The 1935 Ford Coupe is one of the most popular hot rod cars that came out of the 1930's. The car shown in this article is a reproduction 35 Ford 5 Window Coupe. The design of the 35 coupes speak of speed. Design for the 1935 models had a more rounded look than the 34's.When you look back over the Ford models of 1933 and 1934 you can see that the design became progressively smoother and sleeker.
1935 Ford Advertising
Ford advertising for the 1935 models spoke of their cars having a "personality". They implied that every new design put into the new 1935 look was part of the overall cars personality. Ford felt that the 1935 designs carried a very well groomed look. One example pointed out was the new curve designed into the cars "bullet headlamps." Much was also touted regarding the newly designed bumper guards and grille. The said that their new 1935 models were "sturdy fine cars". Ford advertising pointed out that design of the vehicles rear end is as pleasing as that of the front end. Every line of the car has been designed to carry to a logically designed conclusion all the way to the sloping rear end and the baked enamel finish was made even better than that of 1934.
Engine and Improvements
Ford's 1935 models all had an improved engine with a better built crankshaft and an efficient crankcase ventilation system which Ford named "direct flow". In 1935 Ford moved the engine forward on the chassis 8 1/2 inches. Ford touted that the move forward distributed the weight much better front to back. With the engine moved further forward the frames were redesigned as well. The new frame design also moved the passenger seating forward which centered passenger weight more toward the cars midpoint. Because of these weight distribution changes, the 1935 Fords were built with longer chassis springs. The spring base was increased 6 1/2 inches.
The V-8 Ford engine in the 1935 models 221.0 cid putting out a top range of 85 horsepower. The wheelbase was 112.0 inches and the car's weight varied between 2,400 and 3,000 pounds.The new car price at the time was anywhere from $500 to $900 depending on accessories and add ons.
Suspension in both the front and rear stayed the same from 1934 with a single transverse leaf spring both front and rear. The 1935 Fords were the last with wire wheels.
Running boards were specially designed to drain water. To help with ventilation, rear windows were made to easily open and close. The gas cap was recessed in the rear lamp bracket.
In 1935 Ford made big strides with their all aluminum cylinder heads. One advantage Ford pointed out was that the aluminum cylinder heads meant better engine power efficiency and as a result better fuel efficiency.
Regarding the interior of Ford's 1935 models, Ford suggested that the new Fords were in every way a man's car but it took a woman to appreciate the finish and detail. Ford would advertise that their upholstery was of the finest quality available and that the car's dashboard was as practical as a "ships control room."
Also included were neatly tailored imitation leather sun visors, a rear window shade, a revolving ash tray on the dashboard, a roomy hand glove compartment and an electrically operated oil gauge. Behind the rear seat was a baggage compartment. Ford claimed that the hardware used for interior door handles were of the quality found in much pricier cars.
The 1935 Ford Coupe is one of the best hot rod models of that decade. In fact, the very design of the 1935 model suits itself well as a hot rod. On the street and at car shows today you'll see many of the 1935 to 1937 models modified as hot rods or street rods. They make great hot rod projects. Interestingly enough, some restorers are still lucky enough to find and old 1935-1937 model sitting an old barn somewhere and if and when they're found they usually are snapped up pretty fast. Street rod kits are easily found to start a project. Many are available for the Ford 1935's through 37's.
(Photos from author's collection)