America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod – Dan Wathor’s 1937 Ford
Pleasanton, CA – Reshaped, regal, and extremely powerful, the metallic gold 1937 Ford of Rio Linda, California’s Dan Wathor captured Goodguys 2016 Flowmaster America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod during last weekend’s Goodguys 30th West Coast Nationals. Turns out for Mr. Wathor, the third time was indeed the charm. After top 5 finalist placings for Goodguys Street Rod d’Elegance in Del Mar, Calif. and Street Rod of the Year in Columbus, Ohio, Wathor’s sparkling ’37 was a decade in the making.
Built by Kenny’s Rod Shop in Boise, Idaho, Wathor’s coupe is a study in painstaking details, refined fit and finish, and manly horsepower. Its heartbeat is a 351 c.i. EFI Ford Cleveland V8 punched out to 427 c.i, and features Arias Ford Hemi cylinder heads, intake — and thumps like an angry gorilla with dyno readings north of 750 horsepower. While the car is all class, it has a nasty dark side.
Like any top flight street rod, the stance is perfect thanks to a scratch built Chromoly tube chassis fit with modified Heidt’s IFS and IRS cushioned with Ridetech air shocks. When aired out, it is simply poetry in motion. The solid wheels offer a retro look but are anything but. Measuring 8×18-inches and 10×20-inches, they were machined from solid chunks of aluminum with custom made “Deluxe 37” hubcaps.
The exterior lines feature perfect 1/8-inch uniform gaps coated in that sparkling custom mix PPG Envirobase gold metallic. A closer look reveals custom fabricated inner fender wells — front and back — as well as custom running boards. The hood has been sloped while under the hood lies a custom curved firewall. All exterior glass is curved. Boise’s Interior Revolutions stitched the vintage toffee leather interior and mohair headliner while the original ’37 dash is fitted with Classic Instruments gauges, Juliano’s ’39 Banjo steering wheel, Flaming River steering column and Lokar shifter.
This one is the total package. Its class and style both — inside and out — put it in the upper echelon street rods of the past decade. After trips to Detroit for the Ridler competition, where it placed in the Great 8, and finalist bids in Del Mar and Columbus, it can now lay claim to being America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod for 2016.