A Great Looking 1937 Ford Club Coupe

In 1937, Ford Motor offered car buyers both a 136 cubic inch V-8 and a 221 cubic inch flathead V-8. The 136 put out 60 horsepower and the 221 delivered 85 horsepower.

1937 ford club coupe

1937 Ford Club Coupe

As a side note, Ford Motor Company was the automaker who came out with the first low priced V-8 engine in 1932.

The first V-8 was introduced as far back as 1907 by the Hewitt Motor Company, but Ford's 1932 engine was meant for the masses. The new car price for Hewitt's 1907 V-8 Touring car was about $4,500.


1937 Mechanical and Design Changes

Other changes for the 1937 model year were that all Ford's had Vee shaped windshields. All Ford passenger cars including most of the light truck line shared a 112.0 inch wheelbase. Engines in 1937 had redesigned block, head and crankshaft.

All 1937 Ford passenger cars had all steel bodies.

As far as design, the standout  aspect of the 1937 Ford was Edsel Ford and Bob Gregorie's decision to place the headlamps into the front fenders. This changed the basic design and made this commonplace after the war.
1937 ford club coupe interior

Dashboard on the 37 Ford Club Coupe

The automobile featured in this article is a finely restored 1937 Ford Club Coupe. Ford produced 16,900 of these models and they are American classics. The cars are considered rare today. Total Ford passenger car production for 1937 was 921,000 vehicles. The rarest Ford from that production year would likely be the Ford Roadster Convertible with only 1,250 vehicles built.

In 1937 Ford offered Standard and Deluxe models. All Ford Club Coupes were Deluxe models. The car's base price new in 1937 was just above $700.

The Club Coupe

A bit of an explanation of what is a Coupe and what is a Club Coupe is found below.

The very first "coupe" was not even an automobile. It was a French horse carriage. The word "coupe" is from the French language word "coupe" and translates to "cut". In automobile terms the word coupe means a car that is any two door that is smaller than a sedan. If the car line does not include a sedan model then the two door model is a coupe and cannot be a two door sedan. Club Coupes are also known to be sportier than the normal coupe with it's less overall weight and less weight on top.

The "Club Coupe" can be described as a two-door with two rows of seating and a trunk, smaller than a sedan in the same lineup, generally having a fixed B-pillar, and a rear seat farther forward than in a comparable sedan. This model can also be referred to as a "Close-Coupled Coupe.

The 1938 Fords looked pretty much the same as the 37 models. The 38 Deluxe models had a heart shaped grille whereas the other models used the 37 grille. A recession took place in 1938 which hurt Ford sales and it may have been made a bit worse since the 38's were essentially 37's.

1937 Ford Club Coupe Specifications

As mentioned above, Ford offered two sizes of V-8's in 1937. The 136 cubic inch V-8 and a 221 cubic inch flathead V-8. The 136 put out 60 horsepower and the 221 delivered 85 horsepower.

37 ford coupe grille

View of the grille and recessed head lights on the 37 Ford Coupe

Transmission was a three speed manual shifted from the floor.

The 37 Ford still had mechanical brakes when a lot of other automakers offered hydraulic. The brakes were operated with cables instead of rods like they had been through 1936. Henry Ford gained a reputation as being very slow in adopting new technology. During this period and leading up to World War Two, technology at Ford wad adopted primarily from the urging of Edsel Ford.

The car's wheelbase was 112.0 inches. Curb weight was 2,616 lbs.

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ford club coupe

Rear view of the 1937 Ford Club Coupe

1937 Ford Club Coupe Collector Car

Many Ford V-8's of the 1930's have bee modified to street rods. A bit more with the 1932 to 1936 models as opposed to the 37's. With that being said, original Ford Club Coupes from 1937 are rare finds. All restored Fords from the 1932 to 1937 period are highly collectible.

Meticulously restored highly original examples have firm price tags. As of this writing, we see a 1937 Ford Two-Door Sedan with an asking price of $45,000. A 1937 Ford Coupe at $47,000. A 1937 Ford Convertible at $35,000. A 37 Ford Club Coupe at $45,000. A 1937 Ford Cabriolet Convertible at $73,000.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)


A Real Classic / 1967 Austin Mini Countryman 1275 Woody

Who would have known at the time that the designer of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, created a vehicle in 1959 that would be known throughout the world. The Mini was to be a four seater, small and affordable.  It almost seemed that everyone wanted a Mini during the 1960's. This car was a British icon during the 1960's and was the car of choice for several celebrities during that era.

The automobile was named one of the more influential cars of the world. In fact, the original Mini was voted second to the Ford Model T as being the most influential car of the 20th century. That in itself says quite a lot.

austin mini countryman

1967 Austin Mini Countryman

The automobile featured in this article is a 1967 Austin Mini Countryman 1275 Woody. The wood trim you see on this vehicle is real wood. Austin produced the estate version Countryman and Morris the Traveller.

Luxury models had wood inserts in the rear body as you can see in these photos. The automobile featured here has a 1300 cc engine and a four speed manual transmission. The Austin Mini Country man was produced from 1961 to 1969.

Cooper’s finest achievement  was the 1275S, the Mark I version of which was built from 1964 to 1967. From 1968 to 1971 the models were built as Mark II's.  These cars dominated the Monte Carlo rallies of the 1960s.

austin mini 1275s

Austin Mini Countryman 1275

Sir Alec Issigonis

Sir Alec Issigonis, who was knighted in 1969 by Queen Elizabeth and had not even seen a car until he was twelve years old, was a British automobile designer who created the Mini and the Morris Minor.

Issigonis was the son of a Greek merchant and after studying engineering he joined Morris Motors in 1936. His first job there was as a suspension designer. While at Morris Motors Sir Alec developed the Morris Minor, which was in production from 1948 to 1971.

In 1943, as a project engineer for Morris, he designed a two-seater that represented his idea of what a small car should look like. It was this design that ultimately became the Mini except with four seats.

Issignois left Morris but returned to what had become the British Motor Corporation in 1959. The Suez Crisis in 1956 called for a small, economical automobile on the lines of the Volkswagen Beetle. As a result, Sir Alec created the Mini which could seat four people comfortably. The car went into production in 1959 and the last original Mini was built in October 2000.

The Mini was marketed by the British Motor Corporation up until 1969 as either an Austin or a Morris. The automobiles that Sir Alec Issignois designed, the Minor, Mini and Austin 1100 were some of the top selling models in British automobile history.

1967 Austin Mini Countryman 1275 Specifications

The 1967 Austin Mini Countryman was built with a BMC Austin-A Series 998 Inline four cylinder 60 cubic inch engine producing 58 horsepower. The front wheel drive vehicle was claimed to have a top speed of 75 MPH. Zero to 60 MPH rating was 20.8 seconds. Certainly not a muscle car but very economical to operate.

Beginning in June 1967 BMC announced the larger 1275 cc engine.

Transmission was a four speed manual.

Front and rear suspension were Independent Hydrolastic.

austin mini 1275

Austin Mini 1275

Brakes on the 1967 Austin Countryman were disc up front and hydraulic drums in the rear.

Dimensions for the 1967 Austin Mini Countryman was a wheelbase of 84.2 inches, an overall length of 129.9 inches, a width of 55.0 inches and a height of 53.5 inches. The curb weight came in at 1,455 lbs.


The Mini Countryman's chassis was extended by about four inches and retained the same front end design as other Markk II Minis.

Considering the rear door the Austin Countryman was a three door vehicle.

While the 1967 Austin Mini Countryman 1275 had a station wagon style it was also classified as a microcar.

About 108,000 Austin Mini Countrymen and 99,000 Morris Mini Travellers were manufactured.

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You may also enjoy our article.... Sample Decodings of Classic Car Serial Numbers

A few books about the Austin Mini which you may find interesting include...Complete Classic Mini 1959-2000 by author Chris Rees. Also, Wheels of Misfortune: Rise and Fall of the British Motor Industry by author Jonathan Wood.

austin mini countryman 1275

Front view of the 67 Austin Mini Countryman

1960's Austin Mini Cooper Collector Cars

What you may find with these original 1275 Mini's is that the cost of restoring one to pristine condition may be more than the vehicles market value.

With that said, a 1960's Austin Mini Countryman with the luxury wood trim might be a good start for a collector. Generally, the automobiles are not expensive to acquire and if bought correctly should hold their value over the years. The car does have icon status and is a good candidate for auto shows.

As of this writing, asking prices for totally restored 1967 models appear to be in a range from about $15,000 to 0ver $50,000. This obviously is a wide range. The original 1275S Mark II's being priced in the higher range. We see a 1967 Austin Mini Countryman without the wood trim with a sales price of $17,000. We also see a non restored 1967 Austin Countryman with a 850cc engine with an asking price of $9,000.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)


The Legendary 1929 Mercedes SSK Gazelle

The first thing to know about the Mercedes SSK's were that only forty were ever built. Today's replicar models are called the Gazelles and while there's some disagreement as to what company built the first Gazelle replicar, Tiffany Motor Cars does appear to be the first company to advertise them. SSK was an abbreviation for Super Sport Kurz or Super Sport Short.

mercedes gazelle 1929

1929 Mercedes Gazelle SSK

It's thought today that only five of these original Mercedes SSK models survive. As you can imagine they rank at the top for car collectors. These are some of the most revered sports cars in all the world and are as close to priceless as you can get.

The Mercedes SSK was designed by Ferdinand Porshe with a six cylinder supercharged engine putting out 300 horsepower. This made the Mercedes SSK one of the fastest cars in the world. The SSK models were essentially a shorter and lighter version of the Mercedes S model. Along with being one of the world's fastest sports cars it also was one of the world's most beautiful. The car was a masterful piece of work by Porshe before he eventually went on and began his own auto company.

Daimler-Benz and Ferdinand Porsche During the 1920's

The creation of the Mercedes SSK as shown in the 1929 Mercedes Gazelle replicar featured in this article goes back to Daimler's racing efforts during the mid 1920's.

In 1923 Ferdinand Porsche left the Austro-Daimler organization and moved to Stuttgart  where he joined the Daimler German company. Daimler in Germany had entered a supercharged racer in the 1923 Indy 500 which did not perform. It failed so bad that Porsche took on the task of correcting the supercharged car so that Daimler wouldn't have to go through that embarrassment again.

dashboard mercedes gazelle

Mercedes Gazelle dashboard

As strange as it might sound, Germany had some eighty six separate automobile companies in 1924. This was a mere five years after the end of World War One.

The only possible outcome would be consolidation and this did involve Daimler. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz et Cie signed an "Agreement of Mutual Interest." Two years later, in June of 1926 this association became an official merger which formed the new company Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft. The hyphenated brand name Mercedes-Benz was established after the merger.

Probably the biggest boost for Porshe's efforts was when Daimler-Benz management in 1926 decided to scuttle the two cylinder race engines in favor of 6.0 liter engines. On top of that, cost was not a consideration. This gave Porsche a lot of creative leeway.

The Birth of the Mercedes-Benz S Models

The Mercedes S models as well as the SS, SSK and SSKL's were expensive cars and were limited edition models. Just as the surviving models today are priceless, the limited edition models built in the late 1920's were for only the wealthiest of individuals.

Porsche was directly responsible for the S, SS and SSK's whereas the SSKL came out after Ferdinand Porsche departed Daimler.

The new Mercedes-Benz S models with their large supercharged engines made it big on the racing circuit from 1928 to 1931. The cars weighed nearly 4,000 lbs which made steering a physical challenge nevertheless they were a great racing success.

History records that Porsche's departure from Daimler had to do with his desire to make automobiles for the workingman (family sedans)  whereas the Daimler's board was happy to just make and sell expensive automobiles. Even though the board tried to keep Porshe around and point him in a different direction, his well known temper didn't make that remotely possible. Ferdinand Porshe left Daimler and went to join automaker Steyr in Austria.

1929 mercedes ssk replicar

Rear view of the 1929 Mercedes Gazelle

1929 Mercedes-Benz SSK Specifications

The Mercedes SSK had a 7 liter inline six cylinder supercharged engine. Top speed was rated at 120 MPH.

Transmission was a four speed manual.

Brakes were four wheel drum.

Suspension included a sold front axle and a torque tube rear axle and front and rear half-elliptical leaf springs.

The cars dimensions include a 116.0 inch wheelbase, an overall length of 167.0 inches, a width of 67.0 inches and height of 68.0 inches. The curb weight was 3,750 lbs.

As mentioned above, only forty of the Mercedes-Benz SSK models were built and half of those were sold as racing cars. Many of those racing models ended up in crashes and some of those were used for parts. This demonstrates just how rare those five surviving vehicle are.

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A good read we would recommend is Ferdinand Porsche and the Legacy of Genius by author Laurence Meredith.

1929 mercedes-benz ssk

Mercedes-Benz Gazelle

The 1929 Merdedes SSK Replicars

With only five original Mercedes-Benz SSK's estimated to be around today, if you want to drive or collect one of these beautiful automobiles you'll likely need a replicar.

You'll likely find a good number of these Mercedes replicars offered for sale and they're usually priced reasonably. The replicars have been built of a variety of platforms along with a variety of engines and transmissions. As of this writing we see several used Mercedes SSK replicars priced in the $7,000 to $12,000 range.


(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)