Taking a stock vehicle and converting into a unique expression of one’s own personality has got to be at the cornerstone of the hot rodding hobby. You can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their car, how they maintain it, and how they’ve customized it.

Ted Stevens Jr., who lives and works in Las Vegas already owned a stock ’36 Ford four-door sedan, but he knew what he really wanted was a hot rod. He mentioned that fact to his father that he might sell his ’36 in order to upgrade, and Ted Sr. told him he knew of someone who was looking for a stock four-door and had a two-door hot rod to sell. All Ted Jr. needed to do was send the four-door to him (in Gilroy, California) and he’d work out the details.

Not one to question his father, Ted Jr. sent the car off and, some time later, showed up at his dad’s house and there was a perfect ’36 two-door hot rod sedan waiting for him. His dad wasn’t even home at the time and, when Ted Jr. called to get the info on the new car, his dad told him his old car was a “piece of crap” and the new car was the real deal. Ted Sr. had worked out a deal to trade the old car plus cash to the owner of the finished hot rod, but it wasn’t even the best part of the deal.

As it turned out, the builder of the two-door was none other than Mickey Himsl, who many readers of STREET RODDER would either recognize as a NorCal builder with an excellent eye for traditional and old-timey rods (see his tan T-tub featured in the Apr. ’08 issue of the magazine), or as the youngest of four brothers—one of which is the well-known custom car painter Art Himsl.

Mickey normally builds Model T–based rods, but he built this one because he was influenced by the Tudor Deluxe sedan his brother, Joe, drove back in the day. Mickey found the stock car through NorCal hot rod painter Darryl Hollenbeck, who knew who was selling it, Paul Blatt. It wasn’t anything to look at when he bought it, as is still had the original rat-infested mohair interior and sheet aluminum door panels! The upside was it still had the stock Flathead in it, which would surely find a home in another of Mickey’s builds.

Mickey didn’t contemporize the entire car, but he did upgrade where he could. The stock banjo 4.11:1 rear was left alone, but he did add a 4-inch dropped axle up front. A reverse-eye spring from Posies lowered the front a little more, and Monroe shocks would help smooth out the ride. The brakes were swapped in favor of ’48 Ford hydraulics, and the master cylinder and other brake components came from a ’39 Ford. Ford 15-inch steelies, wrapped in wide white Coker Classic 5.50 and 8.20 rubber and painted red, were finished off with caps ’n’ rings.

A ’62 small-block Chevy 301 (a 283 with a 4-inch bore) was machined first by Joe’s Machine Shop in Concord, California, before Jim Rose assembled it for Mickey. Rose added an Isky cam, fuel-injection heads, Jahn’s pistons, and topped with an Offenhauser manifold and a trio of Stromberg 97 carbs. Mallory delivers the spark and glasspack mufflers cool the noise. The V-8 is mounted to a ’39 Ford box.

Toy Works Autobody, also in Concord, did the required bodywork before Blatt sprayed the PPG black paint. Brandon Flaner at Vintage Color Studio then rubbed it out and pinstriped the car for Mickey. Walker’s Custom Chrome (Redding, California) supplied the little bit of chrome work needed, and Concord Auto Upholstery replaced the mohair with black and white Naugahyde. Finishing off the interior is the ’39 Ford steering wheel and black carpet (with Dynamat rolled out beneath the carpet).