No Reserve Original: 1938 Ford Standard Tudor

This is a very nice find! It is a 1938 Ford Tudor and, I believe, a Standard Tudor as opposed to a Deluxe model. The seller doesn’t state specifically but the hood vents are indicative of those used on the Standard model. And of course, comments on this matter will be appreciated as I’ll admit I’m not a ’30s Ford expert. Anyway, an original condition, two-door sedan with a V8 engine, that’s a great start. This Ford is located in Barnesville, Minnesota and is available here on eBay for a current bid of $2,950, thirteen bids tendered so far.

We have reviewed many 1938 Fords on Barn Finds and I tried to find this particular car to see if it was making a reappearance and it did not turn up. Many of those covered are this same Standard Tudor model so it must have been a pretty popular seller. There isn’t a lot of detail regarding this car’s past but it was apparently acquired from the son of the original owner.

The paint is believed to be original and it looks like the typical oxidization found on a finish that is past the three-quarters of a century mark. There are numerous splotches of surface rust showing through too. The trim is still in place and looking OK but the bumpers could stand a replate. While there is no evidence of serious body damage, there are a few dents here and there. Other than the trunk floor, which needs attention, rust-through would not seem to be a problem with this Ford. The seller states that the car has always been kept inside but that seems doubtful – it doesn’t look like it and 82 years is a long time to account for a car’s every whereabouts.

Once again, we’re getting the old “ran when parked” claim as if that ameliorates the fact that the engine turns over, and, I gather, doesn’t start. At least it’s not seized. The engine is a typical 85 HP, 221 CI flathead V8 mated to a three-speed manual transmission. As with the rest of the car, the engine room maintains a very original appearance.

The interior is fair at best. The upholstery is worn, torn and water-stained while the door card fabric is flapping in the breeze. As is frequently the case, the front seat is in worse shape than the back – same with the floor pan, the rear is like new, not the case upfront. The instrument panel is showing its age but it is mostly complete and I have seen far worse in newer cars. Not the case with the steering wheel, however, it has seen better days. Extra credit if you can figure out what the thing attached to the left side of the steering column is.

This Ford is trending in a reasonable territory with three days still to go with the bidding. There is a lot of flexibility here as far as future directions are concerned. This Ford is definitely worth saving but it’s not so rare that modifications should be excluded from consideration. So, let’s vote, restore, hot-rod, resto-mod or other?

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Perfect for a resto-mod. Wouldn’t pay much more than is already bid but if it’s sound it would make a great cruiser. And for you bumper lovers out there I’d put the stock bumpers on it after a re-chrome.

    Like 4
    • EricG

      I sold on like this about 8 years ago. It had 54k on it. My dads buddy bought it in the mid 60’s. I got it for a debt owed. Mine was rust free but no door cards and no material in the front seat. I sold it for 6500.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Yes, someone not only shoved a knife in me but they had to twist it while they were at it. I still get upset whenever I see a ’38 Std 2-door. I had one and it was stolen. I had it out at my friend’s place, just east of town and I was working on it there. One day I went out to work on it and there it wasn’t. The sad part about it is that I know WHO got it but I could never prove it. And they got it right out of the country. I did hear that they attempted to chop the top and really screwed it up. The perp rented a shop about ten miles away and got thrown out for not paying rent. I tried to gain access but the car was long gone.

    Mine was a Slopeback so it wasn’t exactly like this one. Mine was also a 21-stud (I still have the engine, the rad and a few other things from my car) while this one is a 24. The engine could still be a ’38 because Ford made a running change to 24 stud engines during the latter part of the ’38 run. That looks like a Stromberg 97 carburetor which would’ve been what it was equipped with in ’38. Someone changed this one over to sealed beams which definitely give more light but I sure don’t care for the looks of them. Anyway, the car would look good at my place. Maybe I wouldn’t lose it this time…

    Like 10
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    The “bustle back” seems pretty rare. Don’t remember seeing one before. Lot of the slope backs though.

    Like 2
  4. BlondeUXB Member

    ‘always feel the 1938 “standard” carried off much cleaner deco design than the “rat-nose deluxe”…

    Like 1
  5. Dean akers

    Just trying for the extra credit. I thought maybe that could be a choke cable for the carburetor

    Like 1
  6. Joe Btfsplk

    The thingy on the steering column? It may be a hand brake add on device.

  7. Phlathead Phil 🚗🇺🇸

    Betcha it’s “Rust City” under them skins.

    Car is priced CORRECT!!

  8. Richard Van Dyke Sr

    I’m sitting here seeing this all finished up and it’s a beauty of a resto-mod.

    • Phlathead Phil 🚗🇺🇸

      Richard,

      By this time in history most likely the Phlattie is welded shut from corrosion, rust and oxidation. It’s probably got ‘tin-worm’ issues as well. However, it looks to be a “Saver-Survivor.”

      When I pulled the phlathead out of the ‘53 Vicky it was a lump of metal. No hope of rebuild.

      Welded shut from molecular exchange.

      ‘Resto-mod’ is sometimes and mostly the ONLY avenue of choice.

      Varoom!

      Like 1
  9. Terry J

    It always amazes me to see a stock car like this come out of the woodwork. Barnesville? If you are from the west and buy it, you could get there through North Dakota OK, but from the east, it looks like the route goes through Minneapolis. :-( Terry J

  10. Bob Mck Member

    Great place to start. I wonder what the new owner will do with it.

  11. Joe Haska

    I like to think of myself as a semi expert on early Fords 32 to 48, we all know this is a 38 Std. but this contraption on the steering column, I am at a loss. There were things like add on turn signals, some radios had remote controls, but this thing ,I don’t know. My guess would be maybe some sort remote operation for throttle ,brake or clutch, for someone with a handicap. I think President Roosevelt had an early Ford,with some sort of handicap controls, honestly I don’t know for sure. I am sure we would know if you could see the car in person.

    Like 1
  12. George Mercer

    It’s a ’38 Std. o.k. Bought mine in 1970 and it’s mostly restored. $ 3,000 not bad for this condition but I don’t need any more of ’em. But is totally restorable and most parts are quite available. I even have some to fit it.
    We have a fully restored one at the EFV8 Museum in Auburn, IN

  13. Geoffrey Stein

    1938 Standards have a grill different from the Deluxe. The Standard grill looks similar (but not identical) to the 1937 Deluxe. The big easy spot for the 1938 Standard is that there is only one tail light!

  14. Geoffrey Stein

    Having a closer look at the object on the steering column, I’m thinking there might have been a fan with the blades lost. Such fans were accessory items used to defrost the windshield. A better photograph would help identify the item.

    Like 2
  15. David Scully

    First frontal check for a Standard? One windshield wiper…cheap is as cheap does. .I’m surprised it isn’t a V8-60 engine as well. All in all, a nice find.

    • Z1rider

      Actually it is a 60. Not a 221 85 horse as stated.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Are you sure? That looks like a lot more than 17 studs to me. But I AM due for an eye exam…

      • Z1rider

        Oops, I guess I am the one due for an eye exam. Some of the head nuts are just the right kind of rusty to blend in with the head and overlooked them. You’re right geomechs, too many for a 60hp.

        Like 1
  16. DON

    The sealed beam replacement lights that replaced the original teardrop lenses really change the whole look of the car ; at first glance I wasn’t sure it was a Ford !

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