Help identifying junked old car

There’s a car in woods of Alexandria NH that I’d like help identifying. It appears to be something like a 1937 Ford or Dodge sedan, with suicide doors and a split rear window. I’m hoping that some car buffs can help me narrow it down to a specific model and hopefully year.

Body of the car

Engine block

Windshield - with wiper arms on the bottom

Whats left of the grille

Rear hatch

Right rear wheel

Split rear window

Looks likt it might be a 1935 DeSoto.

nope. that is without a doubt a Ford flathead V8.

Yep. Perhaps a 1937 four door flat back sedan

The 1937 Ford flatback is certainly similar, but the junker appears to have the windshield wiper mounts on the hood, rather than near the roof.

The 1937 Dodge has almost the exact same body styling - what could I look for to tell them apart?

But if the engine is clearly a Ford then it’s really just a matter of identifying the year/model.

Around here, a junker found in the woods, with wire wheels and a popular hot-rod engine, might not have an exact year and model.

That round thing on the frame (visible in the grille shot) looks very much like the hydraulic shock absorbers used on the 28-31 (Model A) Ford. The steel spoke wheel is also a Ford item.

This is at the top of an old ski hill that used to have a rope tow. I suspect that this was the power source for the tow, which operated in the early 50’s. It’s possible that it’s been there since then. It also could have been brought there after the tow stopped running, but I’m not sure what it’s purpose would have been. It’s at the top of the hill but there’s no road up there.

Hrmm, the 1937 Lincoln Zephyr had the windshield wipers at the bottom of the windshield, rather than the top like the Ford, but didn’t come with a V-8. The Chevy had the wipers there as well.

What does that tag on the firewall say?

Absolutely nothing - it’s worn clean. :frowning:

Looks like the best match is the 1940 Ford Sedan, they switched to windshield wipers mounted on the hood that year and also changed the grille to horizontal slats (although I haven’t found an exact match to the junker grille in photos). The 1941 was the introduction of a new model so I think it pretty much has to be a 1940.

The 39 and 41 had different grills. The 41 didn’t have the split rear window.
Just a little bit of clean up and you can have a nice hot rod there.


I am astonished at the condition of the car for a northern snow state. While cars from that era were made from much heavier steel than modern ones, they almost completely lacked anti-rust protection. That’s a completely restorable hulk, there.

(I was dimly recalling the OP saying it was in the South somewhere, which was going to lead to a snark about the Walking Dead crew spending an entire episode getting it running so they could travel 2-1/2 miles before their next huge crisis. But never mind.)

I’m not; seen it a fair bit. Parked possibly before the state DOT started salting the Hades out of everything all winter and being outside and away from the freeze/thaw cycles of running cars kept in heated garages, the metal sort of “browns” and inhibits the rust. Back in the rear reaches of the old family farm are lots of cars like that that have been there since the very early 60s and before.

(Yes we’ve talked about dragging them down near the barn and seeing what can be salvaged. Some day.)

One of the ugliest houses in the county used to have a '57 Chevy sedan always parked in the driveway. Enough of the original colors could still be seen through the rust spots to tell that it had been Larkspur Blue with an Indian Ivory roof. Would have made a great project for some high school’s auto shop.

The land the house was on has long since been redeveloped. No idea what happened to the car.

I’ve been in the classic Mustang world a long time, and of course major rust repair is a big part of almost every such project, to the point where many new projects these days begin by transferring the VIN plates to a new body shell. Which is why “California” and “southwestern” cars are highly prized and fetch top dollar.

I have a '68 up on a storage lift and I occasionally show it to people. Since it was born in California and lived there for its first 40-odd years it’s essentially rust-free - I had the usual rearmost-bottom-quarter damage from water in the trunk, repaired when the body was done, and I still have some buckshot rust damage in the driver’s floor pan (again, from occasional trapped water).

The universal sequence of comment is, “Oh, that’s pretty. Wow, that’s nice. MY GOD, THERE’S NO RUST!” :slight_smile:

Of course… it has yet to turn a wheel on northeastern roads and in winter conditions. I will be very, very careful to keep the underside desalted and neutralized…

The grill looks to be upside down, and as though it must have come from a 1940 Ford Coupe:

Yes, definitely a 1940 Ford Deluxe. The wheels are not original; by 1940 Ford was using stamped steel wheels; the wires on this car are from an earlier car.