Auction Pick of the Week: Barn-find 1936 Ford Model 48 Fordor

Marketplace/Rafel Garcia

The collector-car world loves a good barn find, and this 1936 Ford Model 48 Fordor Deluxe Sedan certainly qualifies: Just look at the vertical dust lines across the windshield and the length of the car, marks that confirm that it was parked and neglected years ago. If you’re a barn-find aficionado, you’re already salivating.

This handsome sedan is more than an 87-year-old car somebody forgot about, however. It’s an 87-year-old car that’s almost completely intact. Nothing rotten. No missing hard-to-find trim pieces. Reasonably tidy engine and interior. A perfect candidate for a mechanical refresh or full restoration.

The Ford Model 48 was introduced in 1935, and behind the car’s tall, vertical grille was a 221-cubic-inch flathead V-8 that produced about 90 horsepower and was mated to a three-speed gearbox. Although V-8s weren’t a new thing in the mid-1930s, the simplicity of Ford’s flathead V-8 made it more affordable for more people, an important factor during the Great Depression. In addition to the four-door sedan, the Model 48 could be had as a two-door roadster, four-door convertible, or four-door station wagon, each priced below $600 (or about $13,253 today). The car was a hit; Ford sold 820,000 Model 48s in 1935.

1936 Ford Model 48 Fordor Sedan hood
Marketplace/Rafel Garcia

Improving upon one of the most significant automobiles ever produced by the Ford Motor Company, the 1936 Fords offered updated styling, including an inverted pentagonal grille with all-vertical bars beneath a longer hood, as well as three horizontal chrome side strips on DeLuxe models.

The ’36s also featured redesigned fenders and wheels—pressed steel instead of wire—that gave the car a more modern appearance. And, yes, finished in black, it also has the look of something a gangster might drive. Inside, the Fordor offered comfortable bench seating, stylish Johansson instrumentation, and typical amenities of the era.

1936 Ford Model 48 Fordor Sedan side
Marketplace/Rafel Garcia

This seller of this barn find, which is offered on Hagerty Marketplace and located in Van Nuys, California, notes that the Deluxe sedan (Chassis/VIN 2560487) features pivoted rear quarter windows, one-piece welded steel wheels, torque-tube drive, double-drop X-type frame, downdraft carburetor, and rearview mirror. The odometer displays 65,431 miles, but its actual mileage is unknown. Bidding sits at $1500 with nearly a week left in the auction, which ends Wednesday, October 11 at 4 p.m. EDT. A spare driveshaft and additional leaf-spring suspension components are included.

Since a similar 1935 Ford Model 48 Fordor Sedan Deluxe in #4 (Fair) condition has an average value of $11,400, the potential buyer of this ’36 Fordor Deluxe might be able to snag a deal. The barn-find dust is a bonus.




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    May I please correct–Production 36 Fords do not have stainless steel bodies, nor do any other Fords. The stainless steel Fords you refer to were a handful of promotional vehicles to promote the virtues of SS. They also made a few later Fords and Square Birds as well as the 60’s Continental in stainless as well. Stainless is very hard on the stamping dies compared to mild carbon steel. To stamp out these body panels in SS destroys those expensive dies. Am guessing they stamped the stainless with worn tooling towards the end of its life. Suggest reading the article in Hemmings (couple of years ago) on this subject…

    Wish I had skipped to the comments first. When I read that sentence I didn’t finish the article until after I spent a good amount of time searching the internet. Reading your comment would’ve saved me a lot of time!

    The 36 Ford coupe is one of the most graceful mass-market, average person priced designs ever. The Calori coupe customized this in a timeless way.

    This CUV body version… doesn’t do it for me. It looks stubby, “gangster cars” should look long in my (false) mental image.

    The good news is it’s a Ford, they made millions of them, and parts are plentiful. The bad news is it’s a Ford, they made millions of them, and they aren’t worth a boatload of money

    TG those millions of 1936 Ford Coupes you speak of: Tell us all where they are so we can so easily acquire one.

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