Perhaps one of the most show-stopping hot rods on display at this year’s SEMA show was this ’37 Packard built by the crew at G3 Rods. The company specializes in hot rod, custom, and muscle car builds and is based out of Rapid City, South Dakota. Tyler Nelson, shop builder and fabricator sat down with us and shed some light on this truly stunning vehicle.
“The Packard is sitting on an Art Morrison chassis with AccuAir suspension underneath. The body has been chopped, channeled, and shaved. It features custom hood sides, running boards, and a lot of other subtle changes that we’ve made to the body,” Nelson explained.
Nelson continued, “We’re running ’39 Chevy headlights and taillights that are frenched in, we did a custom interior with all-white leather, and a custom gauge cluster courtesy of the folks at Classic Instruments.”
The ’37 features a 383ci stroker for some added power coupled with a 700R4 transmission. An Inglese eight-stack injection controlled by a FAST programmer marries the look of tradition with the modern accuracy of electronic fuel injection.
“The Packard puts out about 450 horsepower, it gets after it,” Nelson exclaimed. A Ford 9-inch is the final piece to the drivetrain rounding out one of the most reliable and tried-and-true setups in the hot rod and custom world.
The car was originally owned by a customer of G3 Rods, but things came up and they ended up having to sell the vehicle. Jay Gruba, owner of G3 Rods, purchased the car from the previous owner and made it a point to see this build through. “After Jay purchased it, we decided right then that we wanted to make something that was cool in our eyes versus a restoration, which was the original owner’s vision for it.”
Nelson gave us a breakdown of the typical projects that come into their shop, “A majority of the stuff we do is heavily custom, but we do get a lot more of the muscle car era vehicles versus vehicles from the hot rod and custom era. This Packard is still one our favorite builds that we’ve had a chance to do so far though.”
The Packard took just over a year to complete and that’s quite impressive considering that what the G3 crew started with was the rolling chassis and a stock body. Considering all the custom body work and modern updates that went into the vehicle these guys turned out one hell of a hot rod build. “We worked on the car on nights and weekends since it was the owner’s, we didn’t close down shop to work on it,” Nelson said.
The paint is one of the most eye-catching shades of gray that we saw at the show. The clear coat was pristine, but the gray itself had a milk-like shade that was simply rich. Nelson told us that the base color was originally a Ferrari shade that they messed around with. He says that, “It almost has a greenish-gray tint to it.”
The root beer-colored wheels were a fine compliment and the overall look of the ’37’s color scheme really lends itself to the identity of the G3 Packard. When you see a car that’s built on subtlety and you can spot it, wherever that may be, you know the builders have done a tremendous job.