support. By the way the floors are wood.

    Like 1
  12. Oscar Garcia

    This car has had a lot of potential that’s why I bought the car, sure it needs some work but nothing I can’t handle. I do majority of the work myself, I have two brothers that intend to help out if needed. It’s a hobby for me it’s something I enjoy doing I call it therapy working in the garage with some music on & seeing results. I’ll be having some fun restoring this one.👍

  13. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Cool beans Oscar. Have fun you’ve got a long way to go. When finished you’ll be a proud owner. Enjoy.
    God bless America

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