Great build, keeps spirit of the original alive, runs and drives really well.

1937 Ford Deluxe

Technical specifications of Ford Deluxe 1937

Price: -
Condition: Used
Item location: Macedonia, Ohio, United States
Make: Ford
Model: Deluxe
Year: 1937
Mileage: 93,429
VIN: 217303
Vehicle Title: Clear
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Car description

It's not surprising that we love early V8 Fords here at Harwood Motors; just look through our inventory and you'll find more than a few of Henry's finest. We've also had hot rods based on Ford products and we love those, too. But we just don't see many early Ford resto-mods, cars that have upgraded performance but largely stock looks, something that's a bit different from your average hot rod. This 1937 Ford Deluxe sedan gets everything right as far as we're concerned: a heart transplant that kept the car's soul alive and well.


Yes, there's a Chevy V8 under the pointed hood of this Ford, but that's kind of beside the point. Look at the graceful bodywork, a design that was as cutting-edge as any other mainstream vehicle this side of the Chrysler Airflow. There are Art-Deco influences everywhere you look, from the teardrop headlights to the neo-fastback profile, making the '37 Ford one of the sleekest, most modern cars on the road in the late 1930s. It's worth noting that for the most part, this '37 is pretty stock on the outside, with only a few subtle tweaks to give it a freshened look that doesn't eliminate any of the original design's most noteworthy features. The grille has been painted to match the dark green metallic bodywork and the hood ornament has been shaved, but there's no way to disguise the 1937 Ford's iconic look. In back, the trunk handle was removed to give the trunk a super-smooth look, but in between you have exposed hinges, chrome door handles, and a pair of lovely bullet-shaped taillights that are very correct save for the blue-dot lenses. The bodywork is very well done and while it was finished perhaps 20 years ago, it's holding up remarkably well thanks to great care over the intervening years. A few nicks and scratches are proof that this Ford was built for the road, but since it comes with a custom front-end bra for protection, it's in remarkably good shape. All four doors open and close with a very precise-sounding KER-CHUNK and you can see in the photos just how well everything lines up—someone took their time getting this affordable Ford in top shape. Rubber running boards are just they way they were when it was new and we're thinking that if this was our car to keep, we'd add a bright green pinstripe along the belt molding, just to brighten it up a bit—that's what Henry would have done.


Inside, there's a brand new Lebaron-Bonney interior that replicates the original tan broadcloth almost exactly. Patterns and materials are what Ford was using in 1937 and aside from a few gauges in the dash, you'd never know that this was a modified car. Beautiful door panels incorporate the original chrome door hardware and the garnish moldings were painted to match the bodywork, a contrast that works quite well. The seats are plush yet firm, thanks to new stuffing under the fresh upholstery, and there are custom tan carpets on the floor that help control noise and heat. The three-spoke steering wheel is original, as are the two large gauge pods ahead of the driver. The speedometer and most of the original gauges are fully operational, although a pair of modern dials for water temperature and oil pressure were added, just in case. There are a few extra knobs and buttons on the dash, including a master kill switch, a knob for the Arvin under-dash heater's fan speed, as well as the original T-handle for the crank-open windshield. There's also an AM/FM/cassette stereo neatly tucked under the dash, discreetly enough that you may not notice it until you take a closer look. The back seat is downright luxurious with plenty of leg room and even the sun visors were beautifully re-trimmed to look authentic. The trunk is surprisingly large and includes a full-sized spare tire plus a tool set tucked into one of the tool trays at the very rear. You'll note there's zero rust in there, which is incredibly common on these cars, suggesting that this green sedan comes from good base stock.


We're fans of the Ford flathead V8, but if you want to travel long distances at modern highway speeds, sometimes an upgrade is helpful, and that's the case here. It's a mild 350 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 topped by a 2-barrel carburetor and designed to be smooth, reliable, and effortless. It's a neat fit in the Ford's engine bay and surprisingly, it really doesn't change the car's character very much. There's a pleasant V8 burble but it doesn't sound like a hot rod, and with about three times the horsepower and torque of the original engine, it moves the sleek sedan with genuine vigor. Again, it's not a hot rod, just a bit more capable. A few chrome pieces dress up the engine bay and the wiring was completely new when the car was built, so it's ready for a long-distance cruise. There's also a big radiator, a modern alternator, and cast iron exhaust manifolds to control heat and noise.


Keeping with the intent, the transmission is a Saginaw 3-speed manual, and the shift feel is very much like the original Ford unit. Obviously the transmission upgrade precludes the use of the Ford torque tube drivetrain, so there's a conventional driveshaft and a 10-bolt GM rear end with highway-friendly gears inside, all hanging on a pair of leaf springs. Up front the stock suspension remains, including the transverse leaf spring, although the axle is a dropped unit that gives the car a bit of a rake, the only external clue that this isn't a stock Ford. Brakes are manual drums, the steering is light, and, well, it just feels like a V8 Ford is supposed to feel. It's just a joy to drive. You'll note the floors are in excellent shape with no signs that this was ever a rusty car and everything has been painted to match the bodywork for a nicely finished look. Simple 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps and trim rings are another OEM look and we love the right-sized 165R15 front and 225/70/15 rear blackwall radials that tuck in neatly and ride very well.


This is an easy car to love. It's reliable, smooth, and fun to drive, plus the great look will always garner a lot of attention. For Ford fans, it's a great car that can do it all without being too radical, and if you're a hot-rodder, well, this is a great alternative to all the me-too plastic rods running around. For those of you with a family, a 4-door hobby car is a slam dunk, and we can promise you just won't find one this pretty for less money anywhere. Ready to go, that's this awesome little Ford's motto. Call today!

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