V8 Barn Find! 1937 Ford Deluxe

Selling a ’37 Ford without a decent front-quarter picture should be illegal, but these sweet two-doors looks good from every angle. This 1937 Ford Deluxe in Jewell, Ohio needs a thorough going-through but shows solid metal and signs of dry storage. What looks like a Mercury flathead V8 powers the 84 year-old ride. You might guess the last time it hit the road by the hand-painted white-wall tire treatment, a high-school trick from the Eisenhower years. After some hand-turning, the motor is not completely stuck but won’t quite make a full revolution, according to the seller. The listing here on eBay discloses a $12,000 Reserve and pledges to sell to the highest bid above that value.

Mercury boasted a slightly more powerful variation of the flathead V8. I’m no flathead expert but according to the cylinder head decoder at ItStillRuns this looks like a 1949 to 1953 239 or 255 cid specimen that would have made around 100 HP.

This view distinguishes the ’37 Ford. The aerodynamic nose, with headlights integrated into the fenders, imparts a decidedly more 1940s look than cars of the early ’30s.

The “banjo” steering wheel and art-deco gauges bring some style to a car that served people in all walks of life.

Seats and other parts have been removed but come with the sale. This encouraging view shows solid metal with a few exceptions noted by the seller.

After most of the world had gone to hydraulic or “juice” brakes, Ford soldiered on with mechanical “safety brakes” until 1939, touting the “safety of steel from pedal to wheel.” This forward-looking shot shows the simple mechanical brake design that worked fairly well when perfectly adjusted, but frustrated many. One owner on MTFCA said “I put everything new on it one time, and I swear they were worse.” Decisions like whether to fit juice brakes or not lie in the hands of the new owner. Let’s hope this car makes its way back to the roads soon no matter what. Would you restore this pre-war Ford or hot-rod the V8-powered coupe?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Probably in as good condition as I’ve ever seen. These cars are pop art on wheels and restored this would be a classic example. Hydraulic brakes would be my only change and the extra horsepower is welcome over the older V8s.

    Like 10
  2. jerry z

    I favor the ’37-40 Fords over the ’32-34 body styles. They just flow better in design. If the reserve is $12K, that is a good deal.

    Like 6
  3. Uncle Buck

    I wasted a half lifetime buying and selling cars and projects. When I should have bought a 37 ford all along. This is the best looking car ever in my opinion. Even better than most Ferraris.

    Like 8
  4. Lowell Peterson

    Real nice ones sell under $30k now. I drove one for 20 years. This appears as clean a starter as you will ever see.

    Like 7
  5. jeff

    Why do people call fenders front quarters,,the quarter (panel) is in the rear llike rear fender but when cars stopped having fenders they were quarter panels,,you could call it a rear quarter panel BUT the quarter panel is ONLY in the rear not front, so don’t have to call it a rear quarter panel

    Like 1
  6. pwtiger

    I think I’d rebuild the Merc flattie with the intention of squeezing another 20 horsepower out of it, then drive it just as it looks…

    Like 3
  7. Gary

    I had a 38 standard coupe, was a V8 60 and you could see the US Army star on the door and the numbers on the hood under the red primer. It was brought to Ohio from Texas in the late fifties and the man I bought it from said it used almost as much oil as gas on the trip. He put a 312 in it and blew up three or four tranny’s then he put it in storage until I bought it in 1984. I was going to chop it and make a taildragger but never did. I sold it and lost track of it. Beautiful car but the rear part of the roof is terrible looking compared to the 35-36 and 39-40 coupes.

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