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Leroy Carson 36 Ford Survivor




Jeff Neppl visited the October 2016 Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield California. One car stood out to him, this 1936 Ford Cabriolet mild custom Survivor.

On October 21-23 the annual Hot Rod Reunion was held at the Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield California. The races are quite a¬†spectacle, and then there is the parking lot area. And there some very interesting cars appear every years. This year Jeff Neppl visited the event, and came across this mildly restyled 1936 Ford Cabriolet that was restyled in 1946. The ’36 Ford was presented¬†as a wedding present to Leroy Carson in 1946. Some of the old photos shown further on in the article where taken on Leroy and Margaret Carson’s¬†honeymoon in San Francisco.

ccc-leroy-carson-36-ford-survivor-01The car is still wearing the original black paint. Despite Leroy’s last name, the top on the car is an original folding top.

ccc-leroy-carson-36-ford-survivor-02The 1938 Buick Bumpers were added some time after Leroy got the car.

Back in 1946 the Ford was mildly updated with a set of ripple disc single bar flipper hubcaps, fender skirts a new interior and a mild lowering of the suspension. Over the years a few more things were modified, but the car always remained a mild custom resembling the feeling as how it was first created.¬†The car’s¬†engine was updated with Eddie Meyer heads and a two carb intake manifold. The stock bumpers were replaced with some bolder 1938 Buick units. The fender skirts were updated with Buick trim, a set of spotlights was installed and the steering wheel was replaced with the popular Mercury Monterey accessory steering wheel.

ccc-leroy-carson-36-ford-survivor-03Eddie Meyer heads with a two carb intake and a Thuckstun air-cleaner.

ccc-leroy-carson-36-ford-survivor-04The custom upholstery in bright red and white is the original Leroy had installed, and so is the rare Mercury Monterey accessory steering wheel. 

The Ford was Leroy’s¬†daily driver untill 1962, when Leroy‚Äôs son Tommy broke a piston while drag racing a 1958 Chevy Impala. After that the car was put in storage where it¬†remained until the entire Carson Collection was purchased in 2010. two years later Leroy passed away. The current owners of the car who took it to the 2016 Hot Rod Reunion are¬†Bobby Gaines & Dave McMillen.

ccc-leroy-carson-36-ford-survivor-05The two photos of the left show the car in its first version when Leroy and Margaret had just received the car. Those photos were taken on their honeymoon. The photo on the right shows the car with he Buick bumper and the added spotlights.

ccc-leroy-carson-36-ford-survivor-06A few more photos from the Honeymoon trip to San Francisco in the ’36 Ford.

ccc-leroy-carson-36-ford-survivor-07The photos on the right show the car with added white wall tires, the top photo has Leroy’s son Tommy posing with the car. The photo on the bottom left shows the ’36 Ford next to Leroy’s 1955 Chevy which he bought brand new.

It is truly amazing that a car like this has survived, and has never been touched after it was stored in 1962. It is also amazing that in all those years Leroy owned the car, and used it as his driver, the car was not updated more than it has. Most other cars were updated when the scene changed, but not Leroy’s ’36 Ford Cabriolet. A true time machine.

Special thanks to Jeff Neppl for taking the photos.

(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)

3 thoughts on “Leroy Carson 36 Ford Survivor

  • Incredible , just like that another (to me) unknown fourties custom car ,
    twilight zone stuff !! Thanks for showing , , very inspiring !

  • I’s as much fun seeing Forties folks proudly posing, as those gow jobs themselves. And the backgrounds really take you back. Really gives you the feel of how it was, back in those days of old gold dreams. Keep ’em comin’, Rik.

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