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In the Garage: 1937 Ford street rod

The 1937 Ford street rod.

The 1937 Ford street rod. Credit: David Fluhrer

THE CAR AND ITS OWNER

1937 Ford street rod owned by Mike Russo

WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING

In the late 1940s, when California hot rodders stripped the fenders from old Fords and extracted big horsepower from their V-8 engines, little did they know that some of these creations would one day morph into works of art.  Today, the modern “street rod” can be anything the owner wants it to be, from an accurate replica of those early rides to a piece of rolling sculpture.  Russo’s sleek ’37 Ford certainly fits the latter category.  It was created by noted builder Roger Burman of the award-winning Lakeside Rods and Rides, one of a number of street rod fabricators around the country.  The result was so good, Russo says, that his car was named a Street Rodder magazine Top 100 Pick and received the “Magnificent Masterpiece” Award from Meguiar’s, the car care products company. 

HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT

Since 2009

WHERE HE FOUND IT

It was built in Rockwell City, Iowa.

CONDITION

The equipment list for the five-window coupe reads like a Who’s Who of the street rod world. The body and chassis are from OZE Rod Shop in Hamilton, Ohio.  The engine is a Corvette LS1 with a 4L60-E General Motors transmission tuned by an Arkansas performance specialist.  The chassis is set up with an Air Ride Technologies suspension and features a Ford nine-inch rear end and Wilwood high-performance disc brakes.  The Budnik custom wheels ride on Falken tires.  The “Halabura Green” and “Sunlit Tan” paint was supplied by PPG and the interior features Ultraleather, a high-grade synthetic material.

TIPS FOR OWNERS

“No matter what your hobby -- cars, motorcycles, golf or fishing -- I encourage everyone to explore such venues,” Russo advises.  “It only fuels your interest even further.”

VALUE

He says the Ford was built at a cost of $140,000.  A North Carolina dealer is advertising a sister car for $120,000.

THE BOTTOM LINE

“I choose this body for its low, sleek design,” Russo says. “I've owned other street rods, but there is no other car that gives you the feeling of driving like this car does.”

If you have an antique, classic or collectible vehicle to be considered for this page, please submit your information and photo(s) at www.inthegarage.net or contact David Fluhrer, Newsday Cars, at thegarage@optonline.net.

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