This 1936 Ford custom has a secret, and it’s not under the hood
Ford coupes of the 1930s are a longtime foundational platform for hot rodders of all stripes. Their flathead V-8, smooth styling, and high production numbers make them easy to find, all while requiring minimal time and financial investment to make something truly unique. This was especially true in the 1950s, as they became so popular that basic hot-rodding formulas existed even if you just wanted to play it safe.
This 1936 Ford custom we found on eBay didn’t stick to that formula. Its unassuming silhouette might look like just another custom paint job fitted with wire wheels, and maybe you’d expect so vanilla an approach to have something equally pedestrian under the hood. But raising those louvered hood sides only reveals a carpeted cargo area and a solid firewall. Huh?
An electric conversion? No, tailpipes are still there. The dash is a giveaway, but you have to be pretty well versed in mid-’60s economy cars to take notice. There are hardly any other hints that this odd build is essentially a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair and 1936 Ford mash-up.
This unholy union of Chevy and Ford, which came together in the 1980s, unites a Corvair engine, front and rear suspension, and instrument cluster with the Ford’s 82-year-old body. A rear-engine ’30s car is certainly an odd rod, and no doubt it took a lot of work and skill getting it to look this clean and natural—certainly more so than your average backyard build.
Replete with all the standard ’80s hot rod features—air conditioning, tilt aftermarket steering column, CB radio, automatic transmission, a healthy dousing of chrome in the engine compartment—this custom makes the proper impression.
The Corvair engine rotates opposite of many front-drive powertrains, necessitating the Corvair two-speed powerglide transmission and rear-mounted layout. Though one could build a reverse rotation flat-six and adapt it to a more common front-engine layout, that would hardly fit between the narrow hood sides. My keenly tuned Corvair eyes see a well-assembled powertrain in a properly-sorted hot rod.
So is it worth the $24,900 asking price? Hard to say. Never seen one like it, that’s for sure. It would certainly be interesting to drive, arrive at your favorite cruise night or meetup, open the hood and walk away. Or maybe just open the spare compartment to reveal the engine and wait for all the confused looks and head-scratching to ensue.