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Preserved Rod: 1935 Ford Roadster

Hot rods were all the craze in the ’50s, but few of the hot rods built during that era have survived. Most suffered sad fates, but thankfully a few have survived. This 1935 Ford Roadster Hot Rod was built by a Ralph Flaaten in ’50 and somehow found its way into an L.A. garage shortly after, where it stayed till 2002. After being pulled from that garage, it is now running and driving and can now be found here on eBay.

The car looks much the same today as it did back in 1951, when this photo was taken. Hot Rods of the ‘50s typically had few major modifications performed to them. This one only had mild modifications performed to it, including ’36 Ford rear fenders, chopped windshield and top, ’41 Ford Bumpers, and ’39 Ford taillights. It appears that everything has been left the same as when the car was discovered, but its time in storage did take its toll. There are a few rust spots that are going to need attention, but for the age of the car it isn’t surprising.

This hot rod is powered by a flathead V8 from a later 1940 Ford. The seller doesn’t state much about the engine, but we would guess it is the 221 cui V8, which was rated at 85 hp. It doesn’t appear that any modifications were made to the engine, but without seeing it in person it’s hard to know for sure. We would be sure to check this engine out closely and make sure everything looks to have been done correctly. As an added plus, this car has the hard to come by Columbia two speed rear end.

Most modern hot rods have elaborate interiors, but if you were building a hot rod in 1950 you weren’t overly concerned with the inside of the car. This one did have a few modifications done to it, such as the installation of a 1940 Ford steering column and steering wheel, but this was more for drivability then looks. When the car was discovered the seat was ruined, so it was recovered. The interior looks to be in good condition otherwise and given how simple it is, it wouldn’t be difficult to fix what problems are left.

This period hot rod looks awesome, but given the overall condition of the car, the seller’s starting price of $35,000 seems high. It might be a great looking car, but it doesn’t have the kind of history to justify this kind of asking price. The car was featured in Hot Rod magazines and books, but this doesn’t add much value for us. Do the period modifications justify this kind of price to you, or do you think the seller dreaming?


  1. Brian Weatherman

    Period cars don’t come cheap …. if it was a ’34 or a ’36 it would be reasonable

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  2. Chris H.

    I detest when an eBay lister presumes to tell you what you should do with the car. Assuming I HAD the money to buy it, why shouldn’t I restore it? Sure it has patina, and sure “it’s only original once”, but I would think this would be a beauty restored to look just as it did in 1950.

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  3. Mark Hershoren

    There may compelling reasons to proclaim this as high priced, but presented and detailed as it is here, these factors are not at all evident. Ask yourself what it would cost to build your own, sans Hot Rod Magazine photo lineage.

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  4. paul

    I would say dreaming…..even after all gone through it wouldn’t bring much more. But if your into resto mods this looks to be a very solid one to start with.

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  5. David Barber

    It;s nice, but not 35,000.00 nice.

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  6. ddb

    I have seen this one in person numerous times at swap meets etc. A restoration would be almost sacreligous as is at has a real presense about it. Truly a time capsule on wheels

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    i’ll bid $5000.00—-and i’ll haul it home—when i was a kid—these were a dime a dozen—–i’m 75 now—-and had plenty of them—-

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  8. jeezeromadad

    The value is as the old saying goes “it’s only worth what i’m willing to give you”.What’s cool to me is why are these cars still around and much fun it would be to drive down the coast with that top down.

    Like 0

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