Interesting Options: 1937 Ford Two Door Sedan

This Ford has been stored since 1959 and at first glance, it looks really nice. A closer look at the ad here on craigslist might leave you puzzled, though. The pictures make it look like a nice car with a really nice interior, although neither looks original. The asking price of $12,500 seems rather high. The pictures in the ad offer very selective views so it’s impossible to know what you’d find with a closer look. The seller had plans to build a hot rod and includes a Chevy small block. Thanks to Brian in Massachusetts for this interesting find.

These pictures seem to have been taken several years ago but the upholstery does look nice. It doesn’t look original, but it’s better than vinyl.

The dash does look very original and the clock works. Hopefully, there’s a solid floor under that nice mat.

Here’s the flathead V8. There’s no word on if it runs, or even turns. It doesn’t look hopeful if it was stored without plugs in all the holes. The original crank is in the trunk, so some serious work was done on this engine at one time. I would hope that this engine could be salvageable. The flathead V8 has a unique sound and feel that is a big part of what this old Ford is all about. If the paint and bodywork aren’t too bad, this could be a great driver as it is. The condition of the Chevy V8 is unknown. This car may have been parked in the 1950s and restoration started sometime in the 1960s or 1970s. Perhaps there were problems with the engine after it was rebuilt and the restoration never completed. There are several interesting possibilities here. The new owner could rebuild the Chevy engine, source a transmission and install it. Then the buyer could update the suspension and brakes. Or, the buyer could just do what mechanical work is necessary and drive it as it is. It will be interesting what ideas you readers have.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Evan

    The ad is so unclear, I don’t know if “original crank” refers to the engine crankshaft, or the handle for crank-starting the engine.

  2. joeinthousandoaks

    The original crank reference is about a hand crank.

    • Dusty Stalz

      Hand crank on a v8 flattie?

      • Terry J

        Yup Dusty, See the hand crank hole near the bottom of the very nice grille, just above the bumper ? The radiator was almost like 2 separate ones – one core for each side of the block joined at the tanks though. That allowed the hand crank to pass between the core halves. Good old Henry. :-) Terry J

      • Fred W.

        I’ve cranked a 4 cylinder Allis Chalmers tractor. I’ve owned several flathead Fords, but never had a hand crank to try turning it over. Always wondered what it would feel like to hand crank a V-8. And what would happen if the motor kicked back!

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I’ve cranked them; they’re actually a lot easier to hand crank than you realize. Just pull upwards and keep your thumb on the same side as the rest of your fingers. That way you’ll be able to crank the next one.

  3. grant

    For the love of Pete flatheads aren’t exactly rare. Sell the SBC to offset costs, and if this one can’t be saved, source another and warm it over a bit. Leave the rest of the car as is, though.

    Like 1
    • TouringFordor

      Actually, a ’37 Flattie is rare – one year only block. First block with water pumps in the block, not the heads. It has 21 head studs, but they went to 24 in ’38, so IF it’s the original engine it is one year only.

  4. Joe Haska

    Pictures are always look better than the actual car, and as you said they are very selective and leave allot to the imagination. The car obviously doesn’t run, but even so $12,500 isn’t that far off, with the 283, and dual quad intake, plus 40 Ford brakes. The interior could be original or at least some of it, these cars had Mohair, not vinyl. The South-Wind heater is an accessory, not original to the car. These cars came with the 85 HP or the little V-8 60, this car appears to be an 85 HP, but honestly the 283 would be the better choice. I know all the comments will be oh no not another SBC, lets save it with the Flathead, and most of you have never even driven one, I have allot, and I love them in many cases, but they are not what many of you think they are. Of course with a SBC, that will also open up another controversy, what are you going do for transmission and rear end, I won’t even go there, just too many choices and opinions. Anyway it looks like a pretty nice old Ford, and could make a great little car, but until you can get a better look, buyer beware!

  5. Howard A Member

    Unbelievable find. There’s an old saying among old farts, if you can get a flathead, ANY flathead, to turn over, it will run.( how well is another story) I’d make a period correct cop car out of this. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/0c/d5/8e/0cd58e73306687f68adb33415076452f.jpg

  6. Bob H

    Why put a Chevy engine in a Ford never could understand this I wouldn’t buy it if it had a Chevy in it. Why not a 302 or 351 people wreck cars all the time with Chevy motors.

  7. Midwest Jeff

    This car is an homage to my 2007 PT Cruiser. (Or maybe the other way around.)

    • Terry J

      Ha Ha, Totally agree. My PTC is even the same color (almost). :-) Terry J

  8. Rustytech Member

    I like to stay as close to original as possible. No Chevy engines in Fords thank you. My first option would be to upgrade the flathead, ( there are a lot of vintage upgrades ) if I couldn’t save the flathead then my next option would be a 302 or 351 Ford power plant. Nice find if it is as good as it looks!

  9. charlie

    Look at the grills of late ’30’s cars of many makes, they have a hole for the crank, if necessary. Aunt’s ’36 Chevy, father’s ’37 Studebaker, etc. had the hole, and the Chevy had the crank in the trunk.

  10. John J

    I am the owner of this Ford…Plugs were out the day it was delivered to me and I filled the cylinders with Mystery oil to free the rings…It runs like a flathead should…whisper quiet…It is mostly original both body and interior as when it left Henry’s factory.
    I am almost 70 and was collecting parts to build a hotrod…I did add new dual exhaust to replace the John-Mansville dual exhaust probably added in the early 50’s…The crank in the trunk is the FACTORY HAND CRANK I used to turn the motor before trying to start it.
    I have incurred some debt because of house and property issues required in the town where I live that is why I must sell the car

  11. PAPERBKWRITER

    Very nice. I wish I was a wrench and could do this car My father had one when I was a little boy and I remember him dumping gears from the stoplights in Chicago.

  12. Dennis M

    Another Tudor advertised as a Two Door!

    Nice car though John!

    I’m with all the others on putting a warmed over flathead in. Why worry about it being a ‘correct’ ’37 engine though, drop in a 239 post-war Mercury with period power mods and performance will be just fine – and it will sound right!

    BTW, my 1939 Ford convertible sedan that I drove in high school still had a crank hole in the grille! No way to crank my Merc flathead though! Rolling starts worked fine!

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