Jim Bridgewater’s 1937 Ford Coupe
It’s hard to believe today that the ’37 Ford was not always popular with hot rodders. In fact, for the first 50 years of their existence, the biggest use beyond general transportation for ’37 Fords was fender-bashing stock car racing at dirt tracks across America! That changed in the mid-1980s when a handful of open-minded street rodders gave the round, smooth ’37 a second chance and turned them into eye-grabbing rides. Continuing that evolution is this great-looking 1937 Ford coupe belonging to Jim Bridgewater.
Jim teamed up with All Ways Hot Rods in Phoenix, Arizona, for the build. All Ways had a very precise vision of how Jim’s coupe should look and had artist Jimmy Smith put those ideas down on paper as a blueprint.
To get the project rolling, a new chassis from TCI was selected with coil-overs fore and aft and a 9-inch rearend. Stop and roll were provided by Wilwood brakes and a custom set of 16×6- and 16×8-inch EVOD rims straight from Jimmy Smith’s original design. Wheel detailing includes painted centers with a polished lip, custom two-bar knock-offs, and tires with smoothed sidewalls.
Slipped into the new chassis is a Ford Coyote engine backed by a 4R75W automatic transmission. Dressing up the Coyote mill is a super trick hand-built air cleaner atop a pair of MMR valve covers reworked by All Ways.
While the body appears exactly the way it left the Ford factory in 1937, it has been smoothed and gapped to perfection before Lucky Luciano Custom Paint laid on the many coats of Sherwin Williams Quicksand paint. Accenting the desert-toned paint is every piece of trim worn in 1937, including the original bumpers that have been shaved and tucked in just a little bit closer to the body.
Complementing the tasteful and timeless exterior is an Art Deco masterpiece interior of leather and German-striped cloth by Armando’s Custom Upholstery. Striking elements inside include the banjo steering wheel from Pearlcraft and the custom Deco additions by All Ways, which center on the unique hand-made dash waterfall.
Jim now only needs to put miles on the odometer of his timeless 1937 Ford coupe, a dream made into reality by All Ways Hot Rods.
Photos by John Jackson & Damon Lee