1937 Dodge D5 4 Door Humpback Touring Sedan


Twelve Pointer
I'll put this in here as a place holder and hopefully no only will it come home after 21 years but I'll be able to tell the story of bringing it back to life herein.

Dad called. We have been looking for a 37 Dodge to take the place of Ol John Lee the 65 Chevy Truck I had been driving.

Fortunatly he found the car. My/his/our car. I worked with him on it and road around in it all my life. It became mine at 16 years old and I drove it till a drunk hit me on the drivers side totaling it when I was 30.

I sold it.

Dad found it. Its been sitting in the hotrod shop in VA for 21 years waiting to be finished.

The owner knows we want it back. As is, or accident damage repaired and running/driving.

So for now Dad and the shop owner talked it over and Ol Bessie is "Back in the Que" for repairs.

Don't know what the costs will be or if I can even afford it but we'll start with trying to own it again and move out from there. With luck I can at least geti it home to the garage.....maybe more.

As it sits, and just before the wreck 21 years ago it had: New upholstery that I sewed myself from scratch, I had redone all the woodgrain finish on the metal trim, rebuilt the dash gauges, installed a new wiring harness, built a Ford 200 6 with weber carb, new radiator, TCI Streetfighter C4 Trans, new leaf springs and shackels, new front suspension and kingpins (wonder how many folks don't have a clue what kingpins are?), rebuilt the steering box and brake system, new glass, new rubber. It was a solid daily driver. For years with a flathead and three speed and all that work had under 1000 miles on it when the accident occured.

But, Dad said he wants the shop to work up the estimates on a running driving car with the accident damage fully repaired. We'll see......I am excited and guarded at the same time.
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Old Mossy Horns
Let us know what happens with the Dodge. I believe kingpins were used in the front suspension of cars and trucks instead of ball joints, some pickups had them if I remember correctly in the 50's and 60's ..


Twelve Pointer
Yep. Thems kingpins. The mobile joint of early straight axles. And can they ever be a booger to replace!!


Twelve Pointer
Email to Dad yesterday (We talked on the phone last Thursday evening whilst I was in Chi-kag-O working).


Moving out this weekend with some financial restructuring as early retirement is inexorably moving closer and full retirement is only 4.5 years away.

To that end, in a few weeks I will have about $10000 to work with on the dodge.

It strongly appears that the 37 Dodges and 47 Plymouths are available in good original to restored condition in the 12000 to 18000 range. Seems we can benchmark that for the original Dodge and for the original, $15000 seems about right to me. Thoughts?

At $15K or under I'd like to see a running driving painted vehicle in 6 months and given 3 workers I'd assume 12 Months would be more than adaquate time.

My thoughts are, naturally, start/run/stop/cosmetics, in that order.

So, initial thoughts in order of precedence.

1. Finalize engine mounts with a proper set up as my home made set up won't last (get engine running - radiator as needed for pressurized operation)

1a. Add a frame cross brace at the motor mounts as needed to prevent frame spread.

2. Finalize transmission mount with a proper set up

3. If the rear is original, replace it with a MOPAR 8.25" or 8.75" or Ford 9" with preference for a Final Gear ratio in the 3.4 to 1 or 3.5 to 1 range

4. Drum rear brakes on the new rear axle.

5. Install power front disc brakes and booster/dual master (Andy Bernbaum or other sources)

6. New gauge cluster for 12v (I can do)

7. Accident damage repair + Rust repair

8. Paint, Midnight Blue Metallic

9. Possible new wheels and tires, likely chrome smoothies with baby moons

10. Interior and rubber (convert vacuum wipers to 12v electric at this time)

11. Fabricate emergency brake assembly for the rear axle
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Twelve Pointer
Response from Dad, Today.....

Rich: Good thoughts and plan. Seems to be all in the correct order, but then with restorations anything can happen. I called Jim, but he is off---back Monday. I'll try and get with him then. As for prognostications---I believe we can get it running, all body work done, and possible upholstered for well under your cost projections. But, the motor mounts and other things like that which might be better completed before painting and upholstering---how about hi-lighting those things, and I will focus on them, with Jim as we plan things.

I have a doctors appointment Monday, and the Good News Bible Club in the afternoon. So, I'll try and get there Tuesday for some serious discussions.

You have already done many of the things that normally have to be replaced/redone, so sticking with this 37 Dodge may be a good choice---you know what you have to start with--not something new with new headaches.

Have a great weekend.


Twelve Pointer
My excited email of moments ago.....

Cool. I'll work on the funds here and make up a detailed punch list. Essentially, move out considering the car is now mine!!!! I am so friggin happy!

Photos, even dirty. I need something to look at.

Hey, its been a week and a day since we talked. Is the car done yet? Will it be done tomorrow? How about next week, certaintly it'll be done in another week, right? Huh? Well?

October 24 2015. My 52 birthday and 22 years I think since the car was wrecked by a drunk. Done by 24 October or 24 December or ......

How come it ain't done yet?
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Twelve Pointer
My temper tantrum....

No nonononononononononon NO! My Time Dayumnet - 22 years I never thought I'd see her again!


Twelve Pointer
Sitting at work tappin my fingers and checkin my email every 5 minutes cause Mom texted. Said Dad had a good meet at the shop yesterday.....she thinks he has photos and I need to be callin in to the shop after talking with Dad to get the plans worked out and see what it'll cost and how long it'll take. Hmmmmm, time to check the email again.


Twelve Pointer
Its there. It might be here eventually. A Corvette is ahead of it. We don't know if we can afford to buy or buy and work but its there and we are working it. I cried when I saw the photos.


Twelve Pointer
From a close look at the photos, much of the body work and rust repair is already done. I confirmed my memory of installing a modern pressurized radiator for the new Ford L6. I can't tell if the rear axle is original or a Ford 9". I seem to remember having perches welded on a modern axle......All the suspension is like new. 22 years old, 2000 miles!

Email from Dad today:

"Rich: Soooo many things to consider, but they will all fall into line.

I met with Jim yesterday, and talked with two of the fellows who do the restoration work. They are working on a Corvette body now, getting it ready to remount to the frame. Jim says the Dodge can then be brought into the system for work. I told him that we would like to get it running, have all the rust and body repair work completed. The rust in floorboards and trunk have already been completed---by Billy, no longer works there. I took photos---can't see much---there are fenders etc on the top, the interior is filled, and boxes on the hood. Will be better able to assess things when Jim calls it into the shop. We did not discuss any prices---just that what you would like to have from him is a running car, nice would be painted and upholstered, but with the possibility that a fender or panel might have to be replaced, maybe just a primer job and do the final paint and upholstering at your end. We are getting closer to having some work done on the Dodge---can't put a hard date on it. I'll keep visiting and pleading to be next into the shop. Try and be patient---but I too can get a real good feeling about that one being back on the road. Takes me back to 1957...."


Twelve Pointer
Okay, confirmed. That spud sticking out of the left rear wheel hub is the axle shaft. That means I never fitted a modern rear end. (Since on the original Dodge axle - 4.11 ratio - the drums were held on to the tapered axle via a washer and nut!)

Just waiting for some input from Tom Langdon at Stovebolt Engine Company to determine what might be the best ratio for a very mild L6 with 3 speed auto trans. I'm thinking in the range of 3.5is to 4.11ish. We shall see.......
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Old Mossy Horns
Everything is sounding great Rich. Can't wait to see the finished product. That will be one superbad ride.


Twelve Pointer
I'm itchin. Restructure of the finances against possible early retirement is about half done, should be completed in a few weeks. At that point, I'll have enough, I hope, to purchase and get the work started.

Just that dayum corvette in the way. Gotta wait on estimates till its off the shop floor so the Ol Dodge can be pulled out and given a thorough evaluation. I'd like a fully finished car but willing to settle for it as is or somewhere in between. I never for 51 years had any idea of what this car means to Dad. I will push as hard as I can to get it.

Given some review of the photos, I think the heavy lifting (i.e. anything that has to be done in order to prevent removal of a painted panel later) to be done in the shop is a minimum of the following.

1. Square and final mount engine/trans.

2. Install modern rear axle with 3.2 to 3.7 final drive.

3. Install front disc brakes/master/booster and plumb.

4. Plumb fuel, start and basic tune.

5. Check start, run, stop.

6. Accident damage and rust repair + new body mounts.

7. Prime and paint.

I can handle most of the rest if it ain't in the allowable budget. Things like electric, gauges, lights, wiring harness, exhaust, road tune, glass, rubber, upholstery, wheels/tires, trim, etc.


Twelve Pointer
Dad is here. A visit. News. The Dodge is mine again. It was never not mine, since I was 16. I drove it daily till I was 30 when it was wrecked. I spent all my money on a lawyer chasing a drunk with nothing and nothing was left to fix it. I sold it. 23 years ago.

The day I sold it. 23 years ago. Dad bought it back. He and Jim kept it a secret. Working on it occasionally as time and manning and money permitted. Stored away in the hot rod shop. Waiting for 23 years. Till I wanted it back.

I almost bought one in Chicago last month. It was sold the day I arrived to look at it.

The title, in my name, never transferred has sat in secret in Dads lock box waiting.

For 35 years it has been my car and I didn't know it for the last 23.

Before that, since 1957, Dad was the second owner of the Ol Dodge.

Its coming home.
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Twelve Pointer
Not much sleep last night. Lots of dreams about an old blue dodge. Looking out thru the open windshield seeing a flying ram trailing an expanse of midnight blue.


Twelve Pointer
dad is here. A visit. News. The dodge is mine again. It was never not mine, since i was 16. I drove it daily till i was 30 when it was wrecked. I spent all my money on a lawyer chasing a drunk with nothing and nothing was left to fix it. I sold it. 23 years ago.

The day i sold it. 23 years ago. Dad bought it back. He and jim kept it a secret. Working on it occasionally as time and manning and money permitted. Stored away in the hot rod shop. Waiting for 23 years. Till i wanted it back.

I almost bought one in chicago last month. It was sold the day i arrived to look at it.

The title, in my name, never transferred has sat in secret in dads lock box waiting.

For 35 years it has been my car and i didn't know it for the last 23.

Before that, since 1957, dad was the second owner of the ol dodge.

Its coming home.


Ten Pointer
That is the most awesome car related story ive ever read! Good luck on the restoration, can't wait to see if back and going!


Twelve Pointer
Dad and I are doing some work on Moms van yesterday and today. Seems we naturally go to cars and guns together, often finishing up on a deck with a cigar and tipple.