(from February 2004)
photos by Sam Trent, story by Michael B. Kelly
Bobby and Amy Morgan of Lehigh Acres, Florida found their current car, a 1941 Graham Hollywood, on the internet in original condition. They had seen a Graham a couple of years before, and really liked the body style. The car was bought sight unseen out of Norfolk, Virginia in February of 2000, and they flew up and drove the car back to Ft. Myers.
The story behind the Graham itself is rather interesting. The car was built in 1941 by Graham Paige in Detroit, Michigan from the dies of the 1937 Cord, which Paige purchased from Cord. A total of only 1,859 cars were produced in two years (1940 and 1941), and sold for $1,045 when new. Then the car plant was closed down so they could make war materials in September of 1941. Records indicate there are about 300 to 500 Grahams left in running condition in the United States and Canada, so obviously coming across one as nice as the Morgans is a rare occurrence.
Deciding they wanted to make it into a street rod they started with an LT-1 IROC engine and drivetrain, which replaced the original supercharged 6-cylinder, 125 horsepower unit. Another functional and safety upgrade included a Mustang independent front suspension.
The unique exterior lines of the car have been accentuated by building the headlights, taillights and license plate holder into the body, with a smooth seamless finish. After going over the car many times Pro Comp in Cape Coral applied the brandywine paint and candy apple red clear coat, with some neat ghost graphics blended in along the belt line of the body. As if that isn't enough to really draw the admiring eyes, a set of unusual 18-inch Colorado Custom billet aluminum wheels were added.
Inside you'll find a leather interior by Dexter Upholstery in Ft. Myers which incorporates some embossed leather panels for an interesting look. Ididit steering components replaced the original pieces, and a retro-like banjo style billet steering wheel resides atop the column. Dolphin gauges and various other billet items round out a nice and tasteful cabin.
Bobby and Amy stressed to us that they absolutely love this car, and plan to keep it the rest of their lives. It has won many Best Of Show awards, and never fails to be a real head turner. We can attest to that, as it certainly got our attention, and based on the crowd it drew at the Southeast Street Rod Nationals in Tampa last October it had the same effect on others as well. CN