To answer your first question, yes, it's steel.
With the growing number of reproduction fiberglass bodies springing up on the hot rodding market, it is refreshing to see someone take the road less traveled. Whether it is part of the “dare to be different” movement that gave us Nash Metropolitans with big block Chevy motors, or the desire to simply do something only slightly different, I like it when rod builders don't do what everyone else does. This 1937 Ford coupe is an excellent example of daring to be different. First, it's all Ford steel, which while unremarkable in and of itself, suggests that a tremendous amount of fabrication and skill was required to get it into its current configuration. And second, the choice of a 5-window coupe body suggests a builder committed to coloring outside the lines, which is always a good thing in the hot-rodding community. It has won a ton of awards and trophies, and is as well-sorted and ready to drive as any rod we've seen. This is a seriously nice car.
Your first clue that this car is something special is expressed in one the awards this car has won: the PPG “Outstanding Use of Color” award from the 2010 Street Rod Nationals in York, PA. The burnt orange metallic over black paint scheme is both contemporary and timeless, and the quality will have people examining this car for hours, marveling at the attention to detail. Start with the chopped top—most folks don't know how hard it is to make a 5-window coupe look this good because they only see the final result. But getting the proportions right without that rear window looking like a porthole or a peep window is incredibly difficult. Getting the proportions correct while still giving the car an aggressive rake and silhouette is no easy task, and finishing it to show car levels such as this takes true talent. Look closely at the photos, and I think you'll be able to see the amount of work that went into this car and you can't help but be impressed.
So once the shape was right and everything was lined up to standards that only hand-fabrication can achieve, that gorgeous paint was applied. The sophisticated 2-tone look was achieved by using the body's original lines as a break point, with a silver stripe dividing the black and burnt orange. The fenders and running boards (which are fiberglass, by the way) were smoothed and rubbed until they were as gorgeous as the rest of the body. Then it was all buried under several coats of clear to make it seamless and uniform. A few rigorous color-sanding sessions and some serious buffing resulted in a car that is truly worthy of those awards it has won.
Rodding is all about details, and this car doesn't disappoint there, either. From the beautiful hand-formed grille that imitates, but doesn't exactly duplicate the factory piece, to the unique headlights, to the frenched-in license plate holder in back, you will spend a lot of time examining the details throughout this car. Billet side-view mirrors look period correct and still 21st century on this car, and are a functional update you'll appreciate when you're on the road. The doors open by remote, so there are no bulky handles and the hinges are all hidden for a seamless, unbroken look. Nice!
So you can't make a rod look like this and not back it up with some horsepower. Hot rodding is first and foremost about power and acceleration, so nestled into the engine bay of this '37 is a bored and stroked small block Chevy engine. Displacing 383 cubic inches and ably assisted by a Weiand 144 blower, it cranks out a conservative 450 horsepower. Dressed up with a polished aluminum intake and valve covers, along with chrome accessories, the engine bay is worthy of showing off any chance you get. And you'll be wanting to do that every chance you get when you see the trick hood hinges that allow the hood to tilt forward and hold the hood in place above the bodywork in the open position. Up front, you'll find a custom-fabricated aluminum radiator shroud and a powerful cooling system that keeps this hot rod cool under all conditions. It starts easily, runs beautifully, and pulls like a freight train. The blower makes boost so quickly, it will peg the needle before you can even get your foot on the floor. This is one nasty, sharp, powerful engine.
The rest of the car's power-train is equally stout and up to the rigors of 450 horsepower. The transmission is a TH350 3-speed automatic, ideally suited to the small-block's power delivery. Out back, there's a durable Ford 9-inch that can handle any abuse the engine throws at it. The chassis has been well-constructed and features a road-worthy black paint job with minimal detailing so you won't worry about driving the car. The front suspension is a tubular independent setup with a rack-and-pinion steering system, while an Air Ride suspension system holds up all four corners. Brakes are massive discs by Baer, with 4-piston calipers up front and cross-drilled rotors all around, and separate parking brake calipers on the rear. The dual exhaust system features Dynomax mufflers for a mellow, powerful sound without being intrusive on the road, and it's finished with chrome tips out back. Rolling stock consists of Billet Specialties polished aluminum wheels wearing 215/40/18 front and 245/35/20 rear BFGoodrich gForce KDW radials.
The interior is every bit as nice as the bodywork. With an adjustable, custom-crafted seat covered in supple black and gray leather, there's a surprising amount of space inside. Everything is, of course, new, from the carpets to the custom headliner, and there's something about a hand-made interior that is vastly more inviting and comfortable than something plucked out of a late-model car and adapted. The original dashboard has been modified considerably, and now houses a complete array of modern TPI Tech gauges and a custom paint job that echoes the exterior colors. Vintage Air handles the climate control, and the stereo system is powerful, with speakers scattered throughout the passenger compartment for a true surround-sound sensation. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is a billet piece with a flame design that matches the flamed shifter knob. Power windows and locks make it comfortable, and the layout is at once familiar and easy to use. In back, the trunk has been upholstered to match, with access to the fuel cell under the trunk floor, and a panel through which the battery and other electronics can be serviced.
All the receipts from the components used to build this car are included, along with instruction manuals, troubleshooting tips, and any other factory documentation. If there are any components on this car you need to know more about, just reference the thick file that comes with it. And doing some quick math, the numbers add up to more than $120,000 in construction costs, so this was by no means a budget build. We're also including all the trophies and awards this car has won since being completed, including that PPG paint award, a Best in Show award, and a Top 50 award to name but a few.
So what we have here is a fully-sorted, fast, steel-bodied rod that has already proven that it can win awards at the national level. The fact that it's beautifully finished and packs timeless good looks is only icing on the cake. With big power from a reliable powertrain and a handcrafted interior, it's a car you can easily drive cross-country. Few rods manage to do everything well, but this is a rare exception, and that's due to a careful build and effective planning throughout. As the receipts indicate, cars like this are extremely expensive to build, so it's always smarter to buy someone else's finished project. This one is turn-key and ready to rumble today for a fraction of the build cost. Why wouldn't you call?
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What Customers Are Saying
After hearing good things about the people at RK Motors, I contacted them regarding consignment of my street rod. I found Tony Klein to be a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and forthcoming in our communications. He evaluated my vehicle and made suggestions of enhancements which would help ensure the desired result would be achieved in the marketing of the vehicle. We agreed on an acceptable sale price. Following the completion of the recommended items, I brought the vehicle to RK for consignment. After a thorough inspection and correction of some minor issues at what I considered a fair price, the vehicle was offered for sale. It sold quickly with me receiving the agreed value. I would have to repeat the recommendation that I received. RK Motors does what they say they will do, and obtains for the seller a fair and agreed value. What more could you ask for?Doug C.