Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fifty Years Before Doc Brown...

Weer'd beard sends in this very cool story about a car that pre-dates the Delorean by nearly half a century...

Arizona restorer takes on a ’36 stainless-steel Ford
As an auto restorer with a penchant for the unique, Lon Krueger of Scottsdale, Ariz., has experienced a lot of challenges. But one car presented him with the one-of-a-kind challenge he won’t ever likely experience again: the restoration of a stainless-steel 1936 Ford.

The stainless-steel two-door sedan is one of six 1936 Ford Tudors built in a unique partnership between Allegheny Ludlum, a pioneer in stainless-steel production, and auto pioneer Henry Ford. It is one of only four that survives today. Add to the tally five newer stainless-steel models built in 1960 (two Ford Thunderbirds) and 1967 (two Lincoln Continental sedans and one Lincoln Continental convertible), and the total of stainless-steel cars known to exist is just nine. That makes Krueger’s restoration experiences as unique as the cars themselves. It also required some trial and error to master the process, with no room left for error in the final product.
Really, you have to see this car to believe it:

(picture from link)

Damn, but that's pretty flippin' sweet...

Now, as Weer'd pointed out, this wouldn't have been a speed demon, far from it. With the extra weight of the stainless steel body and doors, combined with the anemic power of the straight 8 (85 HP, about what a VW Bug's 1600 cc engine put out in a significantly lighter car), meant that 0-60 times would have been measured with a calendar.

But damn, you would look gooooood waiting to get there.

That is all.

5 comments:

Sdv1949 said...

The perfect car for Captain Slow....uh, James May.

Anonymous said...

Sunglasses mandatory when looking out over that hood, I guess, though I would love a car that can't rust.

Straight 8 engine? Not in a '30s Ford, Jay. Ford's flathead V8 was the favourite of Bonnie & Clyde. Packard was famous for the smoothness of their straight 8 and I believe that Buick and Olds had a straight 8 as well.

Al_in_Ottawa

Lokidude said...

Minor nit. Best factory 1600 was only rated at 64 bhp. Most were 40-50. Your point, however, remains valid. And that car would look so much better in a brushed finish.

Garrett Lee said...

Couple of points.

1) Why would it be significantly heavier in stainless? Stainless is less than 3% heavier on average than mild steel, and not really any weaker, so it wouldn't have to be any thicker sheet metal. The weight of a standard 36 Tudor came in at 2650, which is a lot lighter than a modern Corolla.

2) Comparing it to a VW engine is a little bit misleading, as the engines of that era were not very high-revving, and it's a lot better to look at torque. The 85 horse motors had pretty good torque throughout the band ( over 130 ft-lb from 400 rpm to 3700 rpm; max of 155), which compares very favorably to a lot of the sporty cars of the 80s and early 90s. (Aside from having to shift when the engine hit 4000 or so.) So the thing would jump like a scalded cat off the line - but no, it didn't have the top speed. On the other hand, the PA Turnpike was 4 years away - where were you even going to do 60?

Hafnhaf said...

nice! just needs a coat of candy apple red...

NOT! but SPF 50 on the face in the summer would be a good idea.