There isn't a hot rodder around who doesn't have some standard for how well his car should be built. Your standard might be faithfulness to a particular era in history. It might be a certain level of technical excellence, or performance, or imagination.
If you've been a professional race car driver and team owner for 30 years like Tom Gloy has been, your standards are going to be extraordinarily high, and your willingness to settle for "good enough" is going to be nonexistent.Tom got hooked on cars as a high school kid. It wasn't long before he moved from merely playing with cars to racing them for a living. In the decades since, he has been successful in practically every corner of motorsports from Trans Am to NASCAR to Indy. A few years ago, he began to expand his interest into the world of street rods.
Roy Brizio helped Tom buy a '37 Ford cabriolet, designed by Chip Foose and built by Boyd Coddington. As Tom started attending shows with the '37, he also started to like the looks of Ford's one-year-earlier body style. He found this '36 in a garage in Redondo Beach, California. It had been hot rodded years before, but hadn't seen daylight in 25 years. The Chevy engine had seized, but the body was in excellent shape. Tom bought the car and hauled it north to Roy's shop for a complete reworking.
Roy had been familiar with the car and was eager to redo it and get it back on the street. For the next two years, the two of them worked together, combining ideas to bring the forgotten '36 back to life. When it was finished in August 2005, it was the perfect balance of contemporary and traditional that you see on all of Brizio's hot rods.
Brand-new front and rear independent suspensions were added to the Brizio-built custom tube chassis, and the engine compartment was filled with a Ford 351 crate engine with a five-speed transmission. The top was chopped 2 inches and the factory steel body was straightened and shot in pale yellow. A lot of the trim was removed to emphasize the body style that Tom likes so much, but the sheetmetal wasn't radically reworked, and enough elements, such as door handles and locks, were kept in place to keep the car pointing in a traditional direction. Jack Hageman's aluminum hood slants downward enough to improve the profile of the car without being noticeable.
Since his conversion to street rodding, Tom has been involved with the same level of enthusiasm he's always had for racing. He owns several other rods, including an original '50s '32 three-window, and a '57 T-bird with a modern chassis. His '40 Ford custom convertible was an original Valley Custom creation, recently restored for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where it won a class award.
The Boyd Coddington-built '37 was recently sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale so we asked Tom if this yellow '36 will ever follow the '37 onto an auction block. "This one's a keeper," Tom says. "This car is my driver. I drove it out of Brizio's, and put 2,000 miles on it in two months, and I'm going to keep driving it as much as I can. It's my everyday, I-love-that-car-to-death car."
Incline Village, Nevada
'36 Ford Cabriolet
You can't see it, but trust us, the 1 1/2-inch tube chassis, painted body color, is a knockout. Heidt's independent suspension was used at both ends, along with Heidt's antiroll bars, and Aldan coilovers with gas shocks, and Wilwood 11-inch disc brakes. Independent ladder bars are set up in the rear. And actually, you can see it by going to www.roybriziostreetrods.com/progress/gloy.
Roy likes Fords in Fords, and Tom's '36 is powered by a 351 fresh out of the crate. The intake manifold and single 600-cfm four-barrel are from Edelbrock, crowned by a Moon finned air cleaner, painted to match the Edelbrock valve covers. Patriot headers feed into a 2 1/4-inch Brizio exhaust system with Stainless Steel Specialties mufflers at the other end. Tremec T5 gears are shifted via a Hurst stick. The rearend runs 3.70:1 gears.
Wheels & Tires
Beauty rings and '50 Merc caps from Wheel Vintiques, plus a shot of interior-matching red paint set off the 17x9 and 16x6 steelies, also from Wheel Vintiques. The front and rear radial rubber is from Goodyear.
Body & Paint
It had to be a topless car, because that's what Tom likes, but it had to have windows and a convertible top, so he can drive it year round. The original steel body, chopped 2 inches, was sent to Lucky 7 Customs (Antioch, California) for bodywork and paint. Tom's early race cars were yellow, so he chose this Volkswagen color for his street rod. The pale tone fits the overall theme of the car. Jack Hageman created the aluminum hood, slanting down to a slightly dropped nose. The '36 headlights were lowered just over an inch; taillights are '39s. SO-CAL side mirrors and '40 Ford bumpers provide a touch of flash.
Sid Chavers (Santa Clara, California) upholstered the split bench seat and custom door panels in leather, and carpeted the floor in matching wool. All that red is broken up by yellow and white on the original steel '40 Ford dash. Classic Instruments built the gauges to fill the '40 insert. Completing the picture is a '40 Ford steering wheel from Juliano's riding on an ididit tilt column.