In a showroom lined with six-figure street rods and octane-fueled
muscle cars, there's something to be said about clean pre-war
metal, like this handsome Ford DeLuxe, that's been preserved to
exact its original purpose. Sure, the car's been professionally
restored and, as a polished representation of Motor City Americana,
continues to prove its place among the coolest antiques in the
country. But as it sits, this Ford, with its reliable Flathead V8,
tough 3-speed transmission and completely unaltered body, was
undoubtedly built to cruise and enjoy. So, if you've been shopping
for a timeless classic to parade up and down Main Street, it looks
like you've found your next car!
With its wind-swept design and classic good looks, Ford's DeLuxe series has always been a rare and highly desirable line of cars. Not surprisingly, gearheads, customizers and 70 years' worth of dedicated fans have elevated it to one of hot rodding's greatest cultural icons. And this awesome Ford drop-top, which began life as an authentic 1940 DeLuxe, has, with the help of a thorough, frame-off restoration, been transformed into one smooth-driving show queen. The car's 2010 reboot began with a complete tear down of its rock-solid fuselage. Once that profile's sinuous panels were massaged to perfection, Anderson Auto Body of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin laid down a slick coat of single-stage Black. And today, this sizzling classic looks better than pretty much every car at any show its owner chooses to attend!
There really isn't much you can do to make an early '40s Ford more attractive. The car's streamlined styling was a homerun when originally introduced; and today, it's a stunning example of some of the strongest elements of the highly regarded Art Deco movement. At the front of this classy drop-top, a stainless-trimmed hood, which serves as the focal point of the car's ornate fa�ade, flows through a seamless, "V8" branded grille into a prominent, pointed chin. At the sides of that grille, sculpted fenders center chrome-trimmed dual-mode headlights above a curved chrome bumper, which props a "Ford" branded guard behind small bumperettes. Behind those fenders, polished stainless wipers found like-new glass between correct mirrors, a Unity spotlight, fresh cloth and an inverted antenna. At the base of those wipers, streamlined stainless parallels simple door handles, small "Ford DeLuxe" scripts and traditional, covered running boards. At the ends of that trim, a glass backlite reflects a red "Ford V8" emblem, a vertically oriented trunk handle and a simple fuel filler. And, opposite that glass, a second curved bumper positions another "Ford" branded guard and two more bumperettes beneath chevron tail lamps.
As the company's final Henry Ford-fueled innovation, the Ford V8 remains a durable, torque-rich powerplant that, thanks to solid engineering, has established an unmatched reputation in the classic and custom car community. And, in keeping with tradition, this stellar Ford drop-top is powered by a familiar 221 cubic inch flathead that, thanks to relatively tame 6.2 to 1 compression, makes a solid 84 horsepower. Naturally, the antique engine was thoroughly rebuilt during the car's restoration, and probably looks much better today than when it growled off the assembly line. Aesthetically, the block, which perches a familiar oil bath air cleaner and reliable Stromberg 2-barrel above correct, 24-stud heads, has been painted a traditionally dark hue. There are many accurate pieces like reproduction Ford hoses, a rebuilt generator and a 6-volt battery. Glossy black fenders, complete with vintage horns, frame those pieces in a sea of old school bliss. A Mallory electronic distributor and 6-volt Speedway Motors pusher fan provide a bit of modern functionality and longevity. And overall, this convertible's clean engine bay is a charming and 100% functional step back into a much simpler, and some would say much better, period in American automotive history.
Speaking of simpler times, take one look under this reliable Ford rag-top and you'll see just how much the automotive world has changed when it comes to ride, handling and structural integrity. The car's clean floors, sand-blasted frame and factory-accurate suspension have been veiled in a subdued coat of Satin Black paint. Behind the rebuilt engine, a rebuilt 3-speed transmission spins a Columbia 2-speed axle. In front of that drivetrain, a sturdy beam and transverse leaf remain just as they looked back in 1940. And the same holds true behind that drivetrain, where a second transverse leaf helps maintain ride height and add a little extra grip. 4-wheel drum brakes, hydraulically actuated for the 1938 model year, are a welcome addition and big performance upgrade. There's a fresh, true-dual exhaust system that employs throaty Dynomax mufflers. And everything rides on color-keyed and stainless-trimmed steelies, which spin 195/80R16 Yokohama EF1 whitewalls around red-detailed, "FORD DELUXE" branded hub caps.
The car's warm and welcoming interior looks straight out of pre-war America, complete with simple fabrics, awesome art deco gauges and tasteful wood graining that was restored by Grain-It Technologies of Winter Haven, Florida. That cockpit centers on big, heavily bolstered seats that are supportive and feel soft enough to take a nap on. At the sides of those seats, simple door panels hang painted handles below glossy frames. At the bottom of those panels, traditional, round foot pedals front a heavy duty driver's mat and requisite passenger carpets. Above those pedals, a stylish and simplistic dash hangs attractive stainless trim around unique Bakelite buttons. In front of the driver, a 2-tone steering wheel frames a chrome turn signal stalk. And behind the passengers, a fully restored trunk conceals a full-size spare tire inside enough room to haul a day's worth of necessities.
OUR SALE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION AND ACCESSORIES
Cool and classic, this '40 Ford DeLuxe is a vision in pre-war authenticity. You really can't ask for a more impressive blend of old school style and solid driving characteristics. And you certainly can't build anything this nice for the time or money it takes to drive this car out of our Charlotte showroom. Ready to step up to something different? This awesome drop-top is ready to show and go!
Professional ground-up restoration completed in 2010
221 cubic inch Flathead V8
3-speed manual transmission
2-speed Columbia overdrive rear axle
True-dual exhaust with Dynomax mufflers
Black paint / Tan cloth top
Hydraulic drum brakes
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.