1936 Ford sedan for sale in 1949.

 

A STUNNING UNKNOWN

 

Mark Murray has been sharing some amazing early custom car photos with the Custom Car Photo Archive for some years. This collection of photos used to belong to his grandfather, who took photos of the cars he saw on the street and at some car shows and car lots while he lived in Long Beach Ca in the 1940’s and 1950’s



This article was updated Feb – 12 – 2015

He took some photos of some amazing cars at the lot of the famous D & B Auto Sales used car lot. This car lot was specializing in Custom Built Cars and Hot Rods, located at 8221 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood, California. Don Britton owned the company. They usually had a very nice selection of second hand Hot Rods and Custom Cars, and Mark’s grandfather took some photos there on several occasions when he visited the place.

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For this feature we would like to highlight one car at the lot. He took two photos of this very special 1936 Ford sedan. We don’t know anything about this car. There’s no owner name, not a name of the builder, even the color of the car is unknown. The photos are mere snapshots with a telephone pole stuck in front of the car and a 1940 Ford blocking the side, so they are not even great photos. But every custom car enthousiasts feels this car is a wonderful example of the style of custom cars from the late 1940’s. We’ll show you why.

02-Mark_Murray-36FordSedanThe rear end of the car was completely molded into a single piece. Fenders were welded to the body and a custom splash pan was blended from the body and fenders to the 1947-48 Ford bumpers. Notice the addition of the 41-48 Ford gas door in the drivers side rear fender.
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The license plates on the car are from 1949, so more than likely the car was built built shortly after WWII. Starting with a sedan model as a full custom car is rare nowadays, and must have been rare back in the 1940’s as well. Coupes and convertibles were favorable because of their much more appreciated lines. However that sure did not stop the owner of this sedan to built his (or have it built) dream custom. The work on the car looks like it’s been been done by a very good craftsman or shop. Everything is very well balanced and each modification is enhancing the lines and other modifications.


01-Mark_Murray-36FordSedanThe photo from the front shows the molded in Chevy headlights, custom made and molded in splashpan and smooth hood sides. The chop is very well balanced with the rest of the body.
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The top has been chopped several inches, and the spare tire cover lowered to fit behind the rear bumper. The fenders both front and rear have been molded to the body using a rather sharp blend. The fenders were welded to the body and the seam filled in, but not rounded like we are so used to on the customs from the era.This gives the car a very smooth but still sharp look. A set of most likely 1940 Chevy headlights are molded low into the front fenders. Both on the front and rear, new splash pans were created and molded into the body. These were molded in with a much larger radius than the fenders and make the pans flow out from the body very nicely. A set of 1947-48 Ford bumpers were installed front and rear. The original taillight pods were removed, the rear fenders smoothed and we cannot find any evidence for new taillights. But perhaps they are installed under the rear bumper and out of site for the photographer. Most likely a gas filler-door from a 1941 Ford was used on the side of the rear fender.
At the front the stock grille remained in place. It looks like the hood was smoothed and the trim on it removed. The hood sides are smooth aftermarket units.

The car was lowered with what looks like a bit of a speedboat stance set on wide white wall dressed up with Lyon hubcaps. A set of round Spotlights was installed and in the photo showing the rear we can see the spotlight has been turned up, most likely after somebody wanted to have a look at the engine.
The asking price was $950 or perhaps $955, its hard to read in the photo. It was at least more expensive than the 1940 Ford convertible sitting next to it.


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Ever since we first saw these amazing photos taken at the D&B lot we have had a soft spot for this 1936 Ford sedan Custom Car. It just looks so right, it makes you wonder what color it had, dark for sure, but was it black or an perhaps an maroon, or organic green? There’s always the hope that one day somebody will recognize the car and can tell us a little more about it, or perhaps knows what happened to it.



Update February 2015.

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The article above was published here on the CCC in June 2013. We have had some messages from people who really liked the car and how it was customized. But sadly nobody recognized it, or could tell something more about it. A few weeks ago a CCC-Reader send us some old snapshots he had found online. And two of those photos showed this same 1936 Ford sedan. Sadly he could not remember where he had found the photos. So hopefully somebody will rcognize these, and let us know who shared these originally. Perhaps then we will be able to find out something more about this really great looking chopped 1936 Ford Sedan.

It looks like the photos were taken during the same year, 1949 as the photos taken at the D&B Auto Sales lot. The license plate and year tag appear to be the same. I’m not sure if these two new photos were taken before the car was put up for sale by the original owner, or after by a new owner. Hopefully we one day will find out. The only thing different on the car are the motor cycle taillights mounted on the back of the rear bumpers. Possible those were removed when the car was in at the D&B lot. We later found out that these photos now belong to the Zeke Carrillo Collection.

If you know anything about the 1936 Ford in these photos, please let us know. Email Rik



CCC-36-ford-chopped-sedan-zeke-04The new photo of the ’36 Ford shows the small motorcycle taillights mounted behind the rear bumper.
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Update 2 February 2015.

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Two more images of this 1936 Ford Sedan were send to us. Apperently they were offered on ebay some time ago, and are now part of the Zeke Carrillo Collection. One of these photos shows that the car only had one motor cycle taillight mounted on the rear bumpers. I think it is really amazing that so many photos survived of this really well done but unidentified Custom.  Thanks for sending those photos Jamie.



CCC-36-ford-chopped-sedan-zeke-02Only one motorcylce taillights is mounted on the drivers side of the car. The molded in fenders and splashpan look very clean in this photo.
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CCC-36-ford-chopped-sedan-zeke-05This photo shows the very nice body work on the moldedd in Chevy headlights and the splash pan.
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CCC-36-ford-chopped-sedan-zeke-06The four photos of the 1936 Ford from the Zeke Carrillo Collection.
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1949 D & B Auto Sales lot photos

 

D & B AUTO SALES

 

Stan Baker visited the D & B Auto Sales car lot in 1949. He brought his camera with him and shot some of the amazing cars that were for sale that day.


In the later part of the 1940’s and early part of the 1950’s there were several car dealers who were specializing in selling used Custom Cars and Hot Rods. One of those places was owned by Don Britton and located on 8221 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood California. Don advertised his Auto Sales lot in the early years of Hot Rod Magazine, and also in the weekly Motor Sports World in the early 1950’s among other places. Don ran an large ad in the November 1948 issue of Hot Rod Magazine. He had Tom Medley do a nice cartoon for it. The later ads were much smaller and only had text to advertise the Hot Rod and Custom Cars he had for sale.


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[box_light]Most of the photos shown here come from the Mark Murray Collection. Mark inherited these amazing photos from his grandfather Stan Baker. See more articles we did on the Mark Murray Collection here on the Custom Car Chronicle.[/box_light]


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This photo taken by Strother Mac Minn is included in the article because it shows the small wooden D & B office really well. We can also see in this photo that the whole lot was covered with colorful flags hanging from the telephone poles to the office building.
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In 1949 Stan Baker visited the D & B Auto Sales lot and took a dozen or so photo of the car he thought were most interesting. And interesting they are. This was 1949, and the car at the lot were a bit older Custom Cars and Hot Rods at the time. We see some very creative cars in these photos. Perhaps not all as attractive as some of the more famous one we know from the magazines. But we have to remember that most of these cars were built before any major car magazine featured Custom Cars. Most of these cars were build by builders inventing the style back then.  Stan Baker loved Custom Cars, as we sure can tell from these amazing photos.


CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-06-WChopped 1936 Ford 5-window coupe with blanked out rear windows. The side pieces of the grille were widened to make the actual grille much smaller, creating a much taller looking front end. The fenders ere reshaped to fit a pair of 1940 Ford headlights placed just above the 1941 Ford bumper. The rear of the front fender was also reshaped after the running boards were removed. The painted wheels with small hubcaps give this car an real early 1940’s feel. When was it originally built?
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-05-WThe rear of the 1936 Ford shows the reshaped front fender and the body extension to hide the frame after the running boards were removed. Interesting is that this extension is molded to the body, and not done as a separate piece as we normally see with this modification. Keeping the drip rail in place after the side window was filled in seems and odd choice.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-04-W1938-39 Ford sedan with the running board removed and reshaped fenders. The hood sides were reshaped and welded into one single unit. The grille looks to be hand made from round tubing or stock. Early sealed beam headlights are painted body color and the 1941 Ford bumper sits on a custom molded in splash pan. The car sits rather high, like most of the early Custom Cars. Sitting next to is on the let is a near stock 1940 Mercury with small spotlights.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-07-W(top and bottom) 1941 Chevy coupe full Custom with a rather heavy chop. The chop has a typical early style bulge shape at the back, and not the more pleasing flowing shape that came after the Matranga Mercury. All fenders were molded in, the taillights replaced with small round units.  The grille opening was reshaped and the top section towards the hood removed and replaced with shaped metal to be part of the body. It looks like the grille bars are from the original grille and the surround was hand made or reshaped from other material.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-03-WWe already did an CCC-Article on this very nicely done 1936 Ford Sedan some time ago, but figured these two photos needed to be included in this article as well.
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Two ads from a series of ads that D & B used in Motor Sport World magazine (Newspaper format)
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-08-W(Top and bottom) 1941 Cadillac sixty-one mild Custom. Mostly stock, but with the hood emblems and ornaments removed for a much cleaner look. Appleton Spotlights and a new paint job. The top photo gives us a nice look at some other cars in the lot.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-09-WThis one is hard to identify. It looks like a 1939 or 1940 Buick could have been the base for this custom convertible. A cut down grille from a 1946-47 Cadillac was used. Combined with a 1941 Oldsmobile front bumper. If this started out as a 1940 Buick then the headlights were repositioned., more outwards and lower thanstock. The interesting thing is that there seems to be a lot of work done on this car, but the windshield appears to be stock height.
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In the early 1950’s D&B owner Don Britten owned this Sam Foose sectioned 1950 Ford. The car was featured in several early magazine, although Don was not always listed as the owner. So most likely he sold his own car on the D & B lot as well.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-12-WAnother photo taken by Strother MacMinn shows more of the colorful flags covering the lot.
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CCC-WesCollins1934FordRoadsterTRJ01This interesting color photo from the late 1940’s comes from the Pat Ganahl Collection. The Rodder’s Journal published his article on this car, the Wes Collin’s 1934 Ford in RJ issue 51. This and two more taken of the same car at the same time are the only color photos from the D & B Auto Sales lot I have ever seen.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-16-WD & B Auto Sales had this half page ad in the November, 1948 issue of Hot Rod magazine. Tom Medley did the cartoon for it. (Thanks to Jamie Barter for the scan.)
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Resources / more info

  • Hot Rods & Custom Cars, Rare photographs by Strother MacMinn, ISBN 978-0-9661017-1-3
  • Rodder’s Journal, Issue #51
  • Hot Rod Magazine, November 1948
  • Motor Sport World, 1951 issues

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The Mark Murray Collection: Buddy Ohanesian Mercury

WESTERGARD BERTOLUCCI MERCURY ON THE SALT

We have been sharing some fine examples of the Mark Murray Collection before. This time you can see four snapshots taken most likely at an early 1950’s Bonneville event. The exact year is unknown, since no dates were printed on the photos, but our guess is 1951.

Mark’s amazing collection of photos used to belong to his grandfather, who took photos of the cars he saw on the street and at some car shows and car lots and races, while he lived in Long Beach Ca in the 1940′s and 1950′s. The car in all four photos is the Buddy Ohanesian 1940 Mercury, built by Harry Westergard and Dick Bertolucci. This custom car is seen by many as one of the best, if not THE best custom car ever built. The snapshot taken by Mark’s grandfather, shows the car parked in the spectator area behind the cord.

It really is amazing to see the car sits so low, knowing that they had to drive at least a day to get from Sacramento where Harold “Buddy” Ohanesian lived, to the Salt Flats. The photos show the car in the early Bertolucci version with the motor cycle taillights and the painted but still separated headlights. So we know these are taken prior the 1952 Bertolucci updates which included 1947 Ford taillights into custom made tops and molded in headlights among other things. We will save all the gorgeous details on the Ohanesian Mercury for an planned in depth article.

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