Ed Park's 1936 Ford

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A photo of the car taken in front of Ed's folks chicken house not long after he had bought it. Photo courtesy of Ed Park.
Ed didn't know anything about the history of the car when he bought it. In 1977 this photo of the car was published in the "Early Iron" section in the March 1977 issue of Street Rodder Magazine. Seven years later, in 1985, Ed met Red Swanson of Portland, Oregon. Red could tell Ed that he bought the car in 1944. "He said a man he knew put the headlights in the front fenders. And that is all Red had done." Ed still had those fenders in 2020. "Red sold the car in 1949 or 1950 and never saw or heard of it again until he saw it in Street Rodder Magazine." Photo courtesy of Ed Park.
Ed's Ford as it appeared in 2020. Photo courtesy of Ed Park.
Photo courtesy of Ed Park.

1936 Ford Convertible owned by Ed Park of Tacoma, Washington. Ed bought the car in Tacoma, Washington, in November of 1959. Paying $50 for the car, he bought it from the mother of the son who owned the car. "He was in the Navy," Ed told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2020. "At a young age, I always liked his type of custom. Even though at the time I didn't know what I bought. The flathead motor was against the wall in pieces which I left there. It turned out to have been customized in the fifties in Tacoma, even though the car came out of Portland, Oregon. It was done in the Harry Westergard style that was very popular in the Pacific Northwest."[1]


Ed worked at a fast-food drive-in in Tacoma from June 1968 until October of 1961. "Shortly after I got the car I got it over to a garage near where I worked. Two young men came by one day and said they would sell a 1950 Olds engine and put it in for me for $125. They did that, but it turned out to have a turned bearing." Ed then moved the car to his parent's chicken house, where it sat until 1977. "By this time I figured out what I had. The grill is a 1940 LaSalle without the top piece that is attached to the hood. The panels that hook the grille to the fenders were made. The side panels of the hood are solid probably purchased from JC Whitney. The headlights were put in the fenders, but that is another story. The bumpers that were with the car were big ugly ones so I left them. Horn grills were stock. The battery was mounted in the firewall. The cowl vent was leaded in and ’40 Ford windshield wiper towers were installed. The windshield was chopped 1 3/4 inches, a ’49 Mercury dash was narrowed eight inches before installing it. The top frame bows were cut to make it fit. The stock seats were upholstered in maroon and white in a smooth pattern. ’39 Ford taillights were attached to the top of the rear fenders, and a gas flip-up door for the gas tank. Since it is the first club cabriolet it had a trunk with the stock spare tire. I believe they used a ’47 ford as a donor car for the hydraulic brakes, side shifter transmission, steering wheel, and column."[1]


Red Swanson

Ed didn't know anything about the history of the car when he bought it. In 1977 a photo of the car was published in the "Early Iron" section in the March 1977 issue of Street Rodder Magazine. Seven years later, in 1985, Ed met Red Swanson of Portland, Oregon. Red could tell Ed that he bought the car in 1944. "He said a man he knew put the headlights in the front fenders. And that is all Red had done." Ed still had those fenders in 2020. "Red sold the car in 1949 or 1950 and never saw or heard of it again until he saw it in Street Rodder Magazine."[1]


R.I. Steere

Somehow the car wound up in Tacoma, Washington, in the possession of R.I. Steere of Custom Painting and Repair, Automotive Refinishing Body And Fender Work. "Sometime in the late seventies I did talk to his father," Ed told Kustomrama, "but I found out that he had died in a boating accident. At his shop, they used the major part of a 1940 LaSalle grille and made the steel pieces on each side of the grille." The windshield was chopped 1 ¾ inches, the cowl vent was filled in, and 1940 Ford windshield posts were used in the cowl. Solid hood panels found their way onto the car, along with 1939 Ford taillights, and gas filler cover in the left rear fender. On the inside, a 1949 Mercury dash was narrowed eight inches and installed along with a side shifter Ford transmission and a steering wheel and column from a late forties car. It was upholstered in a smooth maroon and white pattern i. "Hydraulic brakes were taken from probably the same Ford with the suspension being early Ford. The rear was lowered by six-inch shackles."[1]


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