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Brian Holden 1936 Ford


Brian Holden 1936 Ford


Brian Holden rescued a Street Rodded 1936 Ford and restyled it into this gorgeous  vintage looking Custom. The Holy Grail of tail dragging Customs.

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Brian Holden is a 67 year old (2017) car-guy from Vancouver, British Columbia and has been interested in Hot Rods & Custom Cars all his life. When he was a kid in the 1950’s and 60’s he spend his allowance on the Little Pages, Hot Rod and Rod & Custom magazine etc. Day dreaming about those cool cars and how he just knew something similar would be his in the not to distant future. And right he was about that, the future would bring Brian many Hot Rods, Customs, Sports Cars and Bikes.

Brian has had several Custom Cars in the past, a full Custom heavy chopped 1941 Ford Coupe, a Chevy Pick Up, Chopped Beetle, mild custom Ford Shoebox. But for his latest project Brian wanted something he was always dreaming about. The Holy Grail of all early style Tail-Dragging Customs, the 1936 Ford three window Coupe. He located his base coupe, disguised as a street rod with large diameter wheels, forward rake, but if you looked past all that, it was a perfect start for his dream project.

Brian’s 1936 Ford chopped 3-window coupe parked next to his colorful house in Vancouver BC.

Before the car could be Custom Restyled it needed to be de-street-rodded. The wheels and tires had to go, the suspension set-up had to be change a lot to give the car the right stance. Brian bought a set of white wall radial tires from Coker, radial tires that look like bias ply tires (Bias look Radials as Cooker called them). Those with the steel wheels were mounted to make sure the stance of the car was right. During this time the body was taken off the frame, to make work easier, and to check the condition of the body. The body turned out to be in excellent shape with no rust what so ever, the ideal base for his project.

The rear window opens with the factory stock window crank.

The interior of Brian’s 1936 Ford coupe looks very classic with the all cream colored all custom made dash, the Crestliner steering wheel and the beautiful vintage looking Naugahyde upholstery with white piping and burgundy carpeting.

Drivers point of view…

Close up of the beautifully designed and all custom made dash.

To create a bit more optical space the headliner was done in a light colored material.

With everything put back together, the car now looked already far better with its black wheels and white wall tires on a much better stance. Now it was time to take the car to Laurie Peterson from Canada Kustoms & Hot Rods for the Custom Restyling. The main feature would be the chopped top. It was decided that lowering the top with 3½ inch would work best for what Brian had in mind. Careful cutting and hand shaped filler pieces insured very little filler was needed and it made the top look like it came from the factory this way. Walden Speed Shop created the metal filler piece for the roof insert, and was welded in place by Laurie.

Grille, hood, hood-sides are all left factory stock, just cleaned up and fitted perfectly. Turn signals are integrated inside the stock ’36 Ford headlights. The bumper was cleaned up by removing the bumper guards.

Stock taillights were used on the rear, and here the bumper guards were also removed for a cleaner, more custom look.

The trunk is upholstered just as nice as the rest of the interior.

The car came with glass fenders, which fitted the car perfect, so there was no need to replace them. To make the fenders fit the Custom theme better, the smooth glass running boards were replaced with Bob Drake aftermarket steel running boards with replica rubber covers. And for the ultimate taildragger look Brian added a set of glass teardrop shaped skirts to the rear fenders.

Brian’s plan was to create the ultimate from both worlds. A vintage looking Custom, with modern handling allowing for daily use if needed, long drives, and “easy” regular maintenance. The Street Rod based car turned out to be ideal for his plan. For the interior Brian had a similar plan, all vintage Custom looks combined with some more modern comforts. Brian wanted something special for the dash, so Laurie created one completely from scratch. An all new dash with a beautiful Custom, coachbuilt look, hidden behind the dash were some modern comforts as AC and heating. Another vintage interior component was a beautiful Ford Crestliner steering wheel. The color of the steering wheel rim was matched and repeated on the Custom made dash, which binds everything nicely together.

Brian’s chocolate brown 1936 Ford 3-window Coupe looks perfect from any angle. This low angle front three quarter view makes it look like it is emerging from the water like a vintage speed boat. The Perfect Custom look.

A profile view of Brian’s 1936 Ford Coupe shows the real beauty of this vintage looking, and comfortably driving beauty.

The seat is stock ’36 Ford, but completely rebuilt for ultimate comfort, before it was upholstered in wonderful looking burgundy vintage Naugahyde tuck & roll nicely finished with contrasting white piping. The door panels were done with the same material, all in vintage styling. The floor was covered with loop style burgundy carpets, and just as the rest of the interior these were finished in white piping as well. The chopped window garnish molding were chrome plated, and the windows were modified to work electric. To make it all look good the original window cranks activate the electric system. All the glass was replaced with new Coke Bottle Green glass, which gives the car a very nice luxurious look.

Perfect finish and paint.

Chevy 350 engine.

Vintage “Coke bottle green” tinted glass on all 4 windows make the car look even more classic.

Brian has created his ultimate Custom chopped ’36 Ford Coupe, and has enjoyed it for some time now. It handles, drives and looks fantastic, but Brian’s mind is already working on a next project… not even sure what that will be, but he knows it will be a full Custom Project. Brian is one of those guys who wants everything, but he can only manage 2 cars at a time. Brian had his ‘36 Ford and a 1940 Ford DeLuxe Coupe (which is there to stay), so in the summer of 2017 the time had come and the ’36 had to find a new owner… so that Brian can move on to the next project. The new owner will ship Brian’s ’36 Ford to France where he lives.

Brian Holden’s 1936 Ford 3 Window Coupe Kustom Specs

The car was built with the look of an early traditional custom, but has the ability to be driven and maintained like a modern car. It shows beautifully, and drives comfortably at any speed. All work is done by skilled professionals. Many thanks to Laurie Peterson from “Canada Kustoms & Hot Rods” The car has not been shown in any major car show or magazine, so that can be the joy for the new owner.

The Body

  • The body is steel with absolutely no rust, the fenders are glass
  • The roof is chopped 3½ inch
  • The roof-insert is steel, built by Walden Speed Shop in Pomona California
  • All the custom work was performed by Laurie Peterson from Canada Kustoms & Hot Rods
  • The paint is polished base coat / clear coat, and shows beautifully with very few and very minor imperfections.

The Interior

  • The interior features a one-off custom made steel dashboard. It has an Auburn style engine turned gauge insert filled with vintage style Autometer gauges.
  • There are two original 1936 Ford round ashtrays, one at each en of the dash. These are used as vents for the Vintage Air + Heat system which is neatly hidden behind the dash.
  • Stock window cranks are used to activate power windows in the doors.
  • The rear window rolls down effortlessly with the stock handle.
  • All windows are in perfect condition and have the vintage Coke Bottle Tint
  • The interior has a stock 1936 Ford seat which is rebuilt, and very comfortable.
  • The upholstery is vintage Naugahyde in burgundy with white stitching and trim.
  • The carpeting is loop style burgundy, with white Naugahyde edging
  • The steering wheel is a Limeworks Ford Crestliner X-type wheel in a cream color.
  • The dash is painted in the same cream color to match the steering wheel, and burgundy to match the upholstery, there is a gold pinstripe to separate the two colors.


  • 1936 Ford reinforced frame
  • New crossmember & transmission mount
  • Ford Mustang 2 front suspension
  • Power Rack & Pinion steering
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • Posies rear parralel leaf springs
  • 2 inch lowering blocks
  • Ford 9” differential with 3:55 gears fresh rebuild with disc brakes.
  • The wheels are steel from Wheel Vintiques
  • The tires are new from Coker they are Bias-look Radials they look and handle great!


  • Freshly built Chevy 350 Cu. In.
  • 4 bolt mains
  • 194 heads
  • Mild cam
  • Edelbrock 650 carb
  • Electronic ignition
  • Block hugger headers
  • Polished aluminum air cleaner, valve covers and air compressor
  • Polished aluminum 4 core radiator
  • Chrome GM onewire alternator
  • Stainless steel exhaust pipes.


  • 100/R/4 – 4 Speed Autotrans
  • B+M Hot Rod Shifter
  • Electical
  • All new wiring harness
  • The main fuse panel is neatly hidden behind the drivers side kick panel for easy access.
  • The harness for air conditioning & heat is behind the passenger side kick panel.

When Brian bought the car it was a Street Rod. Big wheels, forward rake, painted smooth glass running boards.

During the remake of the Street Rod into a Custom Car the body was lifted off the frame.

This photo was taken after the stance had been adjusted, white wall tires and steel wheels were added… making it already look so much better.

Chopping the top three and a half inches.

Careful planning and precision cuts made sure the main work on the top could be done all in metal, only a very thin skim-coat of filler was needed in the end.

Filler panels were created in the rear corners of the roof. Walden Speed Shop created the roof insert filler panel which was blended into the body by Laurie Peterson.

Construction of the Custom Dash.

When it came time for the color Brian contacted Rik Hoving Kustoms to create a few different color proposals. Brian had a few modern color in mind, colors that had a nice vintage look, and could possibly work with what he had in mind. In the end the colors that were chosen for these digital proposals all just did not have the look and feel Brian was hoping for, but the test did guide him into the final color. A custom mixed chocolate brown.

A few of the color samples Brian had in his mind before setting to chocolate brown.

Body fine tuning and then… paint.

Cruising time with Brian’s buddy Bob Larson and his Matranga inspired green 1940 Mercury.



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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