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1936 Ford Cabriolet

Sold For $126,500

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 8 MARCH 2014


Chassis No.
18-3200770
  • An iconic Ford V-8 Cabriolet
  • Top-quality restoration
  • Two-time Dearborn Award winner

Model 68. 85 bhp, 235.3 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with Columbia two-speed axle, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112 in.

Although the Phil Wright design for the 1935 Fords was well received by the public, to the extent that Ford outsold Chevrolet for the model year, it is the 1936 update that has become more sought-after by collectors. It was the work of Holden “Bob” Koto, of Briggs Manufacturing Company, whose career spanned nearly 40 years. After he worked on the 1936 Ford, Koto helped Dick Caleal model the 1949 Ford, and he worked for Raymond Loewy on the 1953 Studebaker.

Koto gave the car a new grille, with simple, thin vertical bars, making it much less fussy than the ’35 item. The horns were relocated out of sight, behind small grilles in the fender “catwalks.” Wire wheels were abandoned for a pressed-steel “spider” design with a wider bolt circle. Under the skin, a larger radiator aided cooling and the transmission gained helical gears for first and reverse. Although Chevrolet regained first place in sales, the 1936 Ford has long been the model of choice for a vast number of collectors and restorers.

Ford offered no fewer than six open body styles for 1936. This car, the Cabriolet, has both a cozy driving compartment with roll-up windows and an open-air rumble seat for passengers. It was the jauntier of two cabriolet styles, as the Club Cabriolet, the other style, had seats for five “indoors” and the rumble seat was replaced with a small luggage compartment.

This Cabriolet was restored in 2006 with 100 percent genuine Ford parts. During which, its engine was stroked to four inches with a late flathead Mercury crankshaft and it was fitted with a high-volume oil pump. These improvements, in combination with the Columbia overdrive axle, give the car excellent overall performance, both in traffic and on the open road. The restoration can be justifiably described as top quality. The car presents beautifully in Black, with a brown leather interior and a beige canvas top. The interior and top are the work of nationally recognized craftsman Jim Roll, performed at his Tailored Trim Service shop in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

This Cabriolet is tastefully accessorized with graceful Ford door-hinge mirrors and spyder wheel trim, which beautifully sets off the red wheels. Other equipment on the car includes a Ford radio, the original fuse kit, a tire repair kit, Ford service coupons, a 1936 Shell road map, and a very rare Texas centennial shift knob. Texas celebrated its first century as a state that year, and Ford had a display at the Centennial Exposition in Dallas. Cars ordered at that event were delivered with the commemorative shift knob.

This car is a two-time Dearborn Award winner, which is the highest accolade for restored cars in the Early Ford V8 Club, and it scored 990 points out of 1,000 at Batavia, New York, in 2006 and 991 points at Fairfax, Virginia, in 2007. The scoring sheets from these events are included with the car. This car, presented in the most desirable color and interior combination, really tugs at the heartstrings, and it will make a new owner very happy.

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