1940 Ford Convertible

(A tribute to my dad...)

In 1952 my dad bought a 1940 Ford convertible.  He wanted to build a very nice custom hot rod out of it... and he succeeded.  Unfortunately, I never had the chance to see this awesome car... or my dad.  Dad sold his hot rod in order to build the house where I would later be raised.  The Lord took my dad home to be with Him in 1965 after a very brief bout with melanoma.  I was 18 months old when my dad died.  Who would've known that I too would share the same desire to build cars as he had.  My dad had other cars, but this was his best.  So this page is dedicated to my dad.

The '40 Convertible before cutting it. Customizing is underway. No fancy shop here... just the basics.
Is this cool or what!! Remember, this was done in 1952-53. Filled side panels in the deluxe grille.

This is where I went to elementary school years after this picture was taken...

These are the only few pictures I have of this car.  The really cool thing is that my dad kept a nice journal on how this custom '40 Ford convertible was built.  So below are his words as to the specifics of this car:

Engine:  1940 Ford block bored to 3-3/16" standard Mercury; new 4 ring pistons; 1950 Mercury crankshaft with 4" stroke; 29A connecting rods; cadmium silver bearings; truck oil pump; 3/4 H&C camshaft; adjustable tappets; Lincoln valve springs parted and relieved; 7.5:1 Edlebrock heads (plus bore and stroke equal 9.0:1 compression ratio); Edmands 2 carb manifold and two regular Ford carburetors; H&C distributor.

Transmission:  Transmission is stock 1940 Ford except for:  main drive gear, cluster gear, second gear, and sliding gear, which are from a Lincoln 25 tooth cluster.  

Rear axle:  Rear axle is stock 1940 Ford.

Exhaust:  Clark headers and Smitty mufflers were used.  Tail pipes were custom made from 1934 Chevy and 1940 Ford pipes combined.

Body:  Body sectioned 4.5 inches below belt line.  The top was chopped 4 inches.  The seats are from a 1937 Ford Tudor.  The rear fenders are from a 1940 Ford Panel Truck.  The taillights are from a 1941 Studebaker.  Side grille panels of the 1940 Ford deluxe grille are filled solid.  The bumpers are 1949 Plymouth.

Chassis:  The front end is lowered 3 inches by use of a dropped axle and 15 inch wheels.  Tubular shocks were installed.  The rear end is lowered with a 5 inch drop by use of a "frame channel" job.  Rear cross member is 5 inches to the rear.  Track bar is used for stability.  Steering is pivoted on same mounting pad, and rebolted to conform to the body channel.   Gas tank is mounted from inside now due to extended rear portion of frame. 

The paint was done by Jess Patter and the upholstery was done by Knights Trim Shop.   

My older sister found dad's hot rod in 1975.  I didn't get to go with her to look at it, but the plan was to buy and restore it to the way it looked in 1953.  All that was left of the 1940 Ford Convertible at that time was the body and the frame... everything else was gone.  The owner must have known it was our dad's because he was firm on the price... $10,000!!  In 1975, you could buy a VERY nice restored '40 Ford or a street rod for that kind of money... so it was out of the question. 

Where is dad's '40 Ford Convertible today... only the Lord knows.  I hear it is still somewhere in this area...