California Roadster – Danny Hyde’s Homebuilt ’36 Ford
Danny Hyde bought this ’36 Ford for $100 back in 1957. It was a five-window coupe then, and by the early-’60s it was a hot rod with a Buick Nailhead V8 and Skylark wire wheels. When Danny moved to California in 1984, he decided he needed a roadster, so he took the car apart, cut it apart, and many years later finally found the time to complete it in the roadster form you see here.
The Ford’s frame has been shortened 7-inches and the wheelbase has been adjusted to fit the shortened body, all while incorporating a C4 Corvette independent front suspension and Jaguar independent rear. It all rolls on 17- and 18-inch Budnik wheels. Those wheels get turning with power from a 302c.i. small-block Ford fed by Weber carbs, breathing through Sanderson headers, and backed by a Lokar-shifted AOD transmission.
Danny not only cut the roof off the coupe body, he also shortened it, gave it a wedge section, leaned back the grille, and made many more nips and tucks to achieve the desired proportions. The PPG black paint was applied with help from Harley Brooks. Inside, Stewart-Warner gauges filled the custom dash, a Bell four-spoke wheel topped the steering column, and Ron Mangus stitched the brown leather upholstery on the seat and side panels.
Danny finally has the top-optional California cruiser he’s long wanted and a great-looking street rod that will never fail to turn heads.
Photos by Michael Christensen & Damon Lee