Rod & Custom Feature Car
1937 Ford Standard Coupe
There are two aspects of the chassis beneath Ryan Reed’s coupe that may surprise you: One, it doesn’t have airbags, or for that matter, any type of adjustable suspension; and two, he’s running a dropped tube axle, not an IFS. So, that said, you can imagine what lengths he took to not just get the ’37 to sit as it does, but to drive as near a new car as possible with that ride height. The tube axle in question is from Magnum (5-inch drop), as are the spindles and transverse leaf. In the rear, a Currie 9-inch is located with a set of Pete & Jakes ladder bars and rides on Viper coilovers; Ryan custom-fit sway bars front and back. Steering is Vega cross-link style.
Underhood is a 400hp crate 350 from Year One (with Holley induction/MSD ignition/Sanderson headers), backed by a McLeod Racing–equipped Muncie M20 four-speed assembled by New Zealander Robin “Silky” Silk. Among other things, Ryan hand-fabbed the complete exhaust system (minus the Flowmasters), custom accessory bracketry (including low-mount alternator), and hand “re”built a deep-sump oil pan to accommodate steering linkage clearance.
Normally we’d include the brakes with the chassis specs, but since the fronts are so integral to the wheels they mount we’ll make an exception this time! If you hadn’t already noticed, the American Racing five-spokes so neatly tucked within the front fenders are spindle mounts … for the most part. With the help of Mike Curtis (Curtis Speed), Ryan used custom-machined hubs that feature a hidden five-lug mounting surface in which the 15x3.5 (yes, that narrow—they’re actually made for drag racing) Americans to 11-inch Wilwood rotors that use a single-piston GM caliper. The International five-spoke rears are 16x8.5 with traditional exposed lugs mounting 11-inch drums. Front tires are 145R15 Coker-Firestone radials; rears are Continental 255/70R16s.
Despite its deceiving looks, the Standard coupe has quite a number of custom touches and modifications, most the latter of which contribute to the car’s tight-tolerance fit and finish. For instance, the trunk and its sill were both sectioned, material was added to each door edge, and the lower front hood lip raised—all to achieve consistent, uniform gaps throughout. Furthermore, both bumpers and their brackets have been reworked so that each blade better fits/contours the body. Abe Rodriguez (Abe’s Custom Painting, Riverside, CA) handled the final bodywork before applying the PPG Cordoba Tan waterbase paint that Ryan had custom-mixed by longtime friend Scott Smith (SoCal PPG rep). Dennis Ricklefs provided the beltline pinstripe. All exterior brightwork is courtesy G&A Metal Polishing.
Keeping in tune with his pseudo-resto theme, Ryan chose not to go with leather for the interior, opting instead for tan-colored broadcloth to cover the stock bench seat, side panels, and headliner and brown square-weave carpet over the flooring—all of which Gabe Lopez handled at his San Bernardino, CA, shop. The coupe’s stock dash now features Classic Instruments gauges (rear mounted for factory appearance) while a reproduction Vette wheel tops the original column, now hung via a LimeWorks drop. What you can’t see are the stereo components, which is just how Ryan and Audio Shoppe’s Alan Hickman wanted it. The hidden system features Arc Audio amps/drivers with a V8Audio controller.