Have we forgotten what hot-rodding is all about? Cookie-cutter
fiberglass rods with ordinary catalog parts, ho-hum detailing, and
a me-too attitude? Is that really all there is? Hell no! One look
at this incredible 1939 Ford Deluxe convertible coupe and you will
feel rejuvenated, because there really are craftsmen out there who
understand that unique doesn't have to mean outrageous and
traditional is not only satin black.
This car is arresting in person despite its low-key looks. That's craftsmanship and detailing talking to you. Basic black is never a mistake, but using it here means this car stands out in a sea of red and yellow and orange rods and you don't quite know why. I'll tell you: perfect gaps, spectacular finish quality, and subtle details like the flush-mounted headlight lenses, simple stainless trim, and traditional touches like the one-piece chrome bumpers. Nobody will confuse it with a stock car, but there are so many modifications on this one that you'll need a stock one next to it to find them all. Running boards were archaic but this car uses them to enhance its industrial-strength look and the rare Ford 2-passenger convertible coupe body style looks long and sleek without chopping and sectioning. Doing it right often means leaving the good stuff alone, and the guys at Goolsby Customs knew that all too well. With just under 400 miles on the build, it's still almost new in every possible way, so if you want a turn-key show winner, well, here it is.
The interior was done by the pros at M&M Interiors and again, subtlety was the key. As a cost-no-object build, it's got a bunch of black leather on a trick bench seat and matching door panels that look period correct. The original dash is fitted with retro-looking gauges from Classic Instruments and the steering wheel is a suitably big banjo-style hoop. Tailored carpets, beautifully integrated A/C controls, and even a clock in the glove box lid all suggest that there was a plan, not just a guy ordering parts from a catalog. There's a traditional manual gearbox, a 5-speed, which makes high-speed cruising effortless and the flathead under the hood never has to work too hard. There is no radio, but you won't miss it a bit simply because a well-tuned flathead is the best music there is and when you fold the black canvas convertible top, you'll want to savor it.
Speaking of the flathead, it's a stout 8BA block filled with a Scat 4.25-inch crank and rods, an Isky cam, aluminum heads from Navarro, and a trick aluminum intake with a trio of Stromberg 97 carbs. Painted bright red, it sparkles against the black paint and anything that isn't painted got polished or chromed, so it has a show-quality look. The A/C compressor is neatly integrated into the front-end and there's a big radiator up front that eliminates any trace of flathead fever in this one. With the 5-speed manual transmission, it's quick and nimble feeling yet relaxing on the highway and they obviously spent a lot of time on the exhaust to get just the right burble. The front suspension is a traditional solid axle but uses a trick sway bar setup while an 8-inch Ford out back hangs on leaf springs. Four-wheel disc brakes were fitted and yes, you're seeing that correctly, those are Pontiac 8-lug wheels painted sinister black and fitted with trick billet hubcaps. Fat General blackwall radials fill the fenders and add just the right touch of brawn.
This is as good as hot rods get. There's even more than the asking price wrapped up in the build and it shows everywhere you look. Yes, there are still some guys that get it and if you're a traditionalist who insists on the very best, well, I think you've just found it. Call now!
With Monterey Car Week around the corner, I can’t help but daydream about the wonderful drive along the Pacific Coast Highway.
The four-door luxury convertible is pretty much an extinct configuration, gone by way of 1960s Lincoln Continentals, unless you count a couple of recent concept cars.
From the Tammy Allen collection and set to cross the block without reserve during the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas option is this 1940 Ford Deluxe custom sedan.
After World War II, some car dealers distributed their limited inventory on a lottery basis.
With all the attention given to so-called barn finds, how great is it to discover an all-original, preserved classic that’s old enough to apply for Medicare
It took almost 50 years and a build team of nine, but I once again am the proud owner of a 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe.
Classic car week begins today in Arizona and, as always, the six auctions taking place in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area through January 18 will tout their offerings in hyperbolic terms.