The Humpback of Havasu
'37 Dodge Humpback
What you see before you is a flawless '37 Dodge Humpback. For builder and owner Dwayne Boyer of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, it was his first attempt at building a custom ride. Dwayne was originally searching for a '35 Dodge Panel truck, and after searching for almost a year for his dream ride, Dwayne was quickly finding out that '35 Dodge Panels were becoming very rare. A buddy of Dwayne's informed him of a '37 Dodge Humpback located in West Los Angeles. His first words were, "What the heck is a Humpback?" After his first glance at the Humpback, he told the owner he would pass. It was the ugliest truck Dwayne had ever seen. But after a second look, he thought it had some potential. After throwing down some Franklins and obtaining the pink slip, he loaded it onto a trailer. That was in 1993. They say patience is a virtue, especially when creating a masterpiece. It has been a 10-year commitment of excellence transforming this ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.
The foundation of any vehicle is the frame. Many people like to refurbish the original, but Dwayne decided to construct his own, so the original frame was discarded. The framerails are made of channel iron. A Mustang II front suspension with 2-inch drop spindles was installed up front. A four-link with a Panhard made from 1.25-inch-diameter tubing locates the narrowed Dana 60 rearend stuffed with a 4:10 ring-and-pinion gearset. The custom driveshaft was whittled by Mike at J.D. Machine in Havasu City, which links up the Dana 60 to the Chrysler 727 electric Overdrive transmission with a Roadrunner shifter.
The folks at Street Rod Engineering, also in Lake Havasu City, dialed in the suspension with coilover shocks, both front and rear, and are responsible for the responsive suspension and lowered aggressive stance with a slight rake. Stopping power is generated from a pair of Ford front disc brakes and Dodge rear drum brakes. A set of Weld Rodlite wheels, both front and rear, are wrapped with P185/70R15 Remington rubber in front, while the fat bolognas at the rear are 31x18.5x15-inch Mickey Thompsons.
The Humpback's muscle comes from a '57 Chrysler 392ci Hemi. Jerry Johnson from Norwalk, California, helped Dwayne build the mighty Mopar. The block was bored and honed to 4.0 with a 3.910 stroke. The Mopar Performance steel crankshaft, flexplate, connecting rods, pistons, and rings were all internally balanced. A Mopar Performance cam with a 0.423 and 210 duration sets the beat with some help from a set of hydraulic lifters, pushrods, and reworked factory lifters. A new set of springs, stainless steel valves, guides, and keepers were all installed into the refurbished Hemi cylinder heads. A polished Weiand 6-71 huffer is wedged between the Hemi heads with a pair of 600-cfm Edelbrock Q-jet carburetors mounted at the summit. A Mallory ignition supplies the spark. Sanderson headers flow the exhaust gases into a 3-inch-diameter exhaust pipe, and Hemi mufflers that were cut, bent, and welded by Jeff at Jeff's Muller in Lake Havasu City. The Hemi produces a little more than 600 hp and will definitely fry those 31x18.5-inch skins at the rear.
The Humpback's body was massaged by Dwayne, who also created the trick suicide doors that received electric windows and door locks. The stainless steel front grille was home-fabricated, along with the reworked hood, which was modified to accept the huffer scoop. To clean up the rear, Dwayne tossed the rear bumper, then laid the rear taillights into the custom rear roll pan, while the front amber turn indicators were fabricated to mount on the front fenders. With the body shaved, smoothed, and prepped for paint, Jesse, the painter at Havasu Auto Body, sprayed the flawless two-tone blue and pewter color with yellow flames.
Opening the suicide doors exposes the roomy interior, which features gray leather and blue tweed inserts stitched into the Honda Prelude bucket seats. The immaculate interior, stitched by Paradise Motorsports, includes gray wool carpet contrasting the two-toned bucket seats. A custom-built center console with a carbon-fiber insert matches the gray leather-covered dash displaying Dolphin vintage white-face gauges. An ididit custom steering console is capped with a matching gray leather-wrapped LeCarra four-spoke steering wheel. Gray leather and tweed door panels with custom armrests match up with the massive rear two-tone gray and blue side panels, which showcase a couple of embossed, charging Bighorn Rams. The idea came from the profile of the hood ornament. Timeless rock-'n'-roll pulses are cranked from a JVC head unit and a set of Crossfire speakers. Because the '37 Dodge Delivery is a Ram, it was properly named Bighorn.