Following the stunning success of Ford Motor Company’s all-new and handsome V-8 models for 1932, styling moved to the fore with bodies designed by company president Edsel B. Ford – Henry Ford’s immensely talented son, in collaboration with Eugene T. “Bob” Gregorie. A true aficionado of the sleek wood-bodied speedboats plying the waterways near his Grosse Pointe estate, Ford’s design sensibilities were matched by Gregorie, a young former yacht designer from New York. The modern, streamlined Ford bodies for 1936 were refined versions of the prior year’s basic design language, featuring an updated frontal treatment including an all-vertical radiator grille and placement of the horns behind small round grilles to the lower front-fender catwalks, plus redesigned rear fenders.
It was a beautiful design, and buyers agreed, with Ford generating a $17.9 million dollar profit for 1936, thanks to the ongoing success of the company’s revolutionary, popular-price V-8 models, supported by a stronger, improved chassis and careful engineering updates that delivered an enhanced driving and ownership experience. For 1936, production of most bodywork was brought in-house at the Rouge plant in Detroit, along with massive capital investments, which returned dividends in the form of strong profits for 1936. While this success was not accomplished easily or without strife, 1936 also saw the twenty-millionth Ford built, while the success of the world-famous “Flathead” V-8 engine was endorsed with installation in three million Ford vehicles since 1932.
An amazing array of 18 open and closed body styles offered by Ford for 1936 covered virtually any buyer requirement, with Standard and upmarket Deluxe levels of trim and passenger appointments. While buyer preferences clearly began favoring closed, as opposed to traditional, open body styles, Ford began phasing out the traditional “flat back” Convertible Sedan with in favor of a new version featuring a built-in luggage compartment, also referred to as the “trunk-back.”
This 1936 Ford Model 68 “trunk-back” Convertible Sedan is an enjoyable and highly presentable example throughout. Powered of course by Ford’s famed 221 cubic-inch “Flathead” V-8 engine, which carried an 85-horsepower factory rating at just 3,800 engine revolutions, this example is equipped with a proper 3-speed manual transmission. Shiny and consistent Burgundy red paint, matching steel “artillery” wheels with hubcaps and beauty rings, a beige convertible top, Deluxe bumpers, fog lamps, electric windshield wipers, dual chrome swan-neck mirrors, a driver’s side spotlight, and whitewall tires deliver a decidedly upmarket presence. Touring safety is enhanced with retrofitted turn-signal indicators front and rear. Interior features include Brown mottled vinyl upholstery, a wood grain-finished metal dash, “Banjo” steering wheel, and a tan boot cover. The body displays good overall fit with a few minor imperfections found on close inspection, notably, some bubbling on the chrome windscreen frame. The legendary Ford V-8 engine is tidy in presentation and is usefully updated with an alternator-type charging system.
An honest and well-presented example, this 1936 Ford “trunk-back” Convertible Sedan is offered in very nice overall condition, ready to deliver a fun driving experience and a wonderful classic choice for new collectors to own, enjoy, and appreciate.
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