Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ron's 1936 Ford Coupe

Here's a 1936 Ford Coupe someone else has fixed up.

Back when I was in high school, Ron and I spent a lot of time fooling around, building stuff, and trying to stay out of trouble. We built minibikes and rode around on the logging roads, built go-karts out of water pipe and old chain saw engines, shot rats at the dump, and generally had a good time keeping ourselves amused.

We were both pretty fair mechanics and improvisers, and we were often building or modifying something to either see if we could get something working that no longer worked, make something go faster, or modify something or other into something else entirely.

When we got our drivers licenses, Ron decided to fix up his own car. He bought an old 1936 Ford that had been parked out in a farmer's field, and towed it home to see if he could get it working.

The engine was beyond repair, but he managed to trade his way into a motor that still ran that had been in a 1948 Ford, the good old Ford Flathead motor at it’s finest! It more or less fit right into the ’36, with a little fiddling around.

In the process of some additional trading (we never bought anything, we always traded for it), Ron got his hands on a set of finned Aluminum high compression cylinder heads (Weiand?) and an aluminum intake manifold, made by Edelbrock, if I remember correctly.

Now the little ’36 had a whole lot more power that it started out with! I can still see that engine in my mind’s eye. Polished aluminum heads, red painted block, black painted exhaust manifolds, it was something to behold!

The brakes, however, were still mechanically actuated, and weren’t too much better than dragging your feet! Fortunately hydraulic brakes got installed a bit later. The rear axles were tapered on the ends, and the rear hubs were keyed to the axle with a ¼” piece of key stock. A big nut held the hubs onto the axle. If you got the tires spinning in the dirt, then came onto pavement, it would either shear the key, or twist the end of the axle off, and the wheel would fall off! In either case, you came to a stop, and were unable to move any farther! Ron often carried a spare axle, some key stock, and a few tools with him.

Ron changed several axles before he took a rear end out of a later model Chevrolet and changed the whole axle assembly, brakes and all. With the addition of hydraulic front brakes, now it would both go AND stop!

I wonder if that '36 Ford Coupe is still around. Hopefully someone picked it up and put it back into good condition, and is still enjoying it.

We sure had a lot of fun with that ’36 Ford Coupe!


At Tuesday, November 08, 2005 6:26:00 PM, Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...


At Thursday, November 10, 2005 8:20:00 PM, Blogger GunnNutt said...

You painted the block red? Couldn't you trade for some blue paint?

That must have been quite a ride!

At Thursday, November 10, 2005 8:54:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

The old Ford flatheads were often red from the factory, as I remember. Even up through the 272-292-312 series.The factory color was kinda orangey-red, but Ron painted it fire engine red.

I think Ford went to blue in the late fifties, but I'm not sure. Any of you out there know?


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