Larry & Melody Pyzik's 1936 Ford Roadster
(from Volume 19, Issue 236)

story by owner Larry Pyzik, photos by Michael B. Kelly


Growing up in Detroit, I was naturally attracted to anything with wheels, but Detroit is also home to long, miserable winters. So after my retirement in 1995 my wife, Melody, and I traded snow shovels and mittens for Florida sunshine!

My 1936 Ford Roadster was originally built by my good friend and mentor Larry Monigold. I spent countless hours in his shop during its build, watching, learning and helping wherever I could, always joking how it would ultimately end up in my garage. Sadly, my friend passed away in 2004, and “my car” went to his son, who graciously sold it to me in 2008 with only 6,000 miles on the odometer.

I have made numerous changes to the car since then, but never wavered from the concept that a traditional hot rod is just as cool today as it was in the “Little Pages” we read as kids.

The car has a Fairlane reproduction body on a stock 1936 Ford chassis that has been heavily modified. The frame was boxed front to rear, and now has a Mustang II front suspension, and parallel leaf rear springs holding an 8-inch Granada rear end. Under the original ‘36 hood is a 350 GM crate motor with an Edelbrock Performer cam, intake and carb. A 350 automatic transmission takes care of the shifting.

Stewart-Warner Wings gauges and a ‘40 Ford steering wheel atop a Chevy van tilt column add to the nostalgic look. Power brakes, power steering, Vintage heat and air, plus a stereo system add to the driveability. I made all the interior and trunk panels, and modified a Dodge minivan seat to fit the car. It was then expertly upholstered in red leather by another buddy, “Bruno” Brunick of Floral City, who also modified and covered the 2-inch chopped top, and installed the square weave wool carpet.

I have driven my Roadster more than 25,000 miles, smiling all the way. It was also the NSRA Safety Director’s Pick at the NSRA Southeast Nationals Plus in Tampa in October of 2013. -Larry Pyzik