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'37 Chevy Sedan

6/10/2020
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Tags: News, 1937 Chevy
Not all hot rods can be called "elegant", but it's hard to argue that Barry Smithberg's Chevy looks right at home in this sophisticated setting.

The really great thing about the ’37 Chevy on our cover is that there’s nothing out of place. All the elements work together for that “just right” look.

Let’s start with the chop. When Barry Smithberg acquired this clean ’37 Chevy, he knew he wanted it chopped. In fact, it was the first thing he did. But he also knew that a Chevy sedan wouldn’t look right if he got carried away, so a subtle two and a half inches were removed. It looks like it came that way from the factory.

The profile shot is where it's at. The perfect chop makes a car look better without drawing attention to itself. And the raked stance is the perfect compliment to the subtle chop.
It always helps to start with a solid car. Barry was actually looking for a Ford, but when this creampuff Chevy popped up he knew it was the one.

And that stance? Just right. A Mustang II front and triangulated 9-inch rear bring the stock frame down into the weeds. The polished Americans hint at hot rods of the 60’s, and so does the three carb’d small block.

This 327 has been with Barry for a long time, and it looks right at home under the hood of his Chevy.

There’s a cool story behind that engine. It’s a 327 Chevy that’s been travelling with Barry for a long time. After a heavy high school right foot blew up the small-journal 327 in his ’63 Impala, it was replaced by another 327, this time a 350 block was used with a large journal 327 crank. This engine then made its way into Barry’s Camaro drag car and survived some major abuse. And then…you guessed it; this is the very same engine in the ’37. The trusty old small block is now on its third rebuild, this time by Barry’s son, Nick.

It may have taken Barry 14 years to get his hot rod built, but slow and steady almost always wins the race.
Barry could have gone nuts here, with ostrich hide or techno-rave ambient lighting. Instead, he crafted a subtle interior that nods to the 60's with some modern amenities.

Barry is a professional automotive upholsterer, but he resisted the urge to get carried away on his own car. The clean, pleated design is another tip of the hat to the 60’s, and the engine turned dash panel and mahogany banjo wheel are timeless. The Lokar shifter on the floor gives orders to a 700R4 transmission. It’s all, well…just right.

A few guages in an engine turned panel behind a banjo wheel are really all a hot rod ever needs.
Nearing the home stretch. This car is immaculate, but Barry drives it regularly.

It took Barry 14 years from the time he acquired the car to its first drive. It was his first ground-up build, and he patiently chipped away at it as time and money allowed. He told us, “If you stick with it, then one day it’ll be done.” Sounds simple, but it’s great advice for all of us who aspire to one day have a car as nice as this one.

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