Hemi Ford: Street Rodding At Its Best

To me, the greatest thing about hot rods and street rods is the way they can perfectly blend form and function.

A proper example can be powerful and fast, with impressive engineering and technology lifted straight from race cars. And at the same time it can also be beautiful to look at it, with the right balance between what’s going on inside and outside.

Sacramento-Autorama-2017-Mike-Garrett-88 copy

That brings me to one of my favorite cars from this year’s Sacramento Autorama, a 1937 Ford Deluxe Coupe owned by Dan Wathon and built by Kenny’s Rod Shop in Boise, Idaho.

Sacramento-Autorama-2017-Mike-Garrett-89 copy

Sitting beneath the fat-fendered body is a fully custom chassis with independent suspension in both the front and the rear, and of course an airbag setup to drop it to the ground.

Sacramento-Autorama-2017-Mike-Garrett-90 copy

Yet with all the work put into the car, there’s a certain understated nature to it that I love. That includes everything from the subtle hue of the gold paint, to the tasteful body modifications and the wheels which are styled after original steelies.

Sacramento-Autorama-2017-Mike-Garrett-85 copy

Things get even better when you peek into the engine bay and find the unexpected – a 427ci Ford V8 stroker motor fitted with an Arias Hemi head conversion, together good for over 700 horsepower.

Sacramento-Autorama-2017-Mike-Garrett-86 copy

It’s also fitted with a custom EFI setup, with the intake itself decorated in a way I think every car enthusiast can relate to. It certainly gave me a chuckle.

Sacramento-Autorama-2017-Mike-Garrett-87 copy

Despite the modern equipment spread throughout the car, the interior is styled very traditionally with analog instruments and a beautiful combination of woodgrain and brown leather.

Sacramento-Autorama-2017-Mike-Garrett-84 copy

Obviously I’m not the only one who was impressed with this car as it was awarded the Goodguys America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod title last year. With the perfect mix of form, function and tons of unique character, this Ford is everything you could want a street rod to be.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia



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It's pretty interesting to see the valve cover painted tan/cream like the wheels. I've never seen a valve cover painted that way before.


Nor have I. Works well though I think.


Beautiful build, extremely tasteful.


I'm with ya there.


Thanks Mike for the write-up !
Your description of the car is exactly what we wanted to accomplish in the end with this build