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Jim Patton's 1936 Pontiac Barn Find

Jim Patton's 1936 Pontiac

The Story

From the March/April 2017 Street Rod and Modified chapter newsletter "The Modifier"

Jim Patton is a retired mechanic who lives in Austin, Arkansas.  His 1936 2-door Pontiac sedan was a "barn find" which he in turn found at a swap meet.  The car was in rather poor condition, as you can see from the before photo.  The car is now a work in progress and we hope to be able to provide another story on this car when Jim has completed his work.  Here's what Jim has to report on his progress thus far:

The Mustang Type II suspension (which was locally purchased) has been welded in.   It has tubular upper and lower control arms. Coil overs with adjustable shocks.  It also, has an anti- sway bar and power rack and pinion. The rear end is from a Ford Ranger 4-wheel drive with leaf springs - 3:73 gears with locking differential and I installed anti-sway bars front and rear.  I have installed a GM tilt column, but that may be replaced later on down the road.  Still haven’t fired the engine yet, but not too far off.  I purchased the crate engine complete with an Edelbrock carb, but my buddy needed a 4 bbl carb for his rat rod I built for him. Well, my new carb works great for him but I dug up an old Edelbrock for my new engine.  I thought that would work, “not so much”! Performed a little investigation and found the carb was extremely rusty inside. My budget will have to afford a new carb.  It would seem the Fi-Tech Fuel Injection systems are not what everyone thinks.  All the folks I’ve talked with about Fi-Tech say the ECMs give out from too much engine heat that gets transferred from the injector body.  Guess I’ll stick to carbs, I’m pretty much old school!

I did find a serpentine set up complete with power steering pump, alternator, fan, and A/C compressor for $10 at a local swap meet.  A fellow up in Missouri built an aluminum radiator complete with trans cooler.   I couldn’t find a local radiator shop that would even talk about building a radiator.   A local truck shop built the driveshaft. The car needed to be lowered 3 inches in the back so I fabricated my own steel lowering blocks with corrected pinion angle. Dual exhaust complete with shorty headers and glass pack mufflers are in place along with a new fuel tank from LMC.

When I bought the car in October 2015, I gave myself three years to build it, with no particular budget in mind.  I’m 65 years old and in no hurry anymore since I retired for the second time in August 2016.

If anyone has headlight bezels for a ’34 - ‘36 Pontiac or something you know will fit, give me a call (501) 837-0475.

Also, had a change on dash gauges.  I bought a slightly used set of Dolphin gauges from a good friend at the Chevrolet dealership who purchased them for his ’38 Ford coupe (his wife didn’t like them) so I got them real cheap. He had only used them for seven days,

I did find some headlights, not ’36 Pontiac, but possibly ’34 Pontiac. They’re a little bit longer so I’ll need to really be careful opening and closing the hood. I still need to find some headlight bezels. I did manage to make taillight bezels and lenses. Also, installed LED’s while I was being creative. Maybe you can tell from the photo that I fabricated the taillight stands too.

I’m not sure what parts, if any, I’ll have that might be of use to further help someone else’s project. I do know the engine, transmission, differential, complete front end, and original radiator are “For Sale or Trade”.

Getting some body work done and patch panels installed. I’m not much with bondo or body filler but can work the metal with a hammer and dolly. I am making all panels from 18-gauge sheet steel.


For more information on POCI's Street Rod and Modifed Chapter:

President: Lou Calasibetta


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