Ray Dollar of Dollar Automotive in Dora, Alabama has presented us with one of the more unusual street rod platforms we’ve seen, because it’s what we would call the “Anti-Ford,” lacking the low roofs and squat suspension typically associated with some of our more contemporary three and five-window coupe builds.
And indeed, Dollar’s now-custom ’37 Packard 115 sedan is a street rod that defies convention. Not only in the sense that Dollar himself has retrofitted the Packard 115 with all new, mostly GM parts, but also in the sense that he has done so with an original steel body that hasn’t had anything shaved or chopped.
Under the mile-long bonnet of the red Packard is a Chevy 454 mill with .030-over pistons and a Comp 280 cam, a stout big-block that had only 4,000 miles on it when these pictures were taken on May 4, 2009 in Robbins Crossroads, Alabama.
The Packard is also a rodding project that was done with all-new parts, including a Fat Man front-end and a 700R4 transmission with clutches and servos from Gardendale Wholesale Transmission of Gardendale, Alabama. In fact, the only used part that Dollar has incorporated into the 115 is a rear axle from a 4×4, S-10 Blazer.
But Dollar’s Packard is a cruiser without a shadow of a doubt, and with power seats and leather interior it’s been geared for comfort as much as it has looks and performance. It also makes for a pleasurable driving experience by using a steering column from Flaming River, along with a Gen II A/C system and 4-speaker stereo from Sony.
Dollar’s Packard sedan was a rust-free car with 28,000 original miles clocked when he first obtained it 20 years ago, and since then he has managed to maintain the car’s steel-bodied integrity while building it into a super clean custom. It’s not your typical Saturday night cruiser, but then what is “typical” in the world of all-things custom?!