1936 Ford Pickup
By Vern Parker
“It was an impulsive purchase,” Dennis Murphy says of his 1936 Ford pickup. He was attending an automotive auction in Pennsylvania in October 2014 with no intention of bidding on anything when the red pickup captured his attention.
When the bidding ended Murphy was the new owner of the pickup. He had heard the flat head V-8 engine run just once when it was brought up to the auction block.
Arrangements were soon made with a trucking company to have his new purchase transported to his home in Oakton, Virginia.
Once it arrived he carefully inspected the truck and happily discovered no surprises with the exception of a faulty emergency hand brake.
Murphy was told the truck had undergone a complete restoration in Florida prior to his purchase. During that restoration process a few safety-related improvements were made which included the addition of an outside mirror on the right side to match the mirror on the left side.
The original mechanical brakes were replaced with more efficient hydraulic brakes. The rear of the truck is now equipped with not one but two taillights which have the letters STOP embedded in the lenses which are illuminated when the brakes are applie4d.
“It's fully equipped,” Murphy exclaims.
At the opposite end of the nearly 15-foot-long truck are the headlights which are not modern sealed beam units.
Hanging beneath each headlight is a chrome plated horn.
Under the engine hood, which opens from either side, the 221-cubic-inch engine is well ventilated thanks to the 15 louvers that perforate each side of the engine hood. On top of the engine a single barrel carburetor feeds fuel to the flat head V-8.
A 6.00x16-inch spare tire is nestled in a notch on the right rear fender. Adjacent to the spare tire is the pickup bed which is lined with five stainless steel ribs interspersed between the oak slats making up the floor.
Pressed steel wheels were standard equipment on the 1936 Ford half ton pickup which had a base price of $460.
Unlike tailgates on modern trucks this truck still has the chains which can be hooked to the tailgate to adjust how low it should go.
The one-piece windshield can be opened at the bottom with a few twists of a hand crank on the dashboard.
Suspended from above the windshield is the single wiper to clear the view for the driver. An optional passenger side wiper was available at extra cost.
If not enough fresh air was directed into the cabin to keep the occupants comfortable the cowl ventilator could be opened to scoop in additional fresh air.
Climbing aboard the truck on the black running boards which match the black fenders, the driver can settle into the all black interior on the bench seat behind the three-spoke steering wheel.
The headlights are controlled by levers on either side of the horn button in the center of the steering wheel.
Positioned at the driver's right knee is the gear shift lever sprouting from the floor to operate the three-speed manual transmission.
To the right of that lever is the floor-mounted hand operated emergency brake, the one that needs Murphy's attention.
In front of the driver is the instrument cluster housing a minimum of gauges including the 100-mile-per-hour speedometer. The obligatory ash tray is centrally located. Murphy is doubtful that indicated top speed has ever been achieved or ever will be.