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50 Years In A Barn! 1940 Ford Standard Tudor

A Ford two-door “Tudor” (is that redundant?) with a flathead V8? Yes, please. Ford offered a “De Luxe” and Standard model in 1940 and the partially-painted grille identifies this 1940 Ford Standard Tudor Sedan as a Standard. The De Luxe (space between De and Luxe as per a period brochure) had a chrome grille, among other features. The seller has this barn find listed here on eBay in one of my favorite cities in America: Cincinnati, Ohio. There is no reserve and the bid price is $5,000.

I hope that this car can somehow remain unmodified, as in lowered, 21″ chrome wheels, and whatever else every tv reality car show would do to this car. Restomods are lost on me, they do nothing to bring back memories for me. There’s no denying that it’s more popular to restomod a vintage or classic vehicle today than to restore it back to stock specifications.

Ford made these cars from 1937 to the end of 1940 in the base trim level, the Standard, and the De Luxe, or DeLuxe/Deluxe. They made several different two-door versions known as a Tudor and four-door cars were designated Fordor. It’s a classic design and these cars have been used by hot rod enthusiasts for decades. The seller says that this example has been hidden away in a barn for five decades and has recently come out of hiding to settle the estate of the former owner. The trunk is pretty large and it appears to have been coated with a bedliner material.

As an original car, this thing is amazing and it’s shifted via a three-speed manual transmission. You can see the condition of the interior, especially the seats, but it may clean up fairly well. The back seat appears to have some telltale signs of rodents having taken up residence inside this beauty, but that’s fairly common. Original and complete cars are pretty important, I sure hope this one can stay that way. Or, be cleaned up as well as possible and enjoyed as it looks now.

The engine is Ford’s 221-cu.in. flathead V8, which had 85 horsepower. This one turns over but the seller hasn’t tried to start it, and that’s probably a good idea. Hagerty is at $8,700 for a #4 fair-condition car and it’s hard to believe this one will sell for much less than that. Would you get everything working and drive it as it looks now, restore it to factory specs, or restomod this beauty?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Paint it to protect the exterior, clean and protect the underside, go through the engine while having the upholstery redone, and drive it.

    Like 24
  2. LCL

    Is the head aluminum?

    Like 2
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Yes. Finned aluminum high compression aftermarket. Couldn’t make out the brand but it was a common upgrade.

      Like 9
  3. harry allen

    Years ago I had a Deluxe Tudor much like this one. Loved the car and actually served as a caretaker. My car was 100 % all steel no patchwork thanks to the original owner undercoating the vehicle when he bought it. During my tenure I went through the car and restored the mechanics and the suspension further waterproofed the old rubber weather seals window felt and replaced the separating glass. The exterior was weathered but not too terrible to be presentable. Just so much fun to drive and soak up the attention of the gawkers. I left the car all original or the appearance of originality as all the mechanics were just restored and not replaced as was the rest of the of the car was done with period correct parts, seat covers and headliner the only actual update change was to 12 volt electrical. Since then I have no issues with modifications for safe operation just not putting a Bouffant hairdo on the Mona Lisa. If it is a complete original do your best to retain it that way.

    Like 19
  4. Woofer Woofer Member

    I would put dual exhaust with glass packs on it, make sure the brakes work good, and drive it. Just keep it clean and dry.

    Like 9
  5. 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

    In about 1960 my brother, 15 at the time, worked for the local Chevy dealer who also owned a junkyard just outside of town. He was a general gofer, cleaning cars at the dealership and parting out cars in the junkyard. He bought a 40 standard Tudor that looked just like this, but in Cloud Mist Gray – a soft green gray. He paid $15.00 for it, pulled it home where he and my dad put a sleeve in one cylinder working in our back yard. That thing ran so quiet you could barely hear it run. It was his hot rod for a few years but stored it in an uncle’s granary when he went into the Air Force. Every time we visited my aunt and uncle I would spend most of the visit pretending I was driving the 40 (I was about 8 years ago at the time)
    He sold it shortly after getting out of the Air Force for I think $250.00. I wish I had been old enough at the time to buy it, but he did sell me a nice 55 Chevy DelRay when I turned 15. We both still play with old cars and trucks.

    Like 14
  6. Ricardo Ventura

    Clean it . Really clean down to the smallest detail.
    Keep as many parts as possible without replacing them.
    Mechanics, electrical and brakes working without problems.
    It’s my recipe.
    And nothing else.
    The car is a gem.

    Like 11
  7. Boatman Member

    I’m with you, Scotty.

    Like 4
  8. John C

    That’s not the stock heads if I am correct, also it has a later model heater box, nice car though!

    Like 4
  9. Robt

    Nice piece.
    Clean it up and restore as necessary, then just drive it.
    On the other hand, a little ohv 289 v-8 and subtle drive train upgrades could make for a solid daily driver with out changing its character. Lap belts are already in place.
    Hmmm. Price at 5,200. is right at the moment. Wonder what it will eventually sell for.

    Like 5
  10. R. Ackerman

    Was it normal on this model to only have one tailight?

    Like 2
    • Bellingham Fred

      Yes, Ford and many others only put 1 taillight on their Standard models. Some states began to require 2 taillights before the feds. Many Standard models gained the 2nd light over the years, by either a fender swap with a De Luxe, or some fender surgery to add a taillight bucket to the Standard model.

      Like 6
  11. Denny N. Member

    Believe it or not, the Standard models only had one tail light. I believe they also had one sun visor and a plainer steering wheel and interior than the Deluxe models.

    Like 6
  12. Tommy Knight

    What a fantastic find! How do you beat a 40 Ford? I would be tempted to make it mechanically sound, preserve it and enjoy it as is. Dittos on Cincinnati! I was a proud employee of Cincinnati Insurance, stationed in Georgia, for 20 years. Skyline Chile the Montgomery Inn and much more !

    Like 2
  13. Azzura Member

    Looks a lot like my 1940 Plymouth P10 Tudor sedan.

    Like 9
  14. Dave Kerr

    My second car, back in 1960 when I was 16, was a 1940 Deluxe 4door. It was a great car except the passenger suicide rear door liked to fly open whenever it felt like it, especially during left turns, a little dangerous for rear seat passengers. Sure would love to have another one now but living on the side of a mountain would not be fun driving in an 83 year old car.

    Like 3
  15. Kurt Member

    The body reminds me of the Volvo of that era.

    Like 3
  16. Stu

    It has aftermarket heads fitted so I don’t know about keeping it original? Maybe what a guy on one particular You Tube Channel calls a “roadsteration”. Leave it as is, fix the interior and drivetrain and just drive it!

    Like 3
  17. Miminite

    This is a great find. I agree, clean it up, get everything running, and drive it. You could soup up the engine some maybe (I see finned covers). It would be great with the 3 on the tree.

    Like 0
  18. Larry Ashcraft

    I don’t think Ford ever called these “standards”, though we use the term today to differentiate from the Deluxes. Google “1940 Ford advertisements” and you can find all sorts of entertaining film clips from back in the day. They even state that the 1940s have three across seating because of the column shift. I have a ’40 Deluxe Coupe and I can assure you that three adults would be a tight squeeze.

    Like 1
  19. Arfeeto

    Says the writer: “Restomods are lost on me, they do nothing to bring back memories for me.”

    Says I: Hear, hear!

    Like 4
  20. Bob

    Is it just me or isn’t that a 39 grill?

    Like 0
    • Camaro guy

      Yeah it is Bob, Ford did that back then, 40 standard had the 39 deluxe grill , and so on back to I think 37 or 38 I used to know all that stuff but memory ain’t what it used to be

      Like 1
    • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

      It’s similar to the 39 Deluxe grille but different. The 40 Standard grille was painted with a center separate piece that was chrome. The 39 Deluxe had chrome bars that matched all the way across. The 39s were still bulb and reflector headlights while the whole auto industry went to sealed beam headlights in 1940. The 40 Standard had painted headlight doors (trim) while the 40 Deluxe had chromed headlight doors. The 40 hoods were also different to fit the different shapes of the grilles, a 40 Standard hood is the same as a 39 Deluxe but with different side trim

      Like 0
  21. Camaro guy

    If it was mine I’d put a hot flathead in it , clean it up and drive the wheels off it

    Like 1
  22. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one sold for $7,157.57.

    Like 1
  23. Jimmy Novak

    Thank you all. I wish more of us would speak up for historic preservation as seen above.

    Like 0

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