Gary Van Eiks’ 1936 Ford Ragtop…
Hey! We Say Black is Beautiful, Baby!
Photos by Bud Beech on location in North County, San Diego, CA
Model Kayla Dandos. Story by Ed Zimmerly
This OverDrive Hot Rod News feature photo shoot is the first of it’s kind. Local freelance photographer and regular OverDrive Hot Rod News contributor, Bud Beech organized this hot rod photo shoot entirely on his own. He contacted North County rodder, Gary Van Eik, the owner of this beautiful ’36 Ford convertible. Then he looked into his (not so little) black book of supermodels. Got in touch with one of Cal State San Marcos’ hottest coeds, Kayla Dandos and the rest, they say, is OverDrive Hot Rod News history. Here is their combined efforts on display for your enjoyment. I think it’s one of the best editions we’ve ever posted.
In researching this early Ford, online, Wikipedia states that the 1936 Ford had only a few changes from pervious models. The Model 48 was an update on Ford's V8-Powered Model 40A, the company's main product. Introduced in 1935, the Model 48 was given a cosmetic refresh annually, begetting the 1937 Ford before being thoroughly redesigned for 1941. The 1935 Ford's combination of price, practicality, and looks vaulted the company ahead of rival Chevrolet for the sales crown that year, with 820,000 units sold. The Chevrolet regained the sales lead at the end of 1936, but the Ford still sold extremely well. A new club cabriolet model was introduced with a fully framed windshield and weatherproof top, and the convertible sedan gained the popular integrated trunkback design. The look was updated with an inverted pentagonal grille with all-vertical bars beneath a prominent hood and three horizontal chrome side strips (on DeLuxe models). A concealed horn, long a prominent part of the Ford's design, also brought the car into modern times. The new trucks continued with the old grille. One of the other major changes for 1936 was the use of pressed steel "artillery" solid wheels instead of wires.
About The Car: Van Eik purchased this classic 1936 Ford in Reno, Nevada fifteen years ago. Bryan Calamia of Calamia Customs in Vista, California was tapped to do the frame-off restoration. The obvious body mods are frenched taillights and a teardrop gas filler door. Otherwise, it’s essentially stock looking, all metal, original car. You might not realize at first, but the top was also chopped to add to the overall coolness factor. Typical of most drivers in Southern California the top is usually down and not seen. As far as the upgrades go, underneath this ride is where most of the changes from stock occurred. The original frame was boxed and powder coated. A Ridetech airbag system was installed and disk brakes were mounted at all four corners. The drivetrain starts off with a fresh ZZ4 Chevy crate motor. It’s married to a 700R4 transmission. This dynamic duo provides Van Eik with solid reliability he’s which connects to a nine-inch Ford rear end. Local stitch-man Rindy of Ramona, California did the plush interior in a warm, cinnamon tone, leather. There’s also a matching leather wrapped “Banjo style steering wheel.” The dash is stock with the exception of a hidden sound system. The exterior is covered in a deep, dark as night, pitch black. Renound; Vista, California painter, Pasi Niva applied the flawless, super-glossy finish. A set of polished, five spoke American mags finish off the look… Now I only wish is it was parked in my garage instead of Gary’s.