By Dave Turner
“Greater Beauty, Greater Comfort, Greater Safety”
Illustrations of the model and a table listing models follows at the end of the article.
For the first time since 1930 Ford took top slot in the sales race in 1935, a total of 819,835 Ford cars were sold, in no small way due to the attractive all new Model 48 that was launched in December 1934 and styled by Paul Wright at Briggs Body. He also did the famous 1933 Pierce Silver Arrow.
The new body was larger and wider having deeper fenders, a more steeply raked windscreen deeper headlamp shells that for the first time incorporated the parking lamps and fatter tyres on smaller 16 inch wheels in place of the 1934s seventeens. 1935 was the last year for wire wheels as standard.
By locating the front spring in front of the axle, the engine could be moved 8½” forward so creating more internal space, while the rear seat was now located in front of rather than above the rear axle. Ford called this “Centre Poise Ride” while comfort was further enhanced by the softer springs. Improvements to the steering gear and brakes contributed to the “Greater Safety” part of the 1935 advertising copy. All Fords for this year featured the 221ci side valve V8 that was now in its fourth year, in fact the millionth Ford to feature the V8 came in June 1935 as a De Luxe Fordor Sedan.
There were fourteen different models in the 1935 Ford range, three came as standard models, a Five Window Coupe, Tudor and Fordor Sedans. These could also be had in De Luxe form along with similarly equipped Roadster, three and five window Coupes, a Cabriolet, Touring Sedans (projecting trunk apposed to regular flat slantback), Convertible Sedan and station Wagon. The actual spec of the De Luxe finish that cost around $65 extra included two rather than a single external horn (’35 was the last year horns were an external fitting) plated windscreen surround and grille and twin rather than single tail lights.
As far as models and toys are concerned, it is noticeable just how many were contemporary with the real car, or pre WW2 while relatively few have been produced latterly for what is now regarded as the collectors market.
Kicking off with the cast iron Arcade Fordor Sedan, the Novelty Iron Works goes back to 1868 and had become Arcade by the 1880s, producing wheeled cast iron toys from around 1917. Their ‘35 Sedan boasted a nickelled grille/headlamp/bumper casting and any that have survived command well into three figures today. Not quite as expensive are surviving toys from the Auburn Rubber Company, later Arcor. They did both a Tudor Sedan and a Three Window Coupe during their toy making period from 1935 to 1955. Another US based rubber toy range was by the Barr Rubber Co and they also produced both a 1935 Tudor Sedan and a Coupe.
Ford themselves sold souvenirs at the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego in the form of rubber toy 1935 Tudor Touring Sedans manufactured by Firestone, for 25 cents – to be found on ebay today for $200! Yet another rubber toy 1935 Ford came from Seiberling Latex Products, in two sizes no less in the range of toys they produced between 1935-9. Finally while on the subject of rubber, another Tudor Sedan that carries simply “0717 Toys” on its underside has surfaced. This features a projecting trunk but in a much smaller and cruder style than the Touring Sedan should exhibit and is also missing the spare wheel. This is possibly the product of a UK company called Lilo (0717 upside down)
Another medium in which vehicles featured was that of coin banks (money box) and probably the most productive being Banthrico, the name derived from Banker’s Thrift Corporation that dates back to 1914. They produced all manner of banks but vehicular subjects arrived with their purchase of National Products in 1940 – they had already produced quite a large range of such things. In 1985 Banthrico was sold to Toystalgia and that subsequently became Valley Casting in 1995. Their 1935 Sedan depicts a Fordor slantback with a Taxi sign over the windscreen although the over large generic wheels give the model a rather foreshortened appearance. Another 1935 Fordor taxi came as a 1:25 scale resin kit from the Guy Cantwells US based range of models and while on the resin theme, much smaller is the 1:87 Fordor Touring Sedan kit from the French Top range, albeit depicting a Matford that for the purposes of a small model there is no, or very little difference. This is extremely delicate, the slender bumpers are extensions of the base, and break off very easily.
On close scrutiny that Matford kit was obviously derived from a plastic kit by Mountain States in the US many years earlier. It would appear that this was the only kit produced in this scale by this range and it depicted the regular slantback Fordor Sedan. Another plastic kit based on the same tooling came more recently from Williams Bros. but this is of clear plastic so masking the windows or painting around them requires some skill.
Back with the old toys and a Danish range called Micro included a slush cast 1935 Taxi, meanwhile in the US, Thomas produced some cast iron 1935 Fords and these are crude and chunky in the extreme but in an appealing way. The company started in 1944 and produced these hefty toys until around 1960 when Banner Plastics took over. No doubt the most familiar 1930s toy 1935s are those diecasts from Tootsietoy. They contrived to get numerous toys from just three castings proving that this policy is as old as the industry. From their three window coupe they also produced a convertible coupe by painting the roof a tan colour to depict the top and the same method was employed to create a convertible sedan from their Fordor. Meanwhile their open Roadster also came with a fireman at the steering wheel as a fire dept. issue. During the early 1980s a range called Precision Accucast (PAC) produced metal replicas of these Tootsietoys and are probably harder to find now than the originals.
The relatively short lived Rextoys (1982-2001) were founded by Count Coluzzi who was an Italian living in Switzerland and possibly better known for his Fulgurex high quality model trains. Their selection of 1935 Fords amounted to just four – Fordor Touring Sedan, Five Window Coupe, Station Wagon and Sedan Delivery. A fifth and sixth were shown in brochures as a open Roadster and a Three Window Coupe but examples have so far proved elusive. Numerous issues of these four models came with a variety of liveries over several years and are still readily available.
Although these commentaries don’t usually include models depicting a vehicle in competition, a range of historic NASCAR subjects around 2002 under the title Team Caliber did include an excellent 1935 Three Window Coupe. The fact that it carried competition numbers and some Gulf decals were overlooked due to the fact that apart from the lack of headlights and bumpers it was completely stock and that it was such a good scale model, the only one of a Three window Coupe in fact. All parts open- doors, hood sides and rumble, even the wheels are ‘wires’ and the front wheels ‘steer’. Its only shortcoming is the fact that small fittings like the door handles tend to fall off and get lost.
One of the final models in Richard Briggs original MiniMarque 43 range was that of the 1935 Convertible Sedan, initially as the Indy 500 Pace Car for 1935 but thankfully followed by a stock version. Fine detail included superb wire wheels and a complete interior that featured a full complement of separated plated door and window handles. An accompanying Sedan Delivery was listed in MM43s flyers but is another possibly mythical model that never materialised. Another Sedan Delivery that has appeared, in abundance, is the slightly larger model from Tins Toys. A myriad of names have been displayed on its side panels but the obvious one to look for is the Ford Parts Delivery issue. The model features a single external horn and single tail light, as would many real examples. Unfortunately, as in all other respects this is a fine replica, it is reduced to toy status by having quite unpleasant wheels, driven by a pull-back mechanism working on the back axle. It is marked “Tins Toys” after all!
Illustrations, The Ford Car in Miniature Dave Turner 1935
Models in detail
|Arcade||USA||1930s||Fordor Sedan||120mm||1:39||Cast iron|
|Arcade||USA||1930s||Tudor Sedan||100mm||1:46||Cast iron|
|Arcade||USA||1930s||Three Window Coupe||100mm||1:46||Cast iron|
|Banthrico||USA||Fordor Sedan Taxi||155mm||1:30||Metal bank|
|Barr||USA||1930s||Three Window Coupe||100mm||1:46||Rubber|
|Firestone||USA||1935||Tudor Touring Sedan||123mm||1:38||Rubber|
|Lilo (0717)||UK||1950s||Tudor Touring Sedan||130mm||1:36||Rubber|
|Cantwell||USA||1996||Fordor Sedan Taxi||1:25||Resin kit|
|Top||France||Fordor Touring Sedan||52mm||1:90||Resin kit|
|Mountain||USA||520||Fordor Sedan||55mm||1:85||Plastic kit|
|Williams Bros||USA||536||Fordor Sedan||1:85||Plastic kit|
|A C Williams||USA||Cast iron|
|Tootsietoy||USA||1930s||112||Three Window Coupe/Convertible||76mm||1:61||Diecast|
|Tootsietoy||USA||1930s||111||Fordor Sedan/Convertible Sedan||76mm||1:61||Diecast|
|PAC||USA||Early 1980s||Repros of above Tootsietoys||76mm||1:61||Diecast|
|Thomas||USA||1940/50s||Three Window Coupe||110mm||1:42||Metal|
|Tins Toys||China||2000||T693||Sedan Delivery||127mm||1:37||Diecast|
|Team Caliber||China||2002||Three Window Coupe||104mm||1:43||Diecast|
|Rextoys||France||1990||42||Fordor Touring Sedan||107mm||1:43||Diecast|
|Rextoys||France||43||Open Roadster(not made?)|
|Rextoys||France||46||Three window Coupe(not made?)|
|Rextoys||France||1995||53||Five Window Coupe||107mm||1:43||Diecast|
|MiniMarque 43||UK||2000||45a||Convertible Sedan Indy Pace Car||111mm||1:42||Metal|
|MiniMarque 43||UK||2000||45b||Convertible Sedan||111mm||1:42||Metal|
|MiniMarque 43||UK||45c||Sedan Delivery(not made?)|
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