1937 Ford Convertible Custom Details
First time this car has been made available to the public since built by Gene Winfield.
Invest in a piece of American History.
A piece of California / USA History owned by an American Innovator, and customized by another great American Innovator. Just pulled out of the garage
This custom 1937 Ford Club Cabriolet was built for Bill Victor by Gene Winfield. This car is known around the world as Bill Victor’s ” The Rabbit “. Bill Victor, of Victor Gaskets, has had many incredible cars over the years. Bill was not only involved in Victor Gaskets, but also Movie Cars in California, buying and selling collectible cars, and racing. This is the one car he would never sell. I bought the car from his family after he passed. Victor Gaskets is now The Dana Corporation.
I drove the car out of the garage from Brentwood, up Sunset Boulevard, on the 405 Freeway, and all the way to Burbank in afternoon traffic on a sunny Los Angeles afternoon. The Rabbit did not miss a beat, and the temperature never went over 180 degrees. Even while climbing over the big hill on the 405 heading to the valley.
See the video below where Gene Winfield describes building the car for Bill Victor. The car also comes with a stack of receipts by well known car shops, and receipts from Gene Winfield for the custom bodywork and paint. Winfield came out with a great book last year.
The windshield was laid back to lower the roofline about and inch and a half. Then the top bows were cut down and modified to match the lower line, and to give the car a sleeker look, or to gain top speed at Bonneville.
The top of the doors were gently massaged to give them an elegant dip on top to match other lines on the custom. ( See large blown-up picture at bottom of the listing comparing the stock and custom doors )
The running boards were pulled and sculpted in.
Also, the paint job was done by Winfield that is still on the car
There are some other touches like an electric antenna that is in the receipts and still operational in the car.
There are some chrome accents under the hood, and the brakes have been upgraded to 40’s juice hydraulic brakes.
This is a chance to own an incredible mild 1940’s style custom by a legendary custom car builder. If you are looking at this car I am sure you know who Gene Winfield is, if not Google is your friend. One of the greats, if not the greatest in the custom world like Sam and George Barris, Bill Hines, and other car customizers of past times. This is a chance to own a real Winfield Custom.
What have we done to the car. These 2 things I feel brought the custom to where it should be. I loved this car at first sight, but there were 2 things that I felt needed to be done to the car to bring it back to the incredible forties custom that it is. The first was the stance. Bill Victor preferred the rear up in the air in a rake type of stance. His personal choice, but I felt the car needed to be lower in the rear. Giving it the slight tail dragger look I felt the car was screaming for and was correct for the 40’s style custom. To lower the rear we de-arched and reversed the rear leaf spring, if you wanted to lower the rear more all is needed would be to quickly swap in some bolt-on 41 ford shackles. This would result in an extra 2-inch drop from where the car sits now.Nov 15.2011 UPDATE: I went ahead and put rear shackles on the rear of the car, and took a leaf out of the front and had the front spring de-arched. This dropped the front about 3 to 4 inches and dropped the rear about 1.5 more inches for a total drop in the rear of about 4.5 to 5.5 inches. It still drives and rides great like this, and looks “right” 1940s custom.
The second thing was in the big cushy velour interior. It was extremely comfortable and well done, but I did not feel anyone was going to cry to let it go. We enlisted Dave Martinez of Martinez Industries in Gardena, CA. We thought long and hard on what the perfect Forties Custom interior would be, and the right interior for the car. Then set Dave free to do his magic. He nailed it. Great job Dave! Thanks!
The car itself is a very solid metal car. The old paint job is still glossy and there are no signs of rust coming through anywhere. This old custom has been driven and enjoyed, so there are some nicks, scratches, etc.. that you might suspect on a car that has been loved and driven. Just a nice patina here and there that says, “this is the real thing”.
While replacing the carpet we inspected the floors and they are in truly outstanding shape.
The engine runs great. It starts up easily. There is no smoking or funny noises. Like I said earlier, I drove it across LA on the backroads and 405 and 101 Freeways in afternoon traffic. The transmission shifts like a 37, and stays in gear without whining or problems. The tires are in good shape. The doors lock with the key, as well does the ignition. It really is amazing how well the car cruised down the highway and around town. I was going to tow it, but had confidence in it. And, when else am I going to get a chance to drive a 37 Winfield custom up over the hill on The 405 and across LA on a beautiful sunny afternoon?
The brakes stop well. All the lights work, including the added turn signals and even the dome light on the folding top!
TONS OF PICTURES AND VIDEOS BELOW
The oil pressure gauge works, and there is good pressure. The temp gauge works, the fuel gauge works, the air horns work from the proper horn button in the center of the steering wheel. The lever for the bell you hear in the video is mounted through the floor in front of the seat. This is a great car.
The parking brake works, the blower works, the radio/tape player works and comes with an unopened Bill Victor Inspirational Tunes tape. Bill also had a recording studio.
The steering felt really good on the car. Everything in the drivetrain and suspension felt great while driving the car. This is a solid metal body.
Look at all the beautifully chromed top bows and garnish moldings. The dash is also beautiful. The doors all open, close, and latch nicely. It is a great honest driving car, that was a prized possession and well-loved.
We have the correct clear title, with the corresponding correct numbers located on the car.
From Of all the custom cars builders who came to fame in the 1950’s scene, the most prolific was a young man from Modesto, California – the legendary Gene Winfield. Cutting his teeth in the postwar hot rod scene, Winfield eventually gravitated to the media of custom cars, becoming one of its preeminent builders and purveyors. For the first time, Winfield’s career is examined in this volume fully illustrated with photography from his personal archives – some never seen before!
Author David Grant is a long-time collaborator and protege of Winfield, and recounts everything from his early days at Modesto, immersion in California car culture, the formation of the Century Toppers Car Club, his involvement in dry lakes racing, the formation of Winfield’s Custom Shop in 1955,and the impressive string of vehicles that followed: Strip Star from the film Solar Crisis, based on a 1946 Ford chassis with a 427 Ford engine and hand-finished aluminum body, the sleek gull-wing from The Man From UNCLE series, William Shatner piloting the Reactor car in Star Trek, Woody Allen and the Bubble Car in Sleeper , the spinning police car in Blade Runner , the Ford King T that won the 1963 AMBR award…All these and many more are featured in glorious color and archive photography alongside the voice of a man regarded by many as the king of Custom Cars.
Quoted from the book . Go Buy It!
1937 Ford Convertible Custom Pictures
Our car is on the right, while a stock 37 door is pictured on the left.
This is a comparison showing the differences between a stock 1937 door and our custom door body. Notice on the top of the door frame, our car has been modified to be lowered slightly around 2 inches, adding to the mild custom look of the car. It dips down a couple inches after the door starts and rises back up a couple inches just before the door ends, where the B pillar would be. We did not notice this at first, and with a close inspection, it looks as if it came that way from the factory. There are no lines, and it has been smoothed out perfectly. It is not very noticeable at first, however, when you look at the stock car you can notice how the door goes straight across and the modification becomes much more clear.