As a young man, Emery Ward Jr. fell in love in 1936 -- with a Ford.
He never got over the attraction. In fact, the older he got, the more it intensified.
After Ward died in 2007, the objects of his affection -- a collection of nearly two dozen 1936 Fords of every shape and stripe -- remained locked away in a barn in Sandusky, Ohio, near the shores of Lake Erie. Until now, that is.
On May 16 and 17, Ward’s impressive collection of 1936 Fords and accompanying spare parts will be auctioned off at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Sandusky. The auction also includes several of Ward’s other vehicles, including a 1958 Ford Edsel Pacer Convertible and a 1940 Lincoln Continental Zephyr. Most of the cars and trucks in the collection are fully restored, and one -- a 1936 Ford Coupe -- he purchased in original condition, said his son Emery Ward III.
The younger Ward said his father owned a trucking company for several decades, and later a local gift shop and a series of storage facilities. But he was most comfortable under the hood of his favorite vehicle.
“He’d walk out the door and walk back to the garage, and when he was hungry he’d come up to eat, but that was about it,” Emery Ward III said. “He restored all of them himself.”
The collection of 1936 Fords includes a panel van, a four-door convertible, a tanker truck, a dump truck, a pickup, a “humpback” sedan and coupe, a Woody and a four-door Phaeton. There are also two 1936 one-ton flatbed trucks and a Ford fire truck from that year as well. It also includes one item that doesn’t roll: a large metal Ford “V8” dealership sign that advertised the Flathead V-8 engines that power many of the 1936 vehicles being sold.
Information about the auction, as well as videos of each of the vehicles is available via www.bakerbonningson.com, a local auction service.
“That was the first vehicle he ever drove, a 1936 Ford, and that’s what he collected,” the younger Ward said. The family decided to sell off the collection after Ward’s wife of 60 years, Jean, died in 2012 and the collection sat gathering dust.
“The last time any of them drove was for his funeral. The longer they sit, the worse they’re going to get,” the younger Ward said. “There’s no sense in letting them go to hell. Let somebody else get them and do whatever it is they’re going to do with them.”