While the phrase “pre-war classic” often conjures images of tired museum pieces that hang out with clueless volunteers, it can also stand for something great. The pre-war market is full of amazing design, impressive reliability and style in huge quantities. And with that in mind, this awesome ’35 Ford 3-window is a living example of why, almost a century after their introduction, these cars still enjoy a dedicated fanbase. Featuring a traditional flathead V8 and correct 3-speed transmission, this coupe probably spent the better part of its 80 years as a stylish cruiser used for family fun. And today, fully restored and fully detailed, it’s poised for the spotlight and destined for the show field. If you’re ready to step up to the charm and class that made America great, take a closer look at this pre-war Ford!
Approaching this Model 48, it’s difficult not to be taken with its sleek profile. To achieve those striking good looks, the car had to be a solid starting point that benefitted from top notch metalwork. And once that metalwork was complete, it had to be shot with some of the best Blue two-stage on the market. Now, I know paintwork is often questionable on traditional pre-war cars, but this Ford’s shine is first rate all the way. Reflections are straight and unbroken. There are no major imperfections visible anywhere. And overall, the car literally defines the term blue chip blue oval.
There really isn’t much you can do to make a 30s-era Ford more attractive. The car’s streamlined styling was a home-run when originally introduced; and today, it’s a stunning example of some of the strongest elements of the highly regarded Art Deco movement. At the front of this super cool coupe, a bold stainless grille, which serves as the focal point of the car’s classy façade, flows past bullet-style headlamps and ornate Sparton horns into a prominent, pointed chin. At the sides of that chin, sculpted fenders rake from a blue-detailed spring bumper past a four-piece, stainless-trimmed hood that’s accented by a gorgeous “V8” ornament. Behind those fenders, traditional, covered running boards parallel small red pinstripes to frame old school bear claws, simple chrome door handles and elegant chrome mirrors. Between those mirrors, a small stainless wiper clears a tilting windshield in front of a correct Colonial Grain roof and like-new greenhouse glass. And opposite that wiper, a continental-style spare rides between correct Duo lamp tail lights, a second blue-detailed bumper and a pristine, “V8” branded exhaust tip.
As the company’s final Henry Ford-fueled innovation, the Ford V8 remains a durable, torque-rich powerplant that, thanks to solid engineering, has established an unmatched reputation in the classic and custom car community. And, in keeping with tradition, this stellar Ford 3-window is powered by a correct 221 cubic inch flathead V8 that, thanks to relatively tame 6.12 to 1 compression, makes roughly 90 horsepower. The antique engine has undoubtedly been rebuilt, and probably looks much better today than when it growled off the assembly line. Aesthetically, the block, which perches a familiar oiled air cleaner and rare 2-barrel carburetor above correct, 21-stud heads, has been painted a traditionally dark hue. There are many fresh pieces like pliable hoses, a rebuilt 6-volt generator, and correct Autolite spark plugs. A glossy blue firewall combines with the car’s broad fenders to frame those pieces in a sea of old school bliss. And overall, this sedan’s clean engine bay is a charming and 100% functional step back into a much simpler, and some would say much better, period in American automotive history.
Speaking of simpler times, take one look under this reliable 48 and you’ll see just how much the automotive world has changed when it comes to ride, handling and structural integrity. The car’s clean floors, heavy duty frame and factory-accurate suspension are veiled in a subdued coat of satin black paint. A correct 3-speed manual still lives behind the rock-solid engine, proving ‘simple is good’ by doing an excellent job of twisting an authentic, banjo-style rear end. In front of that transmission, a beam axle and relocated leaf spring, an innovation heavily touted by 30s-era Ford execs, free up much needed interior space. And behind that transmission, a second leaf and second solid axle help maintain ride height and add a little extra grip. At the corners of the car, four wheel manual drum brakes provide slow and solid stops. At the center of the car, there’s a low maintenance, single-pipe exhaust system to give the flathead its unmistakable voice. And everything rolls on a striking combination of bright red wires, fresh 6.00-16 Olympic whitewalls and blue-detailed, “V8” branded hub caps.
This coupe’s warm and welcoming interior looks straight out of pre-war America complete with simple fabrics, tastefully neutral paint and awesome art deco gauges. The car’s cockpit centers on a heavily bolstered seat, officially dubbed Ford Center-Poise, which provides good comfort and great visibility. At the sides of that seat, simple door panels hang painted handles below neutral window frames. At the bottom of those panels, traditional foot pedals front an artistically curved shifter, a chrome-trimmed emergency brake and heavy rubber flooring. Above those pedals, a stylish and simplistic dash hangs an optional AM radio behind unique Bakelite buttons. Above that dash, a correct headliner seals a vintage speaker between a clock-equipped mirror and a shaded rear window. In front of the driver, a painted, 3-spoke steering wheel frames a “V8” branded steering column. And behind the cockpit, two small steps meander into a fully restored rumble seat.
The sale of this elegant pre-war classic includes a vintage Ford repair manual and a large Ford hardware manual.
With its elegant looks and proven running gear, this finely-tuned classic deserves a future in the limelight. And if you’re ready to start taking home trophies and making tons of car show friends, it’s time to put this awesome Ford Model 48 in your garage!