Car talk at the Tropicana Forum……

Ray Harper’s 1936 Ford Coupe can be found in Tropicana Park. Paul Goldfinger photo. 1/23/21


Ray is from Ohio, but he has been living here for 20 years.  However,  he has owned this beautiful antique car for 50 years.   Ray has devised a garage in his Flamingo Drive home, at the end of the car port.

Over the years, Ray has made sure that this treasure has been well maintained, and  everything is authentic.

This 1936 “Standard 5 Window Ford Coupe” was owned originally by a woman in Ohio. She kept the car in her barn and never drove it in winter. When she passed away, the current owner, Ray Harper, bought the car with his father from the estate. They named the auto “Henry” (for Henry Ford.)

Note that the “Deluxe” model has two rear lights while Henry has one. The Deluxe also has two arm rests and a rumble seat. Henry has a fairly large trunk instead. The car radio was invented in 1930, but this car has none. There is an ashtray. The current tires are Firestones. Ford, Edison and Firestone were friends. They were interested in alternate sources of rubber, and that explains some of the plantings at the Edison Estate.

Ray was very careful over the many years that he has had this beautiful vehicle. At one point he took it apart looking for hidden rust. He only had to change 2 bolts.

The car has two small windows in the rear and two larger windows next to the driver and passenger. The windshield opens to allow air in (“air conditioning.”) Henry has a flat-head V-8 engine which needed some work (“rebuilt”) later because of the newer gasolines.

In 1998 the vehicle was repainted by an expert using the original color “Washington Blue.” There was minimal fender”damage” which was fixed at this time. The interior was redone, and Ray obtained some original cloth for the upholstery.

The speedometer shows 34,000 miles. Ray rarely drives it, but he does take it to car shows. He retired from the Toledo, Ohio Electric Company. He now lives in Ft. Myers, Florida with his wife Dorothy, and he keeps his baby in the  garage most of the time.   Sometimes he parks it in his driveway (car port) which is where we spotted it while taking a bike ride around the community.


We took a ride with Ray, and here are two short videos: