1936 Ford Deluxe Cabriolet - $39,900
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The cabriolet offers arguably the best combination of features for your flathead Ford: a top that goes down, a rumble seat, and windows that roll up so it’s comfortable even when the weather’s against you.

If you haven’t owned a flathead Ford, regardless of your age, you might be denying yourself one of the most enjoyable experiences in motoring. No, they’re not the fastest or most valuable or most exotic of machines, but they’re always enjoyable. And after all, isn’t fun why we’re doing this? Few other cars deliver the flathead’s combination of eager performance, agile handling, and wondrous soundtrack. After all these years, all the maladies that make you scared of the flathead have already been cured and cars like this 1936 Ford Deluxe Cabriolet look far more expensive than they are. You can get a lot of car for the money, and once you’ve been behind the wheel, you’ll realize that it was the best investment you ever made.

The color is called Bambolino Blue, and yes, that’s the actual name. It’s a handsome dark turquoise that’s a refreshing change from the usual Washington Blue and black cabriolets you’ll see at meets. It gives the convertible a bright personality that suggests you shouldn’t take things too seriously and that you can always slide behind the wheel to have some fun. The cabriolet offers arguably the best combination of features for your flathead Ford: a top that goes down, a rumble seat, and windows that roll up so it’s comfortable even when the weather’s against you. The bodywork on this Bambolino Blue cabrio was restored in the early 2000s and still looks great, even though it has been a favorite tour vehicle ever since. That means there are a few small scratches and chips, a few polishing marks, stuff like that, but nothing that you need to worry about if you’re going to keep using it on the road. A single off-white pinstripe accentuates the cabriolet shape and nobody will argue that the ’36 Ford isn’t a handsome car. The rear-mounted spare adds a bit of length that seems to make it look sleeker and somehow the cabriolet offers a sleeker top-down profile than even the roadster, thanks to a clever top mechanism. The chrome bumpers are in good condition, as is the grille, which was chromed in its entirety so there’s a bit of extra flash on the nose. You also get dual taillights that work with aftermarket turn signals to add a bit of safety on today’s roads and it even looks good with the rumble seat open.

Two years ago it received an all-new Lebaron-Bonney brown leatherette interior and a fresh tan canvas convertible top. Correct patterns give the interior a clean, uncluttered look and the matching door panels carry correct hardware and handles. The big banjo-style steering wheel makes this Ford especially maneuverable and easy to manage and frames the gauges just right. Those attractive cream-faced gauges are all operational save for the capillary-style temperature gauge, which isn’t surprising. This car is also equipped with an accessory Hadees model H30 heater/defroster unit with a unique duct on the driver’s side of the dash that we’ve never seen before. A factory AM radio unit lives in the center, although it is sadly not operational but it would be great for touring if you restored it. Seat belts were installed for safety and rubber floor mats were standard equipment. There’s a bit of storage behind the front seat and the rumble seat is ideal for a pair of friends on the road. Don’t think for a moment that this car isn’t ready to tour.

The engine is a correct 221 cubic inch 21-stud flathead V8. Before you judge it by its specs, please come drive it because you’ll be pleasantly surprised. With a little choke it fires up quickly and easily thanks to an electric fuel pump and it makes a great V8 burble that’s a big part of the fun. It’s not totally detailed to factory specs with the gray paint and modern spark plug wires, and it has been thoughtfully upgraded with a modern coil and heavy-duty air cleaner with crankcase ventilation system. To keep things cool, there’s a big radiator up front, along with an upgraded fan and thermostats in the upper hoses that do their job rather well. Great throttle response is why the flatheads are so much fun and it happily cruises at 45-50 MPH without much effort. In traffic, it’s quick and never feels like it’s lagging behind traffic so it’s very usable in the real world.

A part of the reason the Fords work so well are the slick-shifting gearboxes with synchromesh on 2nd and 3rd so it’s effortless. Light clutch action and reasonable 3.88 gears in back help make it easy for anyone to get comfortable on the road. The brakes on this particular cabriolet have been upgraded to hydraulic units from a later Ford, so they’re effective without feeling too modern and it is outfitted with tube shocks front and rear to improve the ride a bit. The exhaust system uses a new glasspack-style muffler and tailpipe to give it that traditional flathead sound. It’s not super clean, but that means it’s OK to drive it without worrying about cleaning it later. Color-matched artillery wheels look fantastic wrapped with fresh Diamondback radial wide whites that look suitably tall and narrow but deliver a much more stable feel that you’ll appreciate.

This isn’t a show car, but you already knew that. What it is, is a great-looking Ford cabriolet that runs great, looks awesome, and is ready to enjoy on all the big tours next summer. The Ford’s sparkling road manners will win you over from the moment the engine fires and the ’36 remains high on the all-time favorites list. Call today!

Harwood Motors welcomes and encourages personal or professional inspections of any vehicle prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1936 Ford Deluxe Cabriolet
Price: $39,900
Stock Number: 116103
Mileage: 63,491
VIN: 2947915
Engine: 239 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.88
Wheelbase: 112 inches
Wheels: 16-inch artillery wheels
Tires: 195R16 whitewall radial
Exterior Color: Bambalino Blue
Interior Color: Brown leatherette
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