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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1938 Ford Custom Coupe Street Rod Convertible - Hot Rod For Sale (Click Here)


Seldom had Detroit before or since seen an event with an equal to compare with the extravaganza unleashed for the introduction of the 1937 Ford. The date was November 6, 1936, and Sales Manager William C. Cowling 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, newly decorated by the famed Walter Dorwin Teague. Music was provided by Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians, then at the height of their popularity. The event began normally, with some brief presentations by company officials, but suddenly the lights were dimmed. Then, a slim, brilliant shaft of light appeared, focused precisely at center-stage. There all eyes fell upon a huge V-8 emblem, rising slowly through the stage on a special eleveator. Presently, the light broadened as a sprite--a 12 year old girl with golden curls--untwined herself from the emblem. Running gracefully to one side of the stage, she summoned her fellow sprites, elves, and gnomes, who appeared suddenly from various side entrances.

A huge, boiling cauldron 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--all went into the brew. Then suddenly, as colored lights illuminated the stage, the fumes vanished and the elves 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 fo ran automobile company to present its new product line, and a revolutionary concept in merchandising. The 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 heandily 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. This, of couse, seems strange to today's hobbyist, for the 1936 Fords--particularly the open styles and the three-window coupes--are highly prized by collectors and street rodders alike, commanding as much as half-again the price of comparable 1936 Chevrolets on the collector market.

The trend that would elevate Ford to the very heights of custom car building stemmed from their unique V-8 Engine heritage in almost every car during the mid 1930s. Chevrolets were not set up for an eight cylinder engine until 1955 and thus performing a hot-rod convesion on such a car presented an additional challenge to the home hobbyist or returning serviceman in need of a fun, but cheap, set of wheels. Ford's styling, even though it used elements from the early part of the 1930s well into the latter part of the decade, was much sharper than its Chevrolet or Plymouth counterparts; the car's flowing bodylines, trim and detailing were without equal. While Chevrolet and Plymouth featured hydraulic brakes by 1937, Ford would take another year to finally move away from mechanical rods stopping each wheel; Ford would also take longer to move away from the same type of beam axle that had been found on their Model T well after others went to semi-independent suspensions that conformed to the contours of the road with much more aplomb. All of this still did not deter the desire of the customizer to keep a V-8 car V-8 powered; everything else could be dealt with.

For those in the day who looked to hot rod their existing L-head V-8's, performance parts vendors such as Edelbrock and Offenhauser beckoned; however, the real emphasis in modular V-8 power came not from Ford but from the large company across town. Chevrolet's famed small block mill presented the hot rodders with a small engine with huge power potential. Today, the derivatives of the original 265 and 283 are in more hot-rods from a variety of American marquees than almost any other engine. This tradition is supported not only at the grassroots level with fiberglass-bodied cars and kits to fit an entire GM drivetrain with other modern car suspension systems, but almost as a tribute to these beginnings, many of the finest custom cars from original steel pre-war classics use the same formula with equal success.

Featured here is an eye-poppingly unusual 1938 Ford Custom Convertible Hot Rod that originated from the Canadian Ford production line and retains its rare grille and body style unique to the cars from the north of the border. With hand-crafted precision, the body was carefully formed to enhance through subtle frenching such ordinary details such as headlamps, taillamps and the elimination of elements that detracted fromt he stylist's original idea. Beautifully finished in yellow with a contrasting purple interior largely accented by the body color, the entire car speaks to the simplicity of all that really is required to make a car look it very best. Its roofline, drawn low by its accessory hardtop in a tribute to the original hot-rodders art of chopping down the roofline of an original Coupe or Cabriolet also represents a smooth and seamless line from front to rear. Under the hood, the body color is again dominant, with yellow capturing the eye over a clean and detailed Chevrolet Corvette Small Block V-8 Engine. With an automatic transmission, rack and pinion steering, power brakes and more, it is truly the ultimate in presentation and performance alike and epitomizes the beauty of style through substance and simplicity combined.

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