1937 Ford Truck - One Bad Blown '37
To Be Different
The '37 Ford coupe has been a popular custom ride among the street-rod enthusiasts for many years. With its long French-curved exterior styling with teardrop capsule headlights, the '37 is one of Ford's sexiest vintage models ever built. Ford also offered a pickup in '37, but it did not resemble the sleek, sexy lines of the coupe at all. It would be a classic-truck enthusiast's dream to be able to transform a '37 Ford Coupe body with a stylish pickup bed and teardrop front and rear fenders.
Today, this body concept would be difficult to mass produce in steel, but a redesigned fiberglass body is doable. OZE Manufacturing in Quebec, Canada, had already offered a chopped '37 Ford Coupe body. With this in mind, they decided to go ahead and crossbreed the '37 coupe with a redesigned chopped pickup body and bed. No real surprise, the OZE '37 Ford pickup kit, with its easily removable lid, instantly transforms the pickup into a cool open-air roadster. It's this unique feature that sets the OZE '37 pickup from other glass '37 pickup manufacturers. An open-air ride is not only physically cool, especially during those hot days of summer, but it also looks cool.
James Hall from South Shore, Kentucky, has been heavily into the custom-rod scene for the past 20 years. James has had a passion for the Chevy Camaro and has built many over the years. He still has the keys to his tubbed and 'dropped '69 Camaro Pro-Street with a big-block wedged between the framerails. His last creation was a beautiful '34 Ford Coupe. He told himself his next ride would be a vintage '30s ride, but with a twist. James wanted something different and unique. It would have a cab and a bed, but no tailgate, and be constructed from fiberglass rather than steel. James purchased the seventh '37 Ford Pickup kit built at OZE Rods.
A sturdy OZE triangulated frame anchors the trick '37 Ford pickup. The 112-inch wheelbase makes for better handling and a comfortable ride. It is suspended with the aid of adjustable Air Ride Technologies pneumatic Shockwaves. A pair of Mustang II 2-1/2-inch dropped spindles drop the nose with less effort. A narrowed Ford 9-inch rear end, stuffed with Strange 3.56 gears, a posi-unit, and 31 spline axles makes acceleration easy. The immediate braking comes from four Mustang disc brakes. James' '37 spins on a set of Billet Specialties, Hustler 16x6-inch front and 18x10-inch rear billet wheels consumed in BFGoodrich rubber.
The grunt comes from a potent LS1 powerplant that was machined 0.030 over, balanced, and assembled by Brian Oney from Olive Hill, Kentucky. Brian swapped out the factory heads with a pair of Trick-Flow heads that he ported and polished for a more efficient fuel/airflow. A Crane camshaft was inserted to orchestrate the internal components with the healthy B&M 420 supercharger with a pair of 650cfm Holley carburetors capped with a huge Shotgun Bill bug catcher. The un-burnt gasses are exhausted from the exhaust ports into a pair of Dyno Max coated block hugger headers that collect into 3-inch Flowmaster mufflers. The healthy LS1 spun 525 horsepower on the engine dyno. A '94 GM automatic transmission was torn down and refurbished with new clutches, gear sets, and planetary gears. Brian resprung the valvebody and installed a Lokar floor shifter shift kit to achieve firmer shift points.
The OZE '37 Ford pickup was trailered over to McLeod's Automotive in Grayson, Kentucky, where Mike Mcleod scuffed and prepped it for paint. Multiple coats of PPG Torch Red were sprayed onto the OZE fiberglass body and tonneau cover surface, then it was color-sanded. The Torch Red was then buried in layers of clear, which brought out the red's true brilliance. After cruising and showing his Torch Red '37 for a year, James decided there was just too much red; it needed to be broken up. James delivered it back to McLeod's Automotive for round two. James and Mike decided on a two-tone paint scheme, using PPG Crystallized Silver. The two hues were separated with orange and purple strips with a twist in the doors. The OZE '37 Ford pickup is a two-in-one kit. It can be instantly transformed into a roadster pickup in a matter of seconds, by simply unlatching the two latches on the windshield frame, then simply lifting and removing the hardtop. James developed a unique way to display his blown LS1 engine by vertically separating the top hood portion. He installed four Dakota Digital electric actuators that lift all four sides of the hood simultaneously.
James installed and wired a simple JVC audio sound system that delivers minimal tunes. Then, a pair of Pioneer mid-range speakers were mounted under the dash. The rumble of the healthy LS1 under the hood is true music to James ears.
The flawless stitchwork was performed by the crew at Bonds Rod Shop in Olive Hill, Kentucky. The red-on-red interior features a pair of '02 Camaro bucket seats covered in soft red leather. The floor, door panels, and headliner were also covered in red leather. A red painted Flaming River tilt steering column was capped with a Billet Specialties Hustler red leather steering wheel. The Dakota Digital instrument panel was located off center in the dash. Because James '37 is an optional roadster he opted not to install air conditioning. With the top on, he cruises with 2-60 air: two windows down at 60 mph.
Wherever James cruises in his hammered OZE '37 Ford pickup, he is acknowledged by smiles and a thumb's up. It is definitely a show-stopper.