Charles Corrigan and his 1936 Ford
Charles Corrigan bought a 1936 Ford from his uncle for $250 when he was 17 years old. It was an olive green sedan with 26,000 miles, and Corrigan drove it to Benton High School in St. Joseph, Mo.
"It was a chick magnet," he said. As kids are wont to do, Corrigan sold his '36 after a year because someone offered him $100 more than he paid for it.
"I've kicked myself ever since," he said recently as he stood in front of Union Station beside another 1936 Ford, a light tan sedan that he has owned for the last three years.
Corrigan, who also has a 1941 Plymouth, said he has been interested in old cars for a long time, but the 1936 Ford has always been his dream. One day a friend called and said, "Your 1936 Ford is in the paper today."
"They don't sell those in the want ads," he exclaimed, but upon closer inspection, there it was. Joe Egle, a Kansas City car collector, had advertised this car in the paper.
"When I saw the spare tire cover, I knew I had to have it," Corrigan said. After asking his wife if they could take some money from savings, he bought the car and drove it back to Gladstone.
The first Ford V-8 was a 221-cubic-inch flathead in 1932. This engine had 65 horsepower. By 1934, the horsepower had grown to 85, and the engine was so well liked that John Dillinger and Clyde Barrow reportedly wrote Ford to compliment them on building a fine car.
Corrigan's Ford is almost completely original. It has 55,217 miles. He has replaced the tires and a couple of windows, but otherwise it remains with a lovely patina of age without being worn.
Corrigan has taken his car to numerous parades and car shows, but what he loves most is just driving it. Everyone in the family loves it too, he said. Last year, while Corrigan and his 12-year-old granddaughter were waiting in line for the Gladfest parade, she said, “Paw Paw, I don’t mean to sound ugly, but when you die, can I have this car?”
Corrigan smiled as he recounted her words. He was clearly tickled that she is as fascinated with the Ford as he is.