The fast and easy route would have been to plug in a small-block Chevy with a 700R4 and call it a day. But Joe was more interested in building a high-tech custom with pure Ford blood. His first stop was Ford Racing Parts for a 4.6-liter dual-overhead-cam modular Cobra motor. Right out of the crate there wasn't much Joe had to do to the four-valve cammer to make it run hard. Of course, dropping a huffer on top couldn't hurt anything. Joe opted for one of Jerry Magnuson's Eaton-based Magna Chargers to pump the little Cobra up to 500 horsepower. After lopping off the Chevy motor mounts, Joe continued to the transmission receptacles, dropping them in the scrap pile. In place of an automatic transmission, Joe mated a Mustang five-speed manual gearbox equipped with a precision B&M shifter and a Ford Racing clutch. With the engine and transmission in place, step three was fabricating a custom exhaust system from the headers back.
Simultaneous with constructing the '37's rolling chassis, Joe and crew prepared his Wild Rod '37 pickup body for paint so they could drop it onto the completed platform. Within five months Joe's pickup was ready to roll, but not without a moment to spare, maybe even a couple of minutes' late. That year's starting point for the Power Tour was Ft. Worth, Texas. After a quick 10-mile shakedown run, the '37 was on its way to intercept the Green Bay, Wisconsin-bound Power Tour in St. Louis, Missouri.
By the time Joe and his friends were part of the tour and almost to Wisconsin, the only problem was a slight gear oil leak. The next problem was a big one, and it had nothing to do with the '37's performance. One of the guys behind Joe-apparently dreaming of Wisconsin cheese or beer brats-stuffed his car into the '37's tail pretty hard. Both vehicles sustained major damage.
Turning a bad thing into good, Joe decided to blow the '37 all the way apart and rebuild it as a show vehicle. This time around there wasn't a rush-the new plan didn't include a timeline.
Starting from the inside out, Joe wanted to bring the '37 up to the very edge of high-tech style and design. The latest look is fully smoothed. Joe carried this to the extreme by fiberglassing every nook and cranny of the interior while incorporating a state-of-the-art molded-in speaker enclosure behind the seats. The dashboard and console received a major rework as well. Having owned a collision shop, Joe was no stranger to the massive amount of prep required before the '37 was ready for paint.
Looking through a Boyd's leather-wrapped...
Looking through a Boyd's leather-wrapped steering wheel reveals a custom fiberglass dashboard packed with Auto Meter gauges and air-conditioning vents supplying ice-cold Vintage Air. The head unit is an Alpine.
Inside the bed, there are...
Inside the bed, there are flames upon fire. On the tailgate's inside panel, the '37's name, "Erodic," is buried under a ton of House Of Kolor clear.
About the only upholstery...
About the only upholstery in the whole truck are these two bucket seats. Notice that even the headliner is done in smoothed fiberglass.