"This is where the story gets interesting. You see, the paint was a little soft when I took it home. Martinez had used a very good-quality product and had followed all of the manufacturer recommended procedures to a T. After two weeks it was still soft. Not soft enough to leave a fingerprint, just enough that you could press your fingernail into the paint and leave an indentation. Martinez was getting worried and so was I. We had the paint manufacturer's rep come out and Martinez retraced his steps and painted some panels (with the same products leftover from the job) and they wouldn't harden either. Tests were done by the paint company and it was determined that we had received a bad batch of hardener and the paint would probably never harden. I am not saying who they were on purpose because they offered to provide new product at no cost (which says a lot about them) but I knew if we re-did it I was not taking a chance on that paint again.

"Right about this time Martinez relocated to Palm Desert where the temperatures are over 100 degrees in the summer. We thought we might be able to "bake" the paint hard so we brought the car to his shop, Martinez Industries, and he rolled it into the scorching heat every day for a month. It did not work. I thought I was on my own and would have to deal with this by paying for another paintjob but Martinez is a man of great character and told me he would do whatever was needed to make it right. The phone rang one afternoon and it was Martinez telling me that if I would get the new material, he wanted to completely re-paint the car. He would sand the old paint off and start fresh. I really could not believe it and actually felt bad for him. Here was a problem that was not really his fault but he didn't want his name on it if it was not right. So over the next six weeks Dave completely redid the paint. The car is beyond nice (and the paint is very hard). Dave Martinez is a man of character, something even rarer than a '36 Ford Cabriolet!"

Rod & Custom Feature Car
John Mearns
Costa Mesa, California
1936 Ford Cabriolet


The original chassis was too hacked up to use, so a Total Cost Involved replacement now sits under the body, using the same company's Mustang II–based IFS, complete with antiroll bar, with a Flaming River power steering pump and rack. The stock gas tank was retained, with the filler moved to the trunk.


A Ford Racing Performance Parts crate 351 Windsor makes a change from the expected SBC or Flathead, complete with Edelbrock 600-cfm carburetor, Cadillac repro air cleaner, and Edelbrock finned cast valve covers. The Flowmaster exhaust features cutouts for "scaring old ladies and kids!" If you were expecting an auto trans think again, there's a Tremec five-speed behind the small-block Ford, with a modified old truck shifter.

Wheels & Tires

Wheelsmith Gennie wheels measure 5x15 at the front and 8x15 rear, with wide whitewall radials.

Body & Paint

The original Ford cabriolet sheetmetal has seen some changes, notably the conversion of the rumble lid to a trunk, the addition of '36 Chevy hood louvers to the hood sides, and lowered headlights. The window frames have been chopped and re-chromed, and the bumper brackets front and rear shortened. Dave Martinez (Martinez Industries), handled the 1 1/2-inch roof chop and made the padded Carson-style top with zip-down rear window. Martinez also tackled the bodywork and laid on the House of Kolor black paint.


The '40 Ford dash is what you'll immediately notice, matched by a LimeWorks '40 Ford steering wheel. A Newport Engineering windshield wiper motor replaces the original. Dave Martinez modified a Wise Guys seat to fit, before trimming the interior in leather and vinyl and black German wool carpet. The wiring remains from the first build by Bruce Stedman.