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1937 Ford

1937FordSeldom has Detroit seen anything to compare with the extravaganza that was unleashed when the 1937 Fords were introduced! The date was November 6, 1936. Ford spared no effort in getting the new models off to a good start. Some 41 special trains had brought 8,000 dealers to participate in the event. Representing all parts of the United States and Canada, they gathered at the Detroit Coliseum. Following brief presentations by company officials, the lights were dimmed and a brilliant shaft of light appeared, focused at center stage. There, all eyes fell upon a huge V-8 emblem, rising slowly through the stage on a special elevator. A huge, boiling cauldron then arose at center stage, and, one-by-one, giant replicas of Ford V-8 parts, each representing some feature of the 1937 models, were exposed to the glare of the spotlight -- and tossed, then, into the steaming cauldron: a front fender, an instrument panel, various engine components, a radiator grille, a seat cushion.... Then suddenly, as colored lights illuminated the stage, the smoke disappeared. A shiny Club Coupe, a newcomer to the Ford line for 1937, rose up, circled the stage, and made its way down a ramp to the main floor. It was a spectacular way for an automobile manufacturer to present its new product line, and a revolutionary concept in merchandising.

1937FordThe truth is Ford needed a flashy presentation if it wanted to capture the public's attention, for 1936 had not treated the company kindly despite increased production. After beating Chevrolet handily during the 1935 model year, Ford slipped behind Chevrolet in 1936, with sales falling behind those of its arch rival by more than 23 percent. In introducing the 1937 Ford lineup, the company was determined to regain the sales lead. This time, Ford had a "New all-steel top [that] sweeps back in an unbroken line," though it wasn't -- and thanks to copyright laws, presumably couldn't be -- called a "turret." Styling was completely revised, a "Brilliant new design that strikes the modern note in streamlined beauty," Ford bragged. "A wide roomy car with a low center of gravity -- curves flowing fast from front to back and from side to side."

Modernized in a number of respects, it sported a slanting two-piece "V-type windshield that opens in all closed body types," this in lieu of the flat single pane of earlier times. Almond-shaped headlights were neatly integrated into the front fender aprons. The sharply vee'd grille was clearly copied from the sensational Lincoln Zephyr, introduced just a year earlier, and the hood was hinged at the rear, opening "alligator" style.

1937FordThere were mechanical advances for 1937 as well. The steering ratio was lowered, reducing the amount of effort required -- though at the cost of some additional wheel-winding. Even the brakes were revised. The 85-horsepower V-8engine, a Ford exclusive in the low-priced field, had been improved in a number of respects. Water-pump capacity was increased by nearly one-third to 45 gallons per minute, and the pump was relocated to the upper front of the block where it could push the water through the jacketing instead of sucking it through. Main bearings were enlarged to 2.4 inches, and insert bearings were employed.

1937FordFord also claimed improvements in creature comforts for 1937: Engineered and built throughout for the quiet you expect of a quality car. The newly designed springs are pressure lubricated for quiet operation. Ford employed new methods of mounting the body, engine, body insulation, new exhaust piping and muffler mounting, improvements in rear axle and drive shaft all contributed to a new standard of quiet. The new instrument panel is smart and practical, with all gauges grouped for rapid reading and also allowing easy access to the starter button and parking brake lever at left under instrument panel. The adjustable driver's seat rose as it slid forward.

Seventeen distinct models were offered, all told, and Ford's practice of offering two trim levels was continued. The base series, which would become known as the Standard line commencing in 1938, consisted of a three-passenger coupe, Tudor and Fordor "flatback" sedans, and Tudor and Fordor Touring Sedans, the last two fitted with built-in trunks.

1937FordThe DeLuxe series was comprised, in addition to these five models, of the new Club Coupe, a woody station wagon, and no less than five stylish open types: Cabriolet, Club Cabriolet, four-door Convertible Sedan, Phaeton, and a Roadster. The last-named, incidentally, would disappear after the 1937 season, and the Phaeton would exit a year later. DeLuxe equipment included dual tail-lamps, dual wipers, walnut woodgraining on the window moldings and dash, chrome-plated grille and windshield frame, rear armrests, twin electric air horns, "banjo" steering wheel, locking glove-compartment door, and a clock.

This ‘37 has kept all its original body lines and has not been modified from its stock appearance, however under the hood is a different story. A 1951 Mercury Flathead displacing 255 ci and producing approximately 125 hp resides between the frame rails. This car was brought in to us after sitting for several years. The vehicle had been stripped down to bare metal and body work had been started. We advised the customer that even though some body work had been completed that the vehicle would need to be stripped once again to start over fresh. After discussing our reasoning with our customer we began the process. Fortunately enough the condition of the metal on this vehicle was great. Minimal metal work had to be done and the actual process of straightening the body and body lines were started immediately. After doing a majority of the rough body work the vehicle was assembled to check fit and finish of all parts. Finishing body work was done and the vehicle was prepared for paint. The customer chose a factory Mercury color “Toreador Red” and the vehicle was painted in a two stage urethane base coat clear coat finish.

1937Ford 1937Ford 1937Ford
 

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