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Bob Fairman 36 Ford Restoration




After sitting in a field left to the elements for year. The iconic Bob Fairman Jimmy Summers chopped 1936 Ford with fade away fenders is finally getting restored.

In the Spring of 2009 some photos of the Jimmy Summers / Bob Fairman 1936 Ford Custom sitting all rusted away in a field in Ohio, were shared on the internet. It was big news at the time that another early Jimmy Summers created Custom Car had survived. Even thought it seemed to be in a very poor state, left over to the elements for years, it was still amazing to see. And we all wondered how this once trend setting Custom could have been in such a state all the way on the other side of the US, from where it was created.

How the Jimmy Summers Ford sat in a field in Ohio in 2009.

In the full Story on the Bob Fairman Ford on the Custom Car Chronicle we did in December of 2016, we have gathered as much information as we were able to find. And it was quite an amazing story. The best part of the story was that the car was eventually pulled from the field and that it was destined to be restored. Good New! But then years of silence about the Fairman Ford, some people said that the restoration had started, others mentioned it was just sitting, but inside, not deteriorating any further. Then in October 2016, the rusted remains of the Ford plus a few gathered parts were offered for sale here on the CCC. Due to legal issues the then owner had to stop the sale, and the car “disappeared” from the radar again. Legal issues sometimes mean, we will never see it again.

This is how the Bob Fairman ’36 Ford originally looked like back in the early 1940’s.

On October 19th 2017 we received an email from Jim, that he had some great Custom Car News he wanted to share with us. Very excited, we had to wait another day to find out what this Great Custom Car News was. The News was that the Bob Fairman 1936 Ford restyled by Bob and Jimmy summers in the late 1930’s or very early 1940’s has a new owner, and that the restoration of this iconic Custom has started..

We let Jim tell the story.
“So after trying to buy this car for years, I was finally able to close the deal and acquire it. It is rough for sure but very much restorable. One of the coolest things about it is that the car is way more complete than anyone thought.
Included with the car were the original bumpers, front fenders, hood tops and sides, nicely preserved original chrome garnish moldings (apparently stored indoors), and the original fender skirts.

Upon finally getting it in our possession we were able to discover some of the coolness, like the fact that Jimmy removed and smoothed out the body bead that surrounds the rear bustle of the car around the trunk And the way he fabricated the original door poppers which are still amazingly intact. The amazing craftsmanship of Summers work is absolutely outstanding.”

This is how the Bob Fairman/Jimmy Summers 1936 Ford sits in October 2017. All the parts that came with the car put back together for the first time in many years. A set of new wheels and white wall tires mounted give a good feel for how it once looked.  As Jim mentioned there is a lot of rust, and a lot of metal is gone, which will take time to restore. But its not impossible, and the good thing is it is far more complete than he had thought.

The ’41 Ford bumpers have the chrome plating completely stripped from being in the field for so long. This photo shows how the fade away panels are separate units bolted to the body panels, just like the original fenders, and not welded and molded in like most customs had.

Close up shows the restyled work from Jimmy Summers and Bob Fairman on the character lines, and how the rear license plate was set it. The plate most likely sat in a small box mounted behind the opening.

It feels so amazing to see the car back on its feet again, and knowing that the restoration team will do its magic to make it look just like it did when the car was freshly restyled  75+ years ago.

Close up shows the reworked front fenders and ’37 – ’38 Ford headlights that were added. The front section of the drivers side hood has been completely rotten away, and will need to be replaced.

This photo of the car that Jim send gave me goose bump all over… It is so good to see the car back again. Most of the lower sections of the fade away fender panels are gone as well, but it can and will all be fixed according to Jim.

Lots of rust on the drivers side door fade away panel. The lower sections were sitting in the dirt for a number of years. The restoration team will try to keep as much from the original car as possible during the restoration.

This is such amazing news, to see new photos of the Bob Fairman – Jimmy Summers 1936 Ford now owned by Jim who will completely restore the car to how it looked in the early 1940’s. See the car sitting of four wheels, with all of the remaining parts put back on the car again.  We cannot wait to see more progress on this Iconic Jimmy Summers Custom. Jim also mentioned that they found some of the original paint left on the inside of the car… So wild!

Thank you Jim for saving this historic Custom Car for future generations to enjoy, and to share it here on the Custom Car Chronicle.

(This article is made possible by)




Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

9 thoughts on “Bob Fairman 36 Ford Restoration

  • Wow ,really like the latest pics with bits attached ! I still remember when the story broke in 2009 that this important car had been found. Great news that the hood + sides , bumpers & skirts etc have survived . Curious as to what the colour that was found inside is . Hope as much as possible of the original car will be retained , even if it’s more work !
    Look forward to seeing updates.

  • So amazing to see the restoration will soon begin, in the original HAMB post they said all the panels were in the cab but to see them in place is so awesome! Who is doing the Resto?

  • I’d love to see the function of the door hinges and fade away panels when the doors are opened on the this old girl, please keep us up to speed on the rebuild.

  • They found some of the original paint left on the inside of the car, ok, but what color is it ?!?

    I saw some dark blue paint inside the fadeway when it was rotting in the field, but i doubt it is the light color we’re searching for !lol!

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