The fifties were a golden era for hot rods and customs. Cars to be used as a foundation were plentiful, whether you purchased a new car to customize or something that was twenty plus years old. Most people in the hobby drove their cars every day as this was a time when having two or even three cars was a rare for all but the wealthiest Americans.
Unfortunately the majority of examples from that era did not survive. Further with each build being unique, unlike a typical restoration or tribute with muscle or classic cars, doing the same with a rod can be tricky. Details can be sketchy on a car’s history and it might have been altered several times by multiple owners. What was popular and available at the time can vary as well, depending on who you talk to.
That’s what makes this eBay find so cool and rare. This well preserved 1935 Ford Roadster, eBay item number 110950323560 is a well preserved, and stunning example of rodding and customizing from the fifties. Further, it’s heritage and documentation going back over sixty years, shore up the provenience of this find.
Found in a LA area garage in 2002, this car is pretty much just as it was when built by Ralph Flaaten in 1950. The only changes noted since it’s discovery are new material for the convertible top, and a reupholstered front seat. The seller, Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory, is even in possession of photographs documenting the car that date back to 1951.
Body alterations are mild and for this and other reasons the car could have been and probably was a daily driver in the 50s. Many of the changes made are typical of a custom or mild build from that era. The windshield and top have been chopped two inches and the rear fenders are from a ’36 Ford and the bumpers from a ’41 Ford and the taillights came from a ’39 Ford. Inside we can see some gauges that don’t appear to be factory, as well as a ’40 Ford steering column and wheel. The paint hue for the car is Chrysler Butterfly Blue, and in spite of some patina and two rust spots, still shows its color quite well.
Time has taken its toll in a few areas on the car. The rumble seat, which is out of the car at this time, needs to be reupholstered. There’s also some rust present on the lower portion of the cowl on the driver’s side and the other at the bumper area.
Powertrain is also typical of the era, a Ford Flathead V8 plucked from a ’40 Ford as well as a ’40 Ford’s manual transmission provide motivation for a rarely seen Columbia two speed rear end. Under the car most things appear to be pretty dry, though the rear end could be a little damp (judging by the picture). Stoker’s claims it’s reliable and has been test drove around the SoCal area.
Starting bid is set at $35,000 and there is a reserve as well. Stoker’s is also asking that the buyer preserve the car as is, rather than try to restore it. We’d have to say that we might find ourselves in a dilemma if handed such a car. The urge to strip it, fix any problems and restore it back to it’s 1951 glory would be fairly strong. However, there’s the argument as well that a car is only original once, and in spite of its rust spots and patina maybe it should be left as is. Either way, this is a great find, and we can’t wait to see where she lands!