Supercharged: 1935 Graham Model 75

front right

This is not what most folks think of when they think of a supercharged car, but Graham built more supercharged cars than anyone until Buick in the 1990s. For 1936 and 1937, they used REO bodies (built by Hayes body company) with redesigned front and rear ends. Graham motors had an interesting history with many twists and turns. For example, the Graham Hollywood Scotty wrote up recently was built using Cord dies borrowed from Hupmobile (it’s a long story). Thanks to Peter R who found this Graham listed on eBay in Mason City, Iowa. The opening bid is $6,800 and there are no bids yet. It’s been stored since 1957 and is said to be very original and complete.

engine right

The supercharger was between the carburetor and the intake manifold instead of on the intake side of the carburetor. The engine was rebuilt before it was stored and turns.

inside

The inside looks complete and in pretty good shape for have been stored for almost 60 years. Hopefully, those boxes and stuff haven’t been on the back seat for long.

rear

The years in storage haven’t been kind to it. The tail light lens is still there but that bumper certainly needs help.

Front

Is there any hope for this old Graham? It could be a beautiful old car once again, but full restoration would far exceed its value. Could this be cleaned up and just repaired as necessary to get it road worthy? Comparing the cost of restoration to its resale value, one could say the resale value is less than zero, but hopefully someone will take this on as a labor of love. Hopefully, this won’t end up as a custom hot rod of some kind. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Roselandpete

    Where would you find parts for these?

  2. Dairymen

    There’s an active Graham club that can get their hands on more Graham parts than you can swing a stick at.

  3. JoeW

    What a great car that would be once restored. Looks like the right front fender is pretty tweaked and the right front bumper is missing a section out of the end. Otherwise pretty much untouched.

  4. Jim C

    It is a Cool looking car from the front view.

  5. Fred

    Like Dairyman said, parts may be easier than you think. Forward thinking club members of many of the “orphan” makes, like Studebaker and Kaiser Frazer, started buying up dealership parts stashes the minute the companies went out of business. Due to limited demand, the parts can be very reasonable and tend to be NOS rather than repop.

  6. Van

    I would like to see it cleaned and polished.
    I live the idea of minimal restoration. I imagine with a supercharger It drives pretty good.

  7. Howard A Member

    You know, when we hear the word “supercharged”, images of nitro burning monsters come to mind, but I wonder how much this really helped performance. I mean, it’s still a flathead with a small carb. This car probably weigh’s a bunch, and I can’t imagine the supercharger does anything. Has anybody ever ridden in one? I see the drive for the supercharger ( which also seems to drive the generator) is missing, which may mean the supercharger is stuck. Graham seemed to target the hoi-paloi and the supercharger may have just been a status deal, “Oh boy, look, it has a supercharger”. I wonder if it could even burn the hides? Wouldn’t that have been a sight in the 30’s.

    • A.J.

      The centrifugal blowers used in the 1930s usually ran at about 6 to 1 and make a big difference. If the engine put out 100hp non blown, and 140 blown you saw a significant power bump driving down the road. The blown Auburn 8, which was basically the same as this car is a hot car for the time.

    • Peter

      When you look closely, the supercharger is driven by the water pump and not the generator. In the photo, the supercharger is missing a small drive shaft that appears to have a pair of fabric for flexible metal universal joints (the shaft is missing but the uni-joint ends are there). The shaft comes off the back of the water pump and attaches to the gearbox to increase the revs to the supercharger.

      As I understand it, these superchargers were a vane type fan blower and boost only at higher revs like a turbocharger. Note the large flat aluminium fan housing below the carb.

  8. Pfk1106

    Are those lever style window cranks?

  9. Mark S Member

    I’m not sure why there are so many people that want to leave these old gems looking like an ugly old rust bucket. If you have a car like this it needs to be restored at least to driver quality. IMHO there is nothing more boring to look at in a car show than a run down rust bucket, of course if it’s been kept in nice condition from the begining of it’s build then leave as is. Patina is just a fancy word for rust And neglect.

  10. Van

    I didn’t say, leave it a rust bucket. Just fix the rust and do repairs, not a full restoration.
    These days every pile of rust is a rat rod. No dude its still a Mack truck, Taurus wagon or Nash Metropolitan, it just requires a trailer and a Dust Pan.

    • JCW

      Hey I have a Met and it is not “patina” or rust or a rat.

  11. waynard

    This is definitely worth restoring if you’re willing to do it for the love of the car. These will value out around 35-45K when fully restored. You’ll have more money in it than that. Just clean it, get it to run well, make it safe and drive it. It’s only original once.

    People love to see unrestored ‘drivers’ at shows, particularly this old. They’re getting scarce.

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Pebble Beach here we come……

  13. Trickie Dickie Member

    pat•i•na (ˈpæt n ə, pəˈti nə) also pa•tine (pəˈtin)
    n., pl. -ti•nas also -tines.
    1. a film or incrustation, usu. green, produced by oxidation on the surface of old bronze and often esteemed as being of ornamental value.
    2. a similar film or coloring appearing gradually on some other surface, esp. as a result of age or long use.
    3. a surface calcification of implements, usu. indicating great age.
    4. a term now widely used buy owners of rusty, or worn out vehicles in an attempt to increase interest in an automobile that needs to be scrapped or a complete restoration for the purpose of increasing a sale price.

  14. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Trickie, you’re the new Noah Webster! #4 has got to be your creation!

  15. JoeW

    I’ve seen that type of blower adapted for use on flat head Ford V8’s.

  16. Harry Jensen

    I believe this is the car i saw being trailed to Arkansas around the 25 of May 2016 This may be the one that set a land speed record from coast in 50 some hours a longtime ago. The damaged fender matches what was on the car and the photos i took. The years in the barn match and he said he spoke with the lady who was there that steered the car in the barn 60 some years ago. I spoke with the new owner and got pictures,the speedo showed 49000 plus miles and all the tire were aired up and held as they loaded it on the trailer. I belive he said it was found in Iowa.What an interesting find.

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