As a youngster, Doug Klett of Plainville, Connecticut, fondly recalls pestering his dad for an entire week leading up to the Saturday night rumble at Plainville Stadium Speedway. It didn't matter where in the country you lived, rest assured there were plenty of youngsters sitting in the grandstands with a sack of peanuts and a cold soda waiting for the festivities to heat up. The experiences of these sacred Saturday nights easily influenced Doug, and as he got older he readily jumped into the world of hot rodding. Being mechanically adept, working on a car that had seen better days was a cool challenge. As the years passed, there was always something cooking in the garage, be it a '40 Ford coupe or something a little bit off the beaten path. It was easy for Doug to see that the jalopies racing around that small town oval fueled his fascination for '30s-era Fords.
His latest urge for a '36 Ford coupe had been burning in his mind for quite some time, and as Doug tells it, "when you want one, you can never find it" ... how true. Thus the long search began and thanks to the Internet he was able to finally find one in Wisconsin. After reviewing the car's potential, a deal was made and the partially stripped coupe was shipped back east. Many times buying a car without seeing it in person can be a gamble, but once the '36 rolled out of the trailer, Doug couldn't believe how clean the original body was. It was free of any patch panels or untold past history, making it a perfect candidate for the buildup.
Working in his home shop, Doug pulled the body and fenders from the chassis and completely disassembled the car, while paying close attention to the overall condition of the parts. It was no surprise to Doug that the chassis was in mint condition like the body was. Once the original spine was blasted clean, he set forth to assemble a traditional base utilizing plenty of classic components seeing this was going to be a very nostalgic build. Out back, Doug sourced a '57 Ford 9-inch rearend loaded with 3.50:1 gears and suspended it into place with parallel leaf springs from Chassis Engineering along with a pair of tube shocks from the local NAPA store. Retaining the stock crossmember, he moved forward and got the ball rolling with a 4-inch dropped axle from Super Bell, which was matched up to a Posies reverse-eye leaf spring, split '36 Ford 'bones, '40 Ford spindles, and a set of Pete & Jakes tube shocks. A Panhard bar and antiroll bar from Chassis Engineering help even everything out. To make sure he could bring it all to a halt when needed, a pair of '57 Ford drum brakes out back and 11-inch GM disc brakes up front handle it perfectly. In wanting the car to have a low and lean stance, a call was made to Wheel Vintiques for a set of their Gennie steelies, which were wrapped in big 'n' little black low-profile rubber from Uniroyal.