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HomeClassic Car1937 Ford: Favorite Car Ads (V8 Ford) | The Daily Drive

1937 Ford: Favorite Car Ads (V8 Ford) | The Daily Drive


Since when did doctors start driving Fords?

1937 Ford
1937 Ford

I thought Buick was the doctor’s car, no? In the grand scheme of thing, back when there was a definite hierarchy of automotive brands in the U.S., it was a little unlikely that a practicing doctor drove something as mainstream as a Ford. But, there is this classic 1937 Ford magazine ad, and it suggests just that.

More classic car ads

1937 Ford: Favorite Car Ads

Of course, as this ad further suggests, a doctor who is keen on performance might just make such a purchase, this to make house calls—and baby deliveries—as punctually as possible. That said, as I look back on all the doctors I’ve dealt with over the years, it’s a little difficult to imagine many of them driving aggressively, but I digress.

What I love about this ad is that it’s all about the engine, and Ford had a lot to crow about in the Thirties when it came to under-hood specs. Beginning in 1932, Ford made available V8 engines in even its most-affordable models. The V8s transformed the Ford lineup, and gave the carmaker a reputation for performance that did wonders for sales.

For 1937, Ford offered two V8 engines: A 136-cubic-inch (2.2-liter) mill, and a stouter 221-inch (3.6-liter) unit. The former produced 60 horsepower, and was generally known as the “60.” The later cranked out 85 horsepower, and was dubbed—wait for it—the “85.”

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1937 Ford
1937 Ford

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And while those numbers may seem quaint looking back from the 21st century, the performance bump realized by stepping up to the 85 was profound. According to period performance testing, a 1937 Ford equipped with the 60 would accelerate from 10 mph to 60 mph in 31 seconds, which was reasonably snappy by the standards of the day. But the 85 hustled the same Fords from 10-to-60 in just 23 seconds, which was downright fast by 1937 standards.

A few things about this ad worth noting:

  • A guy who is about to become a father is chatting about Fords with the guy who is about to deliver his baby. I was not this collected when my kid was about to pop out.
  • The doctor is driving a coupe—which is among the cheaper Ford body styles that year. That said, the car looks fantastic in the drawing.
  • It’s snowing. Given how little traction a rear-drive 1937 car on narrow period tires would have mustered under these conditions, it’s unlikely the engine made a whiff of difference that day.
  • I am reminded that doctors once made house calls. I am also curious, what did a house-call delivery cost?

This whole ad has the feel of an unlikely contrivance, from the improbable exchanged between doctor and dad-to-be, to the super-convenient parking arrangement that allows the grilles of both cars to be visible in the same shot. Yet, I love this ad. I love doctors making house call during a winter storm, and I love car owners with a sense of what powers their cars. Also, this is some pretty spectacular art work.

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1937 Ford Gallery

(Click below for enlarged images)

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