Custom Car Chronicle
custom carsEarly Custom CarsThe Mark Murray Collection

1936 Ford sedan for sale in 1949.




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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


Update 2 February 2015.

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.

CCC-36-ford-chopped-sedan-zeke-05This photo shows the very nice body work on the moldedd in Chevy headlights and the splash pan.

CCC-36-ford-chopped-sedan-zeke-06The four photos of the 1936 Ford from the Zeke Carrillo Collection.

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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)

11 thoughts on “1936 Ford sedan for sale in 1949.

  • Someone had a very good eye for how everything flows together,especially the rear. I’m not a sedan guy, but I’d have that car in a ” New York” minute.

  • This is by far one of my most favourite customs of all time, learning about the way the fenders were molded in with a nice sharp crease rather than rounded as well as the radiused splash pans . Mate this has given me so many more period idea’s for my 38 dodge fargo tilt bed hauler. Even the wheel treatment matches what I’m planning.

    This is just a superb story. Well done Rik.

  • Rik…This is one tasteful ’36 Tudor. There were guys that actually preferred 2-dr sedans for a myriad of reasons…Low initial cost and high production rate (easy availability, hence less dough), a back seat in which to wrestle with your date or have your pals ride along. If well done they can look nicer than a 5/window of the same year. The two gals perched on the back of the car at D&B is clearly a superimposed shot…

    • Thank you for pointing out the superimposed girls in one of the photos. It obviously is the same photo from the Mark Murray Collection, but then with the girls photoshopped in it. I guess I was so excited to see more photos of this great customs I did not even look close enough to see it myeself. I have now removed this photo from the article.

  • No no no!…The two gals superimposed or not are part of the car’s photo history…Put the photo back in! I only meant to point it out. It actually has a certain appeal. It was certainly done during the era. Please reinstate it. Thank you, David.

    • Hello David,
      Sorry, but the girls where photoshopped into the image “recently”. It was not done back in the day. I have proof of it. The original photo comes from the Mark Murray Collection. His grandfather took the photo, and there were no other copies other than the one in his collection. Besides that I have other proof as well. So it does not belong here.

  • OK…if the photo-trickery is a recent attempt I totally agree with it’s not belonging. As we all know, any history has to remain and be persued with the true historian’s and researcher’s best and most accurate endeavors toward discovering the facts and their presentation. Well done.

  • Beautiful custom! I wonder why the tail light was removed when the car was on the D&B lot?

    Also surprised to see a single exhaust tip, not duals.

  • I just stumbled across this and it seems this is what I have been striving for with my 35 four door project I have a 5 inch chop, narrowed 36 grill, 36 guards made one piece, one piece bonnet and 39 Chevy headlights looking for a more custom look instead of hot rod but I guess its a bit of both. a worked flathead with 3 carbs, headers, 5 speed, 46 I beam and wishbone and red and white tuck and roll on stock seats, I plan on 46 bumpers and will have to think about doing the same as this between the body and bumpers as it really works. I get some flack for using a four door as a base for a custom but this car gives a little weight the the idea.

  • This car just blows my mind. I think I’ve read this article no less than 15 times. I’m obsessed with this car.

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