One of the crown jewels of the Throttle Kings Car Club of Southern California, this particular custom stands in a league of its own. We’re talking about Jim Ramirez’s tastefully inspired 1936 Ford Truck, which has a habit of breaking necks at car shows.
Splashed with a vivid water-based Cosmic Metallic Green, Ramirez’s 1936 Ford Truck resembles originality and diligent attention to detail. Initially into musclecars, Ramirez grew out of them after his first experience at the Viva Las Vegas car show in Nevada.
“I grew up around old cars,” Ramirez said. “My father was into musclecars and I picked up his habits. I ended up buying an old Chevy Bel Air when I was 14. It was my first car and this is where I learned how to rebuild cars. I was really into musclecars for about a good fifteen years. However, all the hot rods I saw at my first Viva Las Vegas strayed me away from them.”
Ramirez’s car may be nameless, but that does not take away from its vibrant and clean aesthetics. An individual who prefers to do the work himself, he set out to find something he could build with passion.
A Touch Of Backstory
The story behind Ramirez’s prized truck was put into a short, but sweet anecdote. With a newfound appreciation for hot rods Ramirez wanted something original that he could add his golden touch to.
“When I went to Viva Las Vegas one year, I went on a mission to find a car,” Ramirez said. “I ended up going to a Paso Robles car show with a pocket full of money to hunt for a car. I was going to leave with something. I ended up running into an individual who had the ’36 Ford Truck and was actually from Riverside, California. He was the original owner of the ’36 Ford. Since I’ve bought it, it’s been completely stripped and rebuilt from the ground up.”
Ramirez spent nearly two years on the truck, spending countless hours in his garage and also gaining the support from his friends, family, and acquaintances within the hot rod scene. He said he has invested about $25,000 into the flawlessly built truck.
“I like the way it came out and can handle it the way it is now,” he said. “Finding parts for the motor was the most difficult part. But overall, it was a pretty good build, I just had to be patient in my search for the parts.”
Ramirez’s truck has helped build some profound memories, which he told us about.
We’re just a few guys who like to drive nice cars and spend time with family.
– Jim Ramirez
We learned more about Ramirez’s car club, Throttle Kings Car Club of Southern California and what they are about. Not worried about numbers, the club prefers to have quality over quantity.
Based out of the Orange County area of Southern California, the Throttle Kings Car Club has members residing in the Whittier and Upland areas of Los Angeles. Ramirez said the club and himself promote being a family, doing several things together, and embracing camaraderie.
“We’ve been together for about eight years now,” he said. “We’re into the traditional style of hot rods. We lean towards the early 30s style hot rods and any type of custom in the 30s through 50s.”
All Hail To The King
Complete and a show stopper at first sight, Ramirez’s Ford Truck can’t be missed by the naked eye wherever he takes it. Ramirez’s Ford truck is no stranger to the public as he won an award at the Grand National Roadster Show at the Fairplex in Pomona, California.
Painting the truck with his uncle Gary, the truck came out spotless and garishly good. The 16-inch early 40s style Ford steelie rims give the truck a classy touch, wrapped with slicks in the rear and radials in the front.
“The chassis was a custom built frame by a company that is no longer in business,” Ramirez said. “It is all custom fabricated and truly a one-off. We only needed to modify the frame to get it to fit to the body properly.”
The Ford’s top was chopped 5-inches, giving the cabin a more aggressive look. The headlights are original 40s style Guide lamps and the taillights are off of a 1959 Cadillac. The front grille is the original 1936 Ford grille, but was shortened and its insert was handmade by Ramirez himself.
The suspension setup is custom as well. The front has 28-inch reverse side springs with custom perches and the rear has a coilover setup. The drivetrain came from a 1964 Buick Riviera. The truck bed is off a 1935 Ford Model A which was shortened about 6 to 7-inches to fit onto the frame.
However, it is the engine that separates Ramirez’s truck from the rest. It is a 401 cubic-inch Buick Nailhead V8 engine, but it is rare for one specific reason.
“The Buick Nailhead engine has a Hampton 671 blower, specifically built for me by Hampton Blowers out of Downey, California,” Ramirez said. “It has a Lion six carburetor blower manifold with six Stromberg 97s sitting on top. It’s a progressive setup and I run all six carburetors.”
The truck has straight pipes with no baffles, coupled with Offenhauser valve covers. Ramirez said he got lucky with the carburetor scoops because of its scarcity.
“The scoops surprisingly came from a guy in Australia,” he said. “I was lucky enough to get the scoops from him before he closed down his shop.”
Power meets the pavement with a TH400 automatic transmission that is mated with a Lokar shifter and a Pertronix ignition system. With no stereo, heating or air conditioning, Ramirez kept it old school with his custom Ford truck.
I prefer to listen to the motor as you don’t really hear much in there when that motor is running.
– Jim Ramirez
The floors inside was completely rebuilt and the dash was not modified. The dash consists of Stewart-Warner wing gauges and an SW tachometer.
Interestingly, the origin of the rear seat may surprise you. “The bench seat in the back was a custom made seat out of a minivan,” Ramirez said.
Food For Thought
Ramirez has profound appreciation for old school rods and hopes the hot rod world will remain the same. He said with everyone having different styles and preferences, the possibilities remain endless in the kustom scene.
“I’ve been around the car scene for the majority of my life,” he said. “It has grown larger over the last ten years, with all of the television shows that have sparked the interest of the individuals out there who were never into hot rods to begin with. I see the trend going back to its the original style of hot rodding. I think the billet and street rod scene is dying where those cars are no longer sought after as much as the more original hot rods.”
He also said barn finds are becoming the main attraction for kustom enthusiasts.
“People are looking for cars that are not finished or haven’t been touched,” he said. “These are starting to be the big money cars since people are looking more for the originality versus the catalog built cars.”
Personally, I like to build it myself or do as much as I can out of my garage before taking it to someone to finish it.
– Jim Ramirez
“I prefer the cars that have a rich history,” he said. “I appreciate the people who go to swap meets, make trades, and share the same interests. I like it better than opening a catalog and picking everything you need and having someone build it for you. I like that people embrace old cars and the idea of building something.”
Ramirez said building kustoms may be exciting, but it can get frustrating when you hit a wall or bump in the road.
“Everyone has their own style and preference,” he said. “It just sucks for people trying to find parts now because they are getting to be really expensive. They are getting harder to find and they’re not cheap anymore.”
Overall, Jim Ramirez is a passionate hot rod enthusiast who takes pride in doing it all himself. Hot rods have always been about doing it yourself, and with a majority of the work completed by Ramirez, it only gives him more to talk about with this beautiful truck.
Truly a masterpiece, Ramirez’s Ford Truck is the vision of an individual who has seen his fair share of customs. With a passion for cars that began at a young age, Ramirez’s truck is tastefully customized and has something for everyone to see.
From the intricately sewn seats to the pristine engine build, Ramirez’s truck is a green beauty that will keep your eyes wandering about its definitive body lines. Whether it is the paint or the various chrome components, it is virtually impossible to miss this truck at a car show.
Customs have their own identity and with so much history, Ramirez has a truck that he can be proud of for years to come. Ramirez would like to give special thanks to Sew Cal Upholstery, Hampton Blowers, O.C. Cars for helping build and tune the blowers and carburetors, his family, friends, and The Throttle Kings. To check out what Ramirez and The Throttle Kings are building next, be sure to check out their FaceBook page.