1937 Pontiac Street Rod

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Dave Herries – I purchased this unique street rod through an ad on the internet in November 2000 for $18,000 and had it shipped to me from Ohio.  I wanted a street rod that would also double as a car that I could use to drive my clients in when showing houses thus the need for a four door sedan. This car is a classic example of the art-deco designs that were common in the last 1930’s. When you look at the details in the body work you can see that the manufacturers did all they could to carry out the artistic themes of the period. The high end General Motors cars including Pontiac, Buick and Cadillac were excellent examples of art deco designs of the period. Other cars like Cord and Packard also had wonderful art-deco appearances.

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The 1937 Pontiac four door sedan had been built by the previous owner and was painted in a deep maroon metal flake finish. The interior was nicely done with a red and gray motif and was complete with all of the modern amenities including: Power seats, Power windows, Tilt steering column, AM/FM stereo and much more.

During the time I owned it I rebuilt the transmission, replaced the engine, replaced the front springs and one of the shock absorbers (very difficult to find replacement shocks for a 1937 Pontiac) and did a lot of miscellaneous repairs. Getting replacement parts was a challenge because many of the components on the car were from other cars. For example the steering column was from a 1956 Cadillac and it needed a replacement ignition switch that was very hard to identify). The car was sold 11/8/2003 to a buyer in Utah for $25,000. Broke even.

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When I received the car the engine was a 1972 Chevrolet 402 Big Block that ran OK but seemed a little tired. It had a 350 transmission as well as power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, cruise control and a 453:1 rear end.  The engine had a four barrel carburetor,  ported heads and exhaust headers which gave the engine a boost in power but the old technology only afforded 7-9 miles per gallon and it had to run high octane fuel because of the high compression heads.  One afternoon I was driving and the car lost oil pressure and the engine siezed requiring a replacement engine. I found a slightly used 454 Big Block that had been bored to 468 cubic inches that I purchased for $1,000 and after installing my milled and ported heads on the new engine the new engine produced something over 400 HP and ran GREAT!

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