Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Henry the Truck - Issue 12


Last updated 4/29/2016 at 9:17am

Vol. 63, No. 13 Borrego Springs, California June 19, 2014


This column will be a little different. While we are up to the ’35 and ’36 Fords, this will be the story of Ed DuVall’s ’35 Ford.

In the early ’30’s Alta Jones was a teacher in Los Angeles. She was also a member of the Sierra Club. She would often come out to Borrego with members of the club to explorer the desert of Borrego. The general store was run by Ed DuVall and his brother Glen.

Alta and Ed became an item, and they were married in the early part of 1936. They bought a ’35 Ford in Los Angeles and Alta moved to Borrego. In the later part of 1936, they were visiting some friends in the San Francisco area. Ed’s friend was with the Highway Patrol. They were trying out ’37 model vehicles to decide what vehicles to use for the highway patrol. They were using an area next to the airport to test the various vehicles. They would run the cars through a series of turns, stops and a long area for top speed, etc.

Ed told his friend that his Ford could out-perform any of the ’37s they were trying out. So Ed proceeded to spank all the other cars that were out there! His friend watched Ed and his ’35 run circles around all the other cars. Just how fast is that damn Ford, he asked. Don’t know, but it goes real fast, Ed said. So in December of 1936, Ed’s Ford was clocked at 102 mph flat out! The best speed of any cars out there that day! That would give some cars of today a run for their money! Ford’s motor for 1935 was 85 horsepower. The only difference with Ed’s car was that it had what Ford called a “Texas rear end.” This rear end was a lot lower ratio than the normal 4:11 rear ends that came in most Fords.

Ed’s son Denny when he was small would stand between Ed’s legs and steer the ’35. As he got bigger he would sit on Ed’s lap and steer. The first numbers Denny knew when he learned to count was ‘eighty.’ That was what Ed drove the Ford at. The ’35, if it was moving, was going eighty, or it was parked under a tree, resting! It was not unusual for Ed to drive the ’35 into the reservoir behind their house when the water was low enough and wash his pride and joy!

Denny would hear his Dad on many occasions remark that the ’35 was one the best looking cars Henry Ford ever made. Denny still owns that car today and the Old Borrego Historical Society is in the process of restoring the car.

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