1936 Ford 3-Window, Lucky 7 Customs

David Zocchi is Keeping his Family’s Custom Car Tradition Rolling with his ’36 Ford Tail-Dragger

It was Thanksgiving Day in the late-’70s when David Zocchi and his uncle Richard were sent on a grocery store run.

“I stepped out the door expecting to get in my uncle’s work truck, but instead, here was his custom ’50 Merc!” David says. “After that ride, I was hooked.”

Custom 1936 Ford 3-Window, Lucky 7 Customs

It’s worth noting that Uncle Richard’s Merc, “Cool 50” was a Street Rodder Magazine cover car in 1978 and was one of the cars that helped spark a revival of ’50s-style customs. Uncle Richard would build many more influential customs over the next several decades before passing away in 2016.

Custom 1936 Ford 3-Window, Lucky 7 Customs

Custom 1936 Ford 3-Window, Lucky 7 Customs

Given his uncle’s immersion in the west coast custom car world, David’s taste in cars naturally leans toward the low and chopped. When he found this ’36 Ford coupe 11 years ago, it was a nice little hot rod with a rake and painted wheels, but David envisioned someday transforming the car into a tail-dragging custom.

Custom 1936 Ford 3-Window, Lucky 7 Customs

After cruising the ’36 all over the northwest for a few years, David finally dropped the Ford off with his friend Marcos Garcia at Lucky 7 Customs in Antioch, California. The car was completely torn down for a full-on custom overhaul. The fenders were peaked while ’36 Chevy headlights were fitted, and the nose was reshaped to accept a ’40 LaSalle grille. A one-piece hood top and custom side panels were crafted, and a ’39 Ford bumper was added.

Moving rearward, a set of contoured running boards flow to the custom rear fenders with flush-fit skirts and a modified ’39 bumper. The deck lid was extended and reformed, adding visual length as it flows down from a 3.5-inch chopped top. Once the metal fab was complete, Marcos laid down a smooth layer of PPG Rich Metallic Loam for a subtle, vintage finish.

Custom 1936 Ford 3-Window, Lucky 7 Customs

The original chassis was solid, but to gain a smoother ride and a dropped attitude a Jimenez Bros air-controlled IFS system with a Flaming River rack and pinion was incorporated into the frame. In the rear, a bagged four-link system and Ford 9-inch rearend were bolted in place. For power, David wanted to keep things simple so a 350c.i. crate engine was ordered from Chevrolet Performance and backed by a 7004R transmission.

Custom 1936 Ford 3-Window, Lucky 7 Customs

 

Inside, the dashboard was treated to a woodgrain finish along with the gauge cluster from a ’34 Plymouth restored by Redline Gauge Works. A Limeworks column is topped with their Banjo steering wheel, while the bench seat and door panels were stitched by Fat Lucky’s for a comfy and classic look.

Custom 1936 Ford 3-Window, Lucky 7 Customs

The car turned out exactly as David expected, which is no surprise considering his vision, experience, and the dedication of the Lucky 7 team. We’re proud to have David’s ’36 as a Finalist for the Fuel Curve Custom of the Year as part of Goodguy’s Top 12 Award program.

Photos by Steven Bunker

 

Todd Ryden is first and foremost a car guy and admits to how lucky he is to have been able to build a career out of a hobby that he enjoys so much. He’s owned muscle cars and classics, raced a bit and has cruised across the country. With over 25 years in the industry from the manufacturing and marketing side to writing books and articles, he just gets it.