Pro Mod To Pro Street: Dave Sherman’s Wild 1937 Chevy

Have you ever wondered what happens to an old Pro Mod after its days of racing have come to an end? Longtime racer Dave Sherman found the perfect use for a 1937 Chevy that was retired from six-second racing duty: he turned it into a street car with a little bit of racing DNA. Scoring a great deal on the chassis has allowed Sherman to build his dream street car that has plenty of attitude.

Sherman started his racing career in the late 1970s with a 1933 Willys coupe that he campaigned for a few years. His most notable racecar was his 1966 Mustang that was powered by a giant 598 cubic-inch Ford engine. The Mustang was still a street car and ran at the famous World’s Fastest Streetcar Shootout in 1994. After the Mustang, Sherman raced a Precision Chassis-built A/Dragster in Comp Eliminator that used a 506 cubic-inch Chevy engine for power and was backed by a Liberty five-speed transmission.

The 1937 Chevy that Sherman owns now began life as a Pro Mod filled with lightweight titanium and all the other trick parts a six-second racecar needs. The car never really worked right at the track in Pro Mod trim for the previous owner so it was sold through Precision Chassis to Sherman.

“We were considering building a new car but this body and chassis came up for sale. It was a tremendous bang for the buck deal and you could see with some changes the car could definitely have the attitude I was looking for. I really wanted a build that was rough, raw, had a big motor, and big-tire look to it,” Sherman says.

A unique feature of Sherman’s Chevy is his choice of engine: a 604 cubic-inch Oldsmobile-based mill. The engine is based upon a DRCE block with BME connecting rods and pistons that are swung inside the cylinders by an Ohio Crankshaft. A set of DRCE 1 heads were outfitted with Manley valves and Jesel rockers, while an Erson camshaft and lifters round out the engine’s top end. A pair of 1150 Holley Dominators assist with bringing air into the engine in unison with a custom intake that Sherman fabricated himself. Gear changes are made via a Lenco CS-3 five-speed transmission that interacts with a Crower 10-inch dual-disc clutch inside a Lakewood can.

The front suspension of the car features Santhuff front struts, and a Stiletto steering system makes the car a treat for Sherman to drive. Precision Chassis fabricated the four-link suspension and the Fab-9 rearend housing. A Strange Engineering Ultra Carrier, 4.30 gears, and 40-spline axles call the rearend home, while a set of double-adjustable aluminum shocks from Koni take care of the dampening duties in the rear. All of the power is transferred to the rearend from the Oldsmobile engine via a Mark Williams Enterprises driveshaft.

Some future plans for the car include a gnarly 730 cubic-inch aluminum big-block Chevy that Sherman has on an engine stand. Another possibility Sherman is contemplating is converting the car to fuel injection down the road. Sherman believes that when the Chevy hits the track it should run in the eight-second range with its current engine, and could tickle the sevens with the big all-aluminum engine.

“I can’t thank my wife, Chris Sherman, enough for letting me have fun with this car. I love playing around with cars and making changes to them. This car won’t be in this configuration long because there’s a bunch of stuff I want to try. Life’s too short to keep anything the same,” Sherman says.

Dave Sherman’s 1937 Chevy is proof there is life for old racecars after their days of running hard at the track are over. Taking an old Pro Mod and turning it into a street cruiser and track bruiser is an outstanding use for a chassis, and it gives hot rodders like Sherman the opportunity to get creative.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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