- Built by Evolution Auto
- Magazine feature
- OZE fiberglass body
- 350hp LS1 V8
- 4L65E automatic transmission
- Winters differential / 3.50 gears
- Custom leather interior
- Rack and pinion power steering
- Power disc brakes
One day, we may look back and consider today the zenith of street rodding. With an endless assortment of bodies, frames, engines and new ways to fuse them all together, the build possibilities are simply limitless. The best part is that modern rods can be as driver-friendly as production cars while offering twice the style. Commissioned by the National Street Rod Association and executed by Evolution Auto out of Port Byron, Illinois this classy 1937 Ford coupe is practically a State of the Union address for the hot rodding community. Featuring a world-class OZE body, GM Performance Parts LS1, striking paint and a welcoming custom interior, this pro-built Ford is fully sorted and ready for years of enjoyment. Ready to view the street rod scene from the best seat in the house? Take a closer look at this '37 Ford.
When it comes to fiberglass bodies, it seems like a lot of liberties are taken with make and model designation. It's pretty common to see a street rod titled as something like a 1933 Ford when, in reality, it shares more lines with a N1 rocket than anything that ever wore a blue oval. The design team at OZE did a great job keeping the '37 Ford lines in this body. From the nose to the fender shape to the roofline, the profile is easily recognizable despite all the smoothing and chopping. With the exception of the recessed license plate mount, the body shape remains basically as it shipped from OZE. The crew at Evolution Auto did a fantastic job sanding down the body and getting every piece to fit just right. Even looking down the side, there isn't a wave to be found. More impressive is the subtle two-tone paint that covers that prep work. While a lot of street rod builders go with borderline obnoxious colors, this coupe is coated in a mix of Sandlewood Beige and Cashmere White, divided by a thin red stripe. Well executed and tasteful in every way, this '37 definitely stands out in the crowd.
As a modern rod, the trim chosen to finish off the exterior of the coupe was carefully chosen and kept to a bare minimum. At the front, genuine Ford headlights were worked into the front fenders on either side of the OZE grille. Built to be driven, the show quality windshield is kept clean with the assistance of two-speed, adjustable sweep, self-parking wipers that look great in chrome. Naturally the rear and power side windows look equally as nice as the windshield. Out back, two oval taillights sit on either side of a billet license plate frame with a built in light.
Between the fenders, a GM Performance Parts crate LS1 V8 looks awesome and offers more than enough motivation for this lightweight street rod. As the hotter variant of the engine, this LS1 utilizes a six-bolt main block, high-lift cam, fuel rails with injectors and symmetrical-port cylinder heads to produce 350hp and 365lb. ft. of torque while managing 20 miles per gallon at highway speed. Of course, placing an off-the-shelf motor in a custom car requires numerous visual and technical tweaks to create a seamless finished product like this. On the visual end of the spectrum, body-color injector covers and a custom rear-facing air plenum bring the exterior's graceful lines into the bay while covering the less attractive part of GM's design. The Howell wiring harness has also been artfully tucked out of plain view to further accentuate the custom touches. On the technical front, GM's stock drive-by-wire system was scrapped in favor of a traditional throttle cable setup. At the front, a Street and Performance serpentine system spins a high output alternator, power steering pump and air conditioning compressor. The LS1 breathes through a set of aluminized headers that connect to a stainless exhaust system with Stainless Works mufflers. The modern powerplant starts immediately, performs well and has the excellent street manners you'd expect from late model hardware.
Backing that LS1 is a 4L65E 4-speed automatic transmission. Basically a stronger version of the 4L60E, the “L65” uses a stronger five-pinion rear planetary, hardened input shaft , seven plate clutch and a revised valve body calibration to increase torque capacity to around 400lb. ft. From the transmission, power is transferred down the aluminum driveshaft to a Winters Ford 9-inch style rear end with an aluminum center section and 3.50 gears. Around the drivetrain, a fully boxed , laser cut, TIG welded and painted OZE perimeter chassis features air ride at all four corners for a ground scraping stance. Up front, a fully polished stainless steel independent front suspension from TCI hosts tubular A-arms, variable ratio power rack and pinion steering and an anti-roll bar to help even out performance in the corners. Out back, a polished triangulated four-link keeps the rear end firmly planted and drama-free while a Rock Valley stainless steel fuel tank delivers juice to the LS1.With speed comes the necessity for serious brakes and, thanks to MBM-actuated Wilwood calipers all around, this coupe has them. The slick chassis meets the road thanks to Intro wheels in sizes 17x7 and 20x10 wrapped in BF Goodrich rubber.
Open the suicide doors to a sculpted leather interior crafted by the team at TEAS's Design. The surprisingly spacious cabin hosts custom bucket seats wrapped in rich tan leather. Between them, a low profile full length center console houses controls for the Secret Audio controls, air ride controls, front speakers and trick courtesy lights that offer an often overlooked but much appreciated touch. At the sides, leather and suede blend together to form downward swept door panels topped with molded fiberglass pieces that blend into the one-piece fiberglass dashboard perfectly. From the driver's seat, a leather-wrapped Billet Specialties steering wheel tops a polished Flaming River tilt column. Behind the steering setup, a brilliantly simple dash incorporates two air conditioning vents and a center mounted gauge cluster that houses Dakota Digital gauges. Worth noting is the OBD II port located under the passenger side of the dash for easy access. Across the headliner, a raised center strip and geometric patter rendered in leather mirror the sweeping center console. Every surface in the cabin, including the leather-wrapped rear wall, is covered in a comfortable and visually pleasing texture. The detail continues into the trunk where leather rear and side panels finish out the plush look.
As a NSRA-sanctioned build, this is a very well documented car. Included in the sale are the seven months (January – July 2008) of coverage the car received from Street Scene – NSRA's monthly publication. There is also a large three-ring binder with absolutely every component manual from the build. Should you have questions about how anything goes together, it's here.
Despite the availability of components, building a quality finished street rod that looks, runs and drives as it should is still a serious undertaking. The crew at Evolution Auto didn't cut a single corner on this Ford and it shows from every angle. With all the right parts and tasteful look that will always draw a crowd, this 1937 Ford would be a great addition to any garage. Don't miss the chance to park it in yours!
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