As these mods were taking place, Bob asked Larry, “If this were your car, what would you do?” Larry’s immediate response: “Chop the top!” So the chop got topped, barely—1-1/2 inches in front and a slight 3/4 inch in the rear. During the process, the vertical B-pillars were slanted forward. The overall effect is just enough to add to the rake of the profile. When the bodywork was complete, the car went into the One Off paint booth, where Dave Strong shot a finish as black and shiny as tuxedo shoes.
The forward rake is enhanced by the chassis setup, in particular the Mustang II–style front end with 2-inch drop spindles. Coilover shocks were mounted at both ends of the car. In the rear, the Ford 9-inch turns 33-spline axles. Bob purchased the sedan with massive tires on Center Line Champ 500 wheels. The low-profile Goodyears (215/45R18 and 255/45R20) rolling on 18- and 20-inch Schott Mod 5 wheels are more contemporary, suit the proportions of the car better, and match the sporty but classy theme. Braking chores are assigned to 10-3/4-inch Wilwood discs front and back, helped by a Tuff Stuff booster and master cylinder and a Wilwood proportioning valve.
Gray tweed was the dominant theme of the earlier interior, which was entirely redone top to bottom by King’s Auto Upholstery in Roanoke, Virginia. Bob worked with the guys at King’s to design the custom dash, which features double humps to resemble a ’55 dash. The humps match the curves of the dash panel, which houses a set of Classic Instruments gauges. The panel on the passenger side is the door to the glovebox. The extended lower dash holds the vents for the Southern Air A/C system, and a Billet Specialties steering wheel tops a tilt column from Flaming River. A pair of Lexus bucket seats and matching custom rear seats have been upholstered in two-tone tan Ultraleather. You’ll see the oval design repeated on the custom door panels and headliner, and into the trunk. The invisible sound system includes an Alpine head unit hidden in the trunk and JL Audio speakers.
Bob’s one-of-a-kind Chevy was finally finished in time to get to the Nats in Columbus last summer. Considering when he first saw the ’37 in the pages of Hemmings, we could say it took him long enough. But we won’t. We understand why it took him so long to start the project—he was too busy having fun.