Jack Calori's 1936 Ford

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1936 Ford 3W Coupe built by Jack Calori and Herb Reneau. Jack bought the car from its original owner in 1947 to use as a tow car for his 1929 Ford Roadster. Jack had the car stored in Herb's garage and without much prior discussion, Herb cut the top off the car. Jack liked the idea and he and Herb continued to kustomize the car. To get the right stance (a four inch ride height) Jack Z'd the rear of the frame and installed a dropped axle in front while Herb finished the 3 inch top chop. In addition they modified the car with a 1939 LaSalle grille, a clamshell hood, Buick teardrop skirts and molded 1940 Chevrolet headlights. The hood was lengthened three inches, and the side panels were louvered. The stock bumpers were replaced by bumpers from a 1941 Ford. At the rear the license plate was recessed into the deck lid, and 1941 Hudson taillights were installed. Herb did all the bodywork on Jacks coupe. The build was completed in 1948.

Inside, the upholstery door panels and top were finished in dark red leatherette with ivory trim and numerous fittings were chromed. A unique feature of interior was a chrome tray which pulled out from right dash panel

When Jack sold his 1929 Ford roadster, he kept the engine, a 59AB from a 1946 Mercury, and installed it in the coupe. The engine was bored and stroked 1/8 inch each way. It was equipped with a Clay Smith cam, a Lincoln distributor, Eddie Meyer heads, and a Weiand intake and Potvin ignition. The oil pan, dipstick tube, water pumps, generator case, and oil filler/breather were all chromed, and the heads and intake were polished. Jack tested the Coupe with the new engine in a Rusetta Timing Association run, and he clocked the car at 114.50 mph in 1948. It was a hot engine, both in performance and temperature. The was no room for a fan and the grille limited airflow. Several methods were tried to improve cooling (louvers, air scoop under the bumper and a larger water tank) but none ever solved the overheating problem.

Jack traded the coupe in on a brand-new 1950 Mercury. The car went from Lynwood to Minnesota, then several years later the car was found by Roger Domini in Washington. Roger owned the car for many years and in 2003 Jorge Zaragoza of El Paso, Texas purchased the car and had Roy Brizio Street Rods restore it. The paint was done by Darryl Hollenbeck at Vintage Color Studio in Concord, California.

In 2005 the car won best in class in the first Early Custom Cars 1935-1948 class at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It also won the Dean Bachelor Award at the same show.

Today the car is displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Magazine Features

Hot Rod Magazine November 1949
Trend Book 102 Hot Rods
Rodders Journal Number 31


Retro Rods

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