Rare body style, frame-off restoration, 3/4-race 59AB flathead, juice brakes
- Make: Ford
- Model: Other
- SubModel: Deluxe
- Type: Convertible
- Year: 1937
- Mileage: 73,908
- VIN: 54290262
- Color: Blue
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Interior color: Tan
- Options: Convertible
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1937 Ford Other Deluxe
The 1937 Ford was one of the most stylish and avant-garde cars on the road in the late 1930s, pushing art-deco styling to new highs with beautifully integrated headlights, a sweeping grille, and enclosed fenders, all of which make it seem far more modern in every way. Underneath, they retained all that was great about the flathead V8, with great power and a wide torque curve, plus a chassis that was competent and playful, so the car feels agile. For enthusiasts today, the '37s are a love-it-or-hate-it proposition, but even if you're not a fan, one look at this lovely 1937 Ford cabriolet might just change your mind. Featuring a spectacular frame-off restoration, traditional colors, and a warmed-over ¾ race flathead V8, it's everything we love about early V8 Fords and no vices.
We have three photo albums showing the thoroughness of the restoration on this stunning Ford cabriolet and it's very impressive. Starting with what appears to be a clean, presentable car, it was fully disassembled and restored down to the molecular level. The body came off the frame and was dipped to remove all traces of rust and old bodywork, and the sheetmetal was refinished to show standards. There wasn't much rust, just a few spots in the usual areas behind the rear fenders, but for the most part, this was a clean cabrio that made the perfect foundation for this remarkable restoration. Several coats of glowing Washington Blue, a favorite of Henry Ford, were laid down on the arrow-straight bodywork, and it was finished with correct straw-colored pinstripes, just a simple single line to highlight the belt moldings. All the dramatic chrome and stainless brightwork was fully restored or replaced, from the grille with its neat V8 emblem that highlights the 85 horsepower engine within, to the teardrop-shaped headlights that define the '37s. You'll note the running boards were properly restored with a vulcanized rubber step, not just a glue-on mat, and there's a handy luggage rack out back that makes this car look far more expensive and upscale. Accessory fog lamps were added up front (working in conjunction with the aftermarket turn signal system) and twin side-view mirrors were installed for safety.
The tan leather interior is spectacular all out of proportion to the car's original sticker price, but it seems that Ford gave you a heck of a lot of car for your money. The front bench has individual seat backs to give access to the rather commodious storage area under the top well, which includes a full-sized spare tire assembly. In Ford tradition, there's rubber matting on the floor, but it's surprisingly well insulated, so it remains cool and comfortable to drive, even on warm days. Obviously the floors and door panels are exquisite and seat belts have been added for safety. When you slide behind the wheel, you're greeted by beautifully woodgrained surfaces on the dash, garnish moldings, and even the windshield surround, all of which have a very convincing and consistent look. The banjo-style wheel has been fully restored and the controls in the center still control the headlights. All the gauges are fully operational, including the temperature gauge and clock, and yes, that's an accessory Ford AM radio in the center of the dash, and it, too, operates correctly! There's new weather-stripping throughout, so this convertible coupe seals up better than most, and the tan canvas top fits beautifully and folds without a fight where it's covered by a matching canvas boot. 1937 was the final year for rumble seats, and not only does it add space for two passengers, but it gives the cabriolet a racy look that everyone will appreciate. There's just no angle from which this car isn't jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
Mechanically, the Ford flathead V8 is legendary and this one has been warmed over to roughly double its output. Built by noted flathead ace Tony Galotti, it started as a 239 cubic inch 1946 59AB flathead that was bored .060 oversized and fitted with a brand new reciprocating assembly, including a stock crank and aluminum pistons. Up top, there's an Offenhauser intake manifold with a pair of Stromberg 97 carburetors working in parallel on a custom linkage. Finned aluminum Offenhauser heads flow quite a bit better than the stockers, too, and a set of police-package cast iron exhaust manifolds feed a custom dual exhaust system with glasspack-style mufflers. It's got a traditional look with chrome air dome filters on the carbs, Ford-script radiator hoses and factory-style clamps, and it's still running a 6-volt electrical system with generator. It doesn't seem right to call this car a hot rod, mostly because it honors the original design and specification with a few well-chosen upgrades.
While the body was being restored, the chassis got a similar makeover, with the frame itself sandblasted to bare steel and coated in satin black, as original. The floors are correct red oxide primer, which makes for a dramatic contrast, and aside from a set of 1939 Ford hydraulic brakes, it doesn't deviate from original specification. That means a 3-speed manual transmission and a banjo-style rear end with 3.78 gears inside, so it's pretty comfortable at highway speeds and quite punchy around town. It shows some very, very minor signs of use since it was completed, but thanks to the quality of the work and the care of a very meticulous owner, it's tight, rattle-free, and could be returned to the show field with an hour of dusting and cleaning underneath. Factory chrome artillery wheels are gorgeous, especially with trim rings and V8 logo hubcaps, and they're fitted with new 215/70/16 Diamondback wide whitewall radials that ride and handle great without losing the 1930s look.
If you've driven a flathead Ford, you know they're a joy. This one takes everything that's great about the original and just bumps it up a level. It's still gorgeous to look at, the handling is playful yet confident, and with the brake upgrade, it stops quite well. The warmed-over flathead starts quickly and easily, idles well, and there are no signs of flathead fever, making this a very usable car indeed. The radial tires make a dramatic improvement in ride and handling, and we suspect that this car's lucky new owner will look forward to driving it every chance he gets.
A fantastic combination of style, performance, and yes, practicality, this 1937 Ford cabriolet has quickly become one of our very favorite cars. Come see it and we know you'll fall in love as well. Call today!