1936 Ford Coupe Model 68
Kris Spencer of Salinas, CA
Being exposed at an early age to the hot rod and custom scene by his father, Jim Spencer, Kris Spencer is a prime example of the saying that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." The exposure of what helped to develop American culture, and the roads that connect this great country from coast to coast, quickly became a part of his DNA which lead to a 1946 Ford Tudor sedan, his first early Ford. The stylings of the early custom and "art deco" cars found their way to Kris's DNA and his first early car was destined to hit the streets with that taildragger stance. He found that the hunt for parts, thirst for education on the culture and desire to build the perfect period correct car doubled as an outlet for stress and platform for artistic creativity. If that wasn't enough of a reason to love this hobby for a lifetime Kris found that it not only brought his family together but helped to create life long friendships due to paralleled interests. Kris's plate was full of what had blossomed into the perfect niche in his life yet he was hungry for more and when the opportunity arose, he jumped at the chance for a second helping of what he craved most.
Research and education of early Americana taught Kris many things, one of those being that a 1936 Ford was a part of his life's bucket list. The day came when he was offered the pen to cross this off his bucket list when his friend Iggy dropped the line that his boss had a '36 Ford for sale. Grabbing the bull by the horns, Kris didn't waste any time in the pursuit to own his dream car and he did just that. The gray-blue single stage paint adorned on the 5 window body spoke to his soul and Kris now owned his bucket list car but he did not have his bucket list tail dragger. The hours of homework were now called to arms being coupled with the inspiration and help from friends Mike Hubbard and John Spencer to transform his newly acquired early Ford into the quintessential early custom tail dragger.
What you see in the pictures today is the culmination of two years of making dreams come true. Style, comfort and reliability all played a part in the cockpit of the '36. Knowing that he wanted to be able to cruise in comfort and let his wife drive whenever she wanted to, the interior of his "family machine" was tackled by Howard's Upholstery, in Salinas, CA. Stitched in style, the tuck and rolled door panels and seats were covered in a chocolate brown vinyl that compliments the German square weave carpeting. Nickel series gauges from Classic Instruments were both fitted to the dash and painted to match. Opting for more advanced technology, a '46 Ford steering column and steering wheel were used to help navigate down the roads. All of this adds up to taking a step back in time when you hop in Kris' 36 and when you head on out your ears are not to be forgotten as Kris had the tunes plumbed in by Marina Auto Stereo. It's very easy to take a seat and feel as if life is complete once the door shuts but no custom is complete without the look both inside and out.
Bucket list cars are not meant to be just a bucket of bolts rattling through the neighborhood. To keep any rattling off the list of adjectives or verbs used to describe the '36, the platform for success starts with a small block Chevy 350 mated to a turbo 400 transmission all of which exits through glasspack mufflers and an eight inch Ford rear end out back. A Pete and Jake's four inch dropped axle is hugged with a disc brake kit and Bilstein shocks on all four corners. The addition of a Flaming River steering box makes this custom both steer and like a dream. What you don't see is large part of the overall car's success but what you can see is equally important as "visual performance" is a necessity for any car nut. Visual performance is bolstered by the addition of a bull nose front emblem, early Appleton 112 spot lights, 1947-49 Cadillac "sombrero" hubcaps and a set of 16" Firestone whitewall bias ply tires which captures the eye of any enthusiast as Kris rolls by.....so don't miss the neatly snugged rear bumper as he sails on by you!
Kris enjoys his taildragger as much as he can with family and friends. Whether he is off to a show, picking up some groceries or enjoying a stroll with his family, Kris is driving his dream car every time he turns the key. What you see before you today is a proper representation of the early tail dragger style customs which were an intrigued part of the American custom scene in the 1940's and '50's. Adhering to that customizing bug many of us have been bitten by, Kris had additional customizing plans in the future for his '36 which will involve a custom grill treatment. This is definitely a car that speaks for itself and Kris is always welcome to meet and make new friends so I will leave it up to you to find both Kris and his car at future car shows to answer the question of "What will Kris do next?"
5 Window Model 68 Coupe
Chromed Bullnose Emblem
Stock Bumpers with rear tucked in
Modified Early Appleton 112 Spotlights
Stock 1936 Ford Rear Fender Skirts
1936 Headlights with 1939 Ford Taillights
Stock Front & Rear Bumper Guards
Gray Blue single-stage paint
Chocolate Brown Tuck & Roll Leather upholstery
German Square Weave carpet
Upholstery by Howards Upholstery. Salinas, CA
Stock 1936 Dash Painted Brown altered for aftermarket gauges
Classic Instruments Nickel Series Gauges
1946 Ford Steering Wheel & Steering Column
Stock 1936 Ford frame
Stock Fuel Tank
Flaming River Steering Box
Disc Brake Conversion Kit
Pete & Jakes 4” Dropped Axle
Ford 8” Rear End
Front: Disc brakes
Rear: Drum brakes
16” x 6" original steel wheels with 16” 1948 Calnevar Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps wrapped in 600-16 Firestone Deluxe Champion Bias-ply 3-1/4” whitewall tires
Small Block GM 350; Gold paint color
Edelbrock 4-Barrel Intake
Vertical Finned Valve Covers
Finned Air Cleaner
Turbo 400 Automatic Transmission
Glasspack Muffler Exhaust by All American Muffler. Salinas, CA
Stereo by Marina Auto Stereo. Seaside, CA