Ludwin Converts 1936 Ford Sedan Into Overland 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle
Jason Ludwin’s 1936 Ford Sedan might be nearly 85 years old, but the vehicle’s classic shape is timeless.
“I really do like the body lines of this car. There’s a thickness and art deco form to it,” said Ludwin, who is participating in the 2020 Builder Challenge powered by CTEK.
Ludwin owns Rodz By Ludwin, and specializes in building out-of-the-box vehicles. “I work a regular day job, so I work in my shop on nights and weekends,” he said. “It’s relaxing to me. I look forward to coming home and being in the shop.”
Ludwin has been “building and monkeying around with dirtbikes and ATVs” since childhood. “My first car build was when I was 16 or 17. I’ve always been mechanical, and I like to draw and paint. Building is sort of an artistic thing. I like to repurpose and make something different out of something else,” he said.
His 1936 Ford Sedan fits that mold. “It’s a two-door sedan car, which I have converted to a 4-wheel drive, overland style car.”
Ludwin said the sedan was a “barn find” he discovered. “I’m constantly looking. I like things from that 1920s, 30s, 40s era.”
The problem, said Ludwin, is finding cars that aren’t “total rot boxes.”
“It’s a challenge finding things that are solid and not rusted out. Everything I look at has been in the salt and is 80-plus years old. A lot of times, they’re uncommon cars, so you find yourself manufacturing body and patch panels,” he explained.
“I built 4-wheel drive trucks for a long time when I was younger, and I love the idea of an off-the-grid type vehicle,” said Ludwin.
He lives on the outskirts of the Adirondacks in rural New York and said he was excited to “take a 1930s car and make it look like it’s supposed to be a 4-wheel drive vehicle.”
In the past, Ludwin’s builds have been “built on the fly.”
“I wouldn’t have a completed vision in my head, I’d just look at a car and think, ‘Oh, I’d like to see the front jacked up,’ so I’d do that,” he said. “I would build one a year for myself and then sell them to help build the next one.”
His building went to the next level in 2019 when he entered a 1936 Chevy pickup in the builder competition at the Syracuse Nationals Car Show. The show, which attracts more than 5,000 vehicles, is a major event in New York.
“For the first time, I was allowed to ask for sponsorship. I had no idea how to even do that,” he admitted. However, he connected with Ridler Wheels and The Wheel Group, of California, and was asked to exhibit his truck in their SEMA 2019 booth.
“It was the first time ever in my life being at SEMA. I never even thought I’d be at a point where I’d have a build there,” said Ludwin. “I had my 1936 Chevy pickup surrounded by brand new or nearly new vehicles. It was nice to be able to show today’s technology in a vehicle that’s 80 years old and to do it with a little style.”
After the 2019 show, Ludwin was asked to create a build for 2020, which lead him to his 1936 Ford Sedan. After the in-person SEMA show was canceled for 2020, Ludwin discovered the luxury of extra time.
“My rendering changed. I have time to do full paint and get away from the old patina look. With a full year until SEMA 2021, I thought I might as well paint it and take it to the next level.”
He also plans to do more metal fabrication on the body and build a roof rack for a full-size spare.
Because his sedan was built in an overland style, Ludwin added a dual-battery system and relies on his CTEK charger.
“I like the smart technology of it. The CTEK charger knows when the battery is charged and can switch to maintenance mode,” said Ludwin. “I’ll be mounting the charger to the vehicle to help with the dual battery system. I like that you can install the charger right in your vehicle and just be able to plug it in. It really is a cool piece of equipment.”
“I have an older vehicle, but it’s been completely wrapped in new technology,” he said.
In the 2020 Builder Challenge powered by CTEK, Ludwin will showcase his 1936 Ford Sedan on social media alongside other CTEK sponsored builds.Fans will have a chance to vote on their favorite build here with the winning builder receiving a CTEK prize package. One lucky voter, drawn at random, will also receive a CTEK prize. Voting will be open Nov. 2-6. For more information, visit CTEK on Facebook or Instagram.
ABOUT JASON LUDWIN
- Jason Ludwin, owner of Rodz By Ludwin, is a CTEK-supported car builder based in Fort Johnson, NY. He exhibited a build at SEMA for the first time in 2019. For more information on Ludwin’s builds, visit him on Instagram at @rodzbyludwin or visit www.rodzbyludwin.com.
ABOUT CTEK, INC.
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Bobbie DuMelle, Executive Vice President
CTEK North America