Over the last several years, HOT ROD Drag Week has led to the creation of some of the most awe-inspiring, street legal vehicles the sport has ever seen in the conquest for achieving the ultimate in road-going performance. Likewise, it’s also brought about some truly unique machines, and there’s perhaps none more one-of-a-kind than Mike Oldham’s 1937 Ford roadster, which was built almost specifically for the annual Drag Week expedition. But unlike it’s counterparts on the week-long affair, this roadster is very much a race car in a street legal and safely road-going disguise.
Constructed by Richard Earle and his team at Suncoast Race Cars, this ’37 is based largely on Suncoat’s standard Super Gas-style Street Roadster, with a number of modifications to provide it the ability to survive long distance trips, tow a trailer, and take a passenger along for the ride.
The body is an Advanced Fiberglass Concepts-built ’37 Ford with a newly-designed integral grille, wrap around windshield flange and windows, and a double-hinged “mini” doors that slide out as they swing open. The body rests upon a Pro-Series roadster-style chassis with dual cages for both a driver and passenger, with all the bars installed to make it sub-7.49 legal. A dragster-style rear wing built by Suncoast completes the powerful, low-slung look. While many of the lights on the car – of which Suncoast had install more than on a traditional race-only street roadster – are aftermarket pieces, the front headlights are actual re-manufactured ’37 Ford headlights.
Underneath is a fully-fabricated Pro-Series 9-inch Ford-style housing, four-link, wishbone, and anti roll bar, accompanied with 72-inch wheelie bars, also from Suncoast. The rear suspension package is rounded out with AFCO double-adjustable shocks. Up front, you’ll find Aerospace’s double-adjustables with Hypercoil springs and Strange lower control a-arms and zero bump steer rack and pinion by Suncoast.
Stopping power is derived from Aerospace’s two piston front spindle mount and four piston rear brakes with billet calipers and rotors.
The slick-looking wheels are Weld Aluma Star Pro spindle-mounts in the front, wrapped in Hoosier 4.5″ x 25″ and 15×15 rear beadlocks 33x16x15 Hoosier street legal DOT tires or conventional bead wheels with Mickey Thompson 33x22x15 Sportsman S/R street tires, depending upon the driving situation.
Power comes from a 440-inch, all-aluminum Small Block Chevy built by total Engine Concepts with a billet crank, billet 4340 rods, All Pro heads, T&D shaft rockers, Moroso five stage dry sump, and Mahle pistons. A 300 horse fogger nitrous system from Steve Johnson Nitrous Solutions helps to create the power necessary to push this street legal ride into the mid sevens, with expected potential in thew low sevens at more than 190 miles per hour. The fuel system represents one of the more interested elements of this car from a road-worthiness perspective and one that posed a challenge to Earle in its construction, as a custom 18-gallon fuel tank was fabricated that’s contour-fitted around the chassis tubing in the rear section of the car behind the roll cage. When not cruising the highways of the midwest and elsewhere on pump gas, a front-mounted two gallon Jaz fuel cell provides plenty of fuel capacity for 1/4-mile laps.
Transferring the power is a TCI Powerglide with a 5500 RPM stall converter, combined with a B&M “Pro Stock” shifter, Mark Williams aluminum driveshaft, Strange 40-spline rifle-drilled axles, and aluminum Pro center section with 4-10 9.5-inch ring gear.
The cars’ interior features a contour-fiited wrap around seat from AFC/Suncoast and diamond tufted upholstery by Street Seats, along with a custom dash with a carbon fiber illusion glove box. A “stacked” dash with Auto Meter gauges and clock also comprise the interior, along with a number of switches and gadgets, including four toggle switches on the center “console” that disable all of the race-only features that are necessary while traveling the highways and byways.
Completing this awesome race car-turned-street car package is a tag along trailer, also built by Suncoast, that hauls the spare wheels and tires, nitrous bottles, tools, luggage, and other essential items. The parachute cord is attached the trailer hitch, and when removed, is moved further up to the hitch kingpin for racing.