Custom Car Chronicle
Early Custom CarsThe Howard Gribble Collection

Frank Sandoval 36 Ford




Howard Gribble shared these photos of Frank Sandoval’s 1936 Ford coupe from the mid 1940’s. A trip back in time.

When I see photos like these of Frank Sandoval’s 1936 Ford mild restyled Coupe, it always makes me wonder, how many of these relatively mildly restyled cars were there in the 1940’s? There seams to be a huge amount of photos of this type of restyled car. It appears that the number of photos of the famous and not so famous fully Customs Cars are far fewer than the once showing this type of Customs. Of course it does make sense, since a mildly restyled car is something every handy guy could do himself, or have a local shop do for his newspaper round money. And this type of restyling did already set your car apart from the cars your parent would drive, or which you would see across the street. I guess that we are just not used to see these cars in great numbers today, were we can see photos of fully customized cars in the magazines and books produced back in the day and now. Perhaps the fact that the young guys from the 1940’s are slowly passing away, and photo collections showing their daily driven mildly restyled cars are passed on to family members who share them with the world, or just gave them away to the guy they know who happens to like cars more they they do.

In any event, I’m really happy these photos of these stylish, mildly restyled cars are popping up so frequently over the last couple of years. Because it is a style I happen to love very much, and it really gives us a good look how it was back then. The photos that Howard Gribble shared with the Custom Car Chronicle show Frank Sandoval’s 1936 Ford Coupe, that has actually been restyled a little more than the average restyling job. Something that required a bit more than bolt-off and on skills.

CCC-frank-sandoval-36-ford-03The low angle front photo shows the turned upside down 1939 Nash grille sitting in a much narrowed and reshaped 1936 Ford grille surround. Not an easy task to do this.

Lets take a look at Frank’s 1936 Ford Coupe. One of the most obvious restyling done to the car is the front of the car. Frank uses a 1939 Nash grille and flipped it upside down. On the stock Nash car the grille actually is angled back at the bottom, while most other cars have angled back at the top grilles. The Nash unit is also wider at the top than the bottom. For the Ford design it was needed to flip the grille. The nash does not have a grille surround, the grille bars seam to float inside an opening in the body. Frank decided he liked the original 1936 Ford grille surround. So he narrowed it to fit the Nash grille. The top portion was narrowed more than the bottom. The body work on the grille surround looks to be expertly executed This was done either from scratch using sheet metal bend and folded in shape using the stock Ford grille, or perhaps it was based on an aftermarket grille surround or Pines winter grille that was modified to fit the Nash grille. Smooth hood sides replace the stock Ford units for an even smoother look. The end result is a very elegant narrow grille making the Ford look taller and the nose longer, indicating a powerful engine.

CCC-frank-sandoval-36-ford-02Frank looking good with his 1936 Ford in front of the Banning High School in Wilmington, California.

The bumpers were replaced with the ever popular ribbed 1937 Desoto bumpers, a set of amber fog-lights installed and the wheels were dressed up with single bar flipper hubcaps with beauty rings. The bubble fender skirt, possibly a 1940 Ford unit was dressed up with a 1941 Buick, or similar styled aftermarket trim piece, a very popular dress-up part back then. The car was lowered front and rear, but a little more at the rear for the so desirable slight speed boat stance.

So whatever happened to Franks wonderful restyled Ford… we don’t know… but would love to find out.

Thanks to Howard Gribble for sharing these photos with us and Frank’s grandson Dg Jones and his mother Karen for preserving these great pictures.





CCC-frank-sandoval-36-ford-04Howard Gribble did this great old fashion style colorized photo of Frank with his Ford…. great!




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)

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