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Many Possibilities: 1934 Ford Three-Window Coupe

Although this 1934 Ford three-window coupe project here on eBay in Owatonna, Minnesota is in overall good condition, with plenty of recent work to make it even better, the chances are it’s going to end up chopped and channeled, turned into a hot rod or resto-mod. But if the Concours scene is your thing, it could go there too. The starting bid is $36,000.

Although the 1932 is more iconic, this 1934 has a lot going for it, including a very stylish design. The owner confirms that the body is good (self-evident from the photos) but also that the rolling chassis is in fine order. Someone has built new wooden bases for the seats, and all the interior wood—including the framing for the headliner—is “in nice shape.” The doors open and close well. There’s evidence of welding where needed. The floor pans are solid, front and rear.

The engine and transmission are absent (supporting the hot rod intentions), and some parts are off the car. There is new glass and glass channels and a header panel. The front and rear suspension are stock, and the grille shell is the uncrumpled original. There’s a rumble seat!

Classic.com cites $40,433 as the average price paid recently for a 1934 Ford Model 18/40. Obviously, those are running, driving cars. This one requires parts and a lot of labor. The paint is a 30-footer, but it’s mottled up close.

Let’s roll back the hands of time. Bonnie and Clyde were killed in a new four-door 1934 Ford V-8 sedan. The handsome 1934 three-window coupe was originally marketed as ideal for the woman motorist. Assuming there was a V-8 engine under that hood, it was a Model 40, with its pushrod engine producing 85 horsepower through the use of a two-barrel Stromberg carburetor. The V-8 could also be had in a five-window coupe, a two-door roadster and a two-door cabriolet.

Changes from the 1932 included a flatter grille with wider surround, straight hood louvers, double handles on either side of the hood, and smaller headlights. The standard three-door coupe was deleted, so the one on offer must be a Deluxe, with pinstriping, chromed horns, double backlights, and fancier wood graining inside. The original four-wheel mechanical brakes probably made stopping a plan-ahead process. Calls to Willwood are probably in the offing.

An enthusiast from Plymouth Bulletin drove one of these ’34 Fords recently and had this impression: “Handling is quick and the ride is typical ‘early buggy.’ Though the suspension shines on the back roads upon which the car was used when new, it really shows today how antiquated the Ford design was in comparison to the other two cars. The Ford instrument panel is directly in front of the driver, but, unbelievable as it may seem, the car is fitted with neither an oil pressure nor an engine temperature gauge!”

It seems likely that this Ford will go to a good home if someone coughs up the $36,000 opening bid—no guarantee of that. What would you do with it?


  1. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    If this one came to my place it would most definitely be treated to a flatty. A Flathead has got all the power I’d ever need to roll this around. I’ve got an engine from a ’36 that would be just fine in that bay. With a Stromberg 48 carburetor it would be almost identical to the say Henry built it.The sad part about this one is that it will more likely than not receive an SBC, and become another bellybutton car to be parked in a lineup at the show’n’shine where people will walk right past it to look at the original rough restoration off in the corner…

    Like 29
    • Avatar photo RKS

      Maybe you should actually put your engine in something and drive out to a show n shine. Too many people griping about drivetrain choices in other peoples rides when they don’t have one of their own. I guarantee you if I built this car it would get a SBC (not a 350) and nobody would walk past it. Even if they did, that’s not what I’m there for anyway…

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo grant

        Then what are you there for? Not much point to a car show if nobody’s looking.

        Like 3
      • Avatar photo geomechs Member

        Hey there, not so quick with the tar and feathers! I DO have my own rides and I DO take them to the show and shines. Mine’s the one parked in the corner, in the shade. And lots of people come and look at it. And it’s bone stock. I’ve got nothing against someone putting an SBC in one; I’m just saying that I wouldn’t do it. I’ve got many friends who run SBCs in Fords (one in a Dodge) and they’re just as welcome at my place as any of the purists. I might add that some of them have commented on the lack of interest in their rides…

        Like 10
      • Avatar photo Harold Flemming

        Yes every body would look at it and admire it But if your chevy engines are so good why dont you put them in a Chevy. Yes i drive a modified 51 chevy p/u

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Randy

      Actually, we’re it mine I would purchase while you can still find one a 260 Ford V8. Tiny little brother to the 460 would shine in thar engine bay. It was good enough for Shelby, it would be fine here. 4 speed manual of course.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo geomechs Member

        I’ve got a friend who recently rebuilt his 260 (’63 Fairlane). He said he had a pretty rough time finding some parts for it, namely valves (I guess there was a difference between a 260 and the newer engines). But you’re right; a 260 would look good in that bay…

        Like 1
  2. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    Agree these are really neat cars, but is there anyone out there who would give up 36K for it?

    Like 17
  3. Avatar photo "Edsel" Al leonard Member

    I was OK…until the bottom of the first paragraph said “starting bid= $36K

    Like 9
  4. Avatar photo johnmloghty

    I’ll keep my $36k and he can put a feather up his butt and we’ll both be tickled to death. I like these cars but that just seems ridiculous to me. The body is nice but everything else needs replaced. bumpers need chromed and interior needs done over, drive train, paint everywhere you look it says $$$$. Thanks but no thanks.

    God Bless America

    Like 16
  5. Avatar photo Richard Kirschenbaum

    Bone stock is the only way to go if you ask me. But do the math and you will best look for an older turnkey restoration that will immediately deliver the joy of driving without years dead in the garage and put you money ahead almost from the get go. Buy ’em done.

    Like 11
  6. Avatar photo Derek

    Away an’ (cough) for that money. The chassis and the body are good, but there’s nowt else.

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo JRHaelig

    “Pushrod engine”?.

    Wouldn’t ’34 have been a flathead?

    Like 7
  8. Avatar photo Robert Levins

    Richard is right. Buy ‘em done. The cars already done are the ones that had “Unbelievable” amounts of money sunk into them and the owners are just happy recouping “Most” of their money. They are losses basically. I say to buy this car, you better know how much money you’re going to spend. If you don’t, most likely you won’t see your dream come true. Great article and good luck to everyone involved.

    Like 5
  9. Avatar photo Scotlad45

    I have to agree- this is good bones for a flathead and some degree of restoration…
    It is not anywhere close to $36k worth of bones…. you can find an adequate, driver for that $

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Darrell J Dirr


    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    I always cringe when I see a 34 like this is on B/F, being a 34 owner for over 60 years, I have heard it all. Don’t make it a Hot Rod ,by chopping and channeling it. I doubt there are many people who even know what that means. That is usually the first comment followed by don’t put a small block in it, only a Flathead Ford. Good on you! Buy it and do whatever you want. Until then it is just your opinion and what makes you think anyone cares what you think. They don’t care what I think, of course they can look at what I drive and then they know. That’s the best statement you can have and believe it or not I get very little blow back, about how I built MY car.

    Like 11
  12. Avatar photo John M.Stecz

    Hate to see it resto moded. Deserves to stay original

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Jon

      Whatever. LOL

      Like 0
  13. Avatar photo V12MECH

    Ended at $36k. Sold outside of Ebby!?

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo "Edsel" Al leonard Member

      “Error in listing”?….Yea….ok…..

      Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Scotlad45

    I see good, unmolested bones here… a good candidate for a driver ’34 Ford- or a full on restoration if one has the urge.
    “Hot rod” Fords, chopped and channeled, with SBCs are a dime a dozen- and all basically the same.
    In my garage (but not for anywhere near $36k) I’d pay homage to what it was, but make it functional for a weekend car one actually drives. Flathead V8, 3 or 4x intake with Stromberg carbs, port and polish the exhaust channels,12v, electronic ignition, alternator, updated cooling… power steering and disc brakes. 3 speed column shift with a Borg-Warner overdrive…All this makes it drivable in the modern world.. yet it still looks and feels like a 34- and nobo can steal a car with multiple carbs, manual choke, and a 3 on the tree, because nobody can drive them anymore….

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo Bob

    California kid replica for me. Black with flames,

    Like 1
  16. Avatar photo jwh14580

    I was always of the same philosophy as Richard and Robert….. Buy something someone has put too much money into and go from there…….
    In the back of my mind, though, If I had money, I would like to take something like this and put a a 2.7L Ecoboost in it. I had a F150 with that motor, and thought it was beautiful engine. Maybe a 6 speed automatic…. the 10 speed would be overkill

    Like 1

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