What you are looking at here is a modern version of the '37 Ford. Even though this one started out with new fiberglass body panels, it doesn't change the fact that it will get anyone's attention. It may not have as much clout as owning an original, but it is an easier means of owning a vehicle that has some rather aggressive body lines to it.

Finding original sheetmetal dating back to that time would take an extensive search, and the price for a decent amount to work with would definitely take a toll on any bank account. Also, take into consideration that there is a lot of work to make one look like this one. If you're already tapped out from just getting your hands on the vehicle alone, it will leave you with little money to spend on making it cool.

With all the benefits of starting out with a new Wild Rod Factory vehicle, Mitch Henderson decided that it would be a great platform for his latest project. Mitch was looking for a replacement for his '92 Chevy fullsize that was tragically lost. It was a turquoise and white, body-dropped fullsize, with a fiberglassed dash that featured three amplifiers. It made some major steam a few years back and made him very happy to own such a custom. That all came to a crash when the truck caught on fire while it was being hauled in an enclosed trailer. A loose battery cable sparked, and the rig went down in a fiery inferno.

Luckily, the insurance company covered the financial side of the disaster. However, Mitch had to deal with the emotional side of losing his pride and joy.Once he got his insurance check, he moved on to the next thing. By word of mouth, Mitch found a guy named Keith who was working on this Wild Rod Factory '37 pickup. Soon enough, Keith got fed up, so Mitch bought it.

Mitch was now the proud owner of a pile of parts, so he sent it off to be assembled. This started as Rob Holiday assembled the two framerails with the included Mustang II frontend. Then, a Pete & Jake's triangulated four-link suspension system was attached to the rear frame, and a set of Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves was thrown in for adjustability. The chassis got a new LS1 motor and 4L65-E tranny fit to it, then the rolling frame and its works were prepped by Mitch with Kristen Ashley. Then, Mitch sent it out to be painted to a show finish.

Next, it was time that the pre-chopped and sectioned fiberglass body was worked on. The doors were aligned, and the dash was molded with a set of Auto Meter gauges. Then, the fenders were bobbed, and the inner fenders were smoothed since they came in raw fiberglass. Next, everything was all blocked smooth and painted with this Pat Maxwell-designed scheme.

After everything was either painted or chromed, it was assembled back together with the motor and tranny. The only task left was the interior and creature comforts of the compact cab. This task of making the interior pieces was left to Roger Suskey of Central Customs in Springdale, Arkansas. He handcrafted all the upholstered pieces, including the low-profile set of seats and bed work from raw materials. At that time, the mobile entertainment system was set up, and the Vintage Air Gen II A/C unit was installed to make the inside of the cab more comfortable.

The 13-month crunch to build this truck for SEMA was coming to an end, and Mitch was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Though he was very anxious to get it done, he did not have such an easy time building it. It was a struggle that continues with a lot of reworking to fix all the imperfections from the rush to get it to SEMA. Mitch has gone through it completely and has made a perfectly running truck. Even though it isn't an original, he built it from a pile of parts to create a gorgeous custom. Mitch went all in with this project, and his bet has certainly paid off.

The 411
Owner/hometown: Mitch Henderson / McKinney, Texas

Year/make/model: Wild Rod Factory '37 Ford Reproduction

Engine/drivetrain: '04 GM LS1 / Competition Cams LS1 Hot Cam / Street & Performance fuel rails, serpentine pulleys, throttle body, alternator, A/C compressor, and air cleaner / Hooker headers / Borla mufflers / 4L65-E transmission / Currie third member / Ford 9-inch rearend / Moser 31-spline axles

Installers: Rob Holiday of Oklahoma City

Wheels/tires: 17x7- and 20x10-1/2-inch Bonspeed Laguna 2 billet / Dunlop Sportmax 215/40R17 and 275/35R20

Suspension: Wild Rod Factory framerails / Mustang II front suspension / Pete & Jake's triangulated four-link rear suspension / Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves / GC 450 Extreme valves / Oasis XP 2000 compressor / 3-gallon air tank / stainless steel hard lines / Rock Valley gas tank / 11-inch Wilwood disc brakes / all attaching suspension components chromed by Sharps Plating of Oklahoma City

Fabricator: Rob Holiday of Oklahoma City

Body Mods: Pre-sectioned, chopped, and channeled Wild Rod Factory fiberglass body with suicide doors / shaved license plate box / 36-inch Precision Rodware LED brake light / bobbed fenders / blocked and primed five times

Bodyman: Chris Brankel of Oklahoma City

Custom Paint: Custom Sexual Chocolate (top) and Honey Gold (bottom)

Painter: Chris Brankel of Oklahoma City / airbrushing by Kevin Cox of Custom Concepts in Oklahoma City

Interior: Custom low-profile seats, center console, door panels, and headliner / molded dash / Auto Meter gauges / Billet Accessories Direct steering wheel / Lokar shifter and pedals

Upholsterer: Roger Suskey of Central Customs in Springdale, Arkansas

Audio/video: Pioneer head unit / 400-watt Orion amps in bed / Orion subwoofer / DEQ 30 and 6-1/2-inch Orion components in B-pillars

Installer: Roger Suskey of Central Customs in Springdale, Arkansas

Club: Relaxed Atmosphere

Special Thanks: Chuck of U.S. Wheel, Charlie of Directed, Bill of Ekstensive, Jack of Dunlop Tires, Killer Rides, Kris Birtciel, Kristen Ashley, Chris Brankel, Rob Holiday, Joe Loomis, Mike of Sachse Rod Shop, Coby of Sharps Plating, Roger Suskey, Jason, Deen, and Huggy of BAD, Gene Reese, Jimmy Cox, Koolaid, and Oasis Compressors.

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article