“My wife Julie and I have had so much fun with this car so far—we've put over 4,000 miles on it,” explains Tim Wheeler of his hot rodded ‘37 Chevy Master Sedan. The recently-retired law enforcement officer from Blair, Wisconsin, says that the project was fully homebuilt aside from the final paint. “The car is really a Heinz 57-style mixture of parts that runs very good—it loves the interstate, going all day long in 5th gear at 2,300 RPM and nearly 20 MPG. It’s also pretty sporty around town for what it is.” Tim is involved with advocacy to keep up the pressure on lawmakers. “They keep trying to take everything away a guy like me values!”
Running gear: ‘56 DeSoto 330 c.i. Hemi with a reprofiled cam and intake topped with four 2G Rochester carburetors. Tim built the intake and headers from scratch. He says, “four sets of headers were cut up to make the final pair, taking about 300 hours alone.” The Hemi is hooked to a 5-speed Chevy manual transmission using a hydraulically-operated clutch. The ‘74 Pontiac P-series rear axle uses ladder bars with a 3:55 gear ratio. A ‘51 Chevy truck front axle is equipped with a modern disc brake kit. Early drag-style aluminum wheels are outfitted with tires to match.
Exterior: ‘34 Ford grille with a dagger hood ornament shields an aluminum radiator, which was mounted vertically with rewelded neck and outlets. Vintage Guide headlights include modern bulbs and turn signals in the tear-drop-shaped tops, while the taillights are ‘51 Pontiac. Volkswagen windshield wipers are hooked to a Dodge switch. The “Mango Tango” paint with a flattening agent was applied locally by Ekern Collision/Restoration. “Parchment” covers the firewall.
Interior: ‘62 Dodge truck dashboard narrowed in the center to fit. Bucket seats from a Caviler sport 5-point racing seat belts while the back seat came from a Bonneville. Custom door panel were made by Tim and finished in “Parchment” gray and copper colors.