Flathead V8: 1940 Ford DeLuxe Business Coupe

The single-seat business coupe was popular in the mid-20th Century with traveling salesmen and others on the move. The lack of a back seat meant more room for the wares that they needed to carry with them. Ford was a big player in that market, building nearly 50,000 of them in standard and deluxe trim in 1940 alone. This 1940 Ford DeLuxe Business Coupe is an older restoration that still holds up more than 40 years after completion. It’s available in Lake City, Florida and here on eBay where the bidding has hit $20,302, but the reserve has not been met.

The 1940 Ford would be an extension of the redesign that was rolled out in 1937. The 1941-42’s that followed would be the last new Ford automobiles before World War II. A high, flat-topped hood would differentiate the 1940 models, and the grille was wider than previously. 1940 would be the last year for the 221 cubic inch V-8, like the one in the seller’s car, being replaced by a straight-six for 1941. I guess it was a slow news year for cars, with one of the big advancements being sealed-beam headlights.

We’re told the seller’s 1940 Ford Business Coupe is a DeLuxe model, meaning that Ford built about 20,000 of them that year. The car was treated to a total restoration in the 1970s and everything seems to have held its own since. The body and paint look to be in very nice condition with no apparent rust to bring to light. The chrome and glass are all up to par. There appears to be one scuff mark on the driver’s side rear quarter panel, but that’s about it for the negatives.  The car’s overall condition likely can be credited to it being kept in a climate-controlled garage when not in use.

That trunk looks big enough for a couple of teenagers to hide in while sneaking into the drive-in movie. But, of course, none of us ever did that. The seller adds that the Ford is in “complete working order” which should tell us that it needs little, if anything, to be a car you can show off on a regular basis. It’s not a museum piece by any means, but a nice vintage car that you wouldn’t mind tooling around town in.

The DeLuxe Coupe has the fabled Ford flathead V-8 engine paired with the requisite “three on the tree” manual transmission (ah, those were the days!). The odometer is said to read under 33,000 miles, but we don’t know if that’s an accurate number. These cars seem to be going for $30-40,000 these days based on the online ads we checked. So, if the reserve isn’t much higher than the current bid, perhaps this machine may up being a nice buy for someone.


  1. Turbo

    Nice to see one without a chevy engine in it and tons of billet aluminum

    Like 15
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Love it! Now all we need is Jr. Johnson and the rest of the moonshiners running the back roads with a load of shine in the trunk.
    I don’t know either way, but if there was a way to upgrade the brakes, I’d do that otherwise I wouldn’t touch a thing on it.

    Like 5
    • T. Greene

      Yes those were a favorite in Wilkes. My family was long time friends with Junior.

      Like 1
  3. Jon

    Three of us fit in the trunk of my ’59 Chevy … my friend’s sister would drive it into the drive-in with x-rated movies we weren’t allowed to see … we got caught a few times but that just added to the thrill of the event …

    Like 6
  4. Bellingham Fred

    As a ’40 coupe owner for 44 years, I can tell you the trunk looks huge when the deck lid is open. When it is closed, not so much. I quickly learned not to load it above the top of the opening.
    I installed an electric trunk release a few years back. In the process of doing that I went in the trunk and closed it in order to check how the lid mated with the catch inside. I didn’t want to create a scenario where the lid was stuck closed(being inside I could always unbolt the latch). Needless to say a very tight fit. Maybe one non-claustrophobic person could get into the drive in.

    Like 2
  5. MorganW MorganW

    Nice car and write-up. One minor point: I wouldn’t say the flathead six replaced the 221 for ’41…the new six became the base engine for Standard trim cars and the 221 was optional.

    Like 4
  6. Cobrajet

    Member this beauty… https://barnfinds.com/parking-lot-find-1956-cadillac-sedan-deville/ Cut a deal 4 days ago… Guy “selling” it doesn’t own it, husband changed his mind, wife changed his mind for him… back on for tomorrow… Oh, wait… got another call, the wife is gonna fix the tires, R.C. the guy “selling” it is gonna get the motor to turn over… [advised him not to] Now we’re “back on” for Sunday… R.C. is gonna hustle himself out of a deal… Bout ready to post his phone number here so everybody can flood him with no show deals…

    Like 1
  7. Phlathead Phil

    A: Can you imagine how many kids were conceived in the trunk of these cars?

    A: Lots.

  8. David Scully

    I do believe that’s a 24-stud 85hp flatmotor in there, not the 21-stud 221…Way back in the day, we used to scout out ’37-’40 V8-60 models because they had tubular front axles (lighter than the solid ones for the drags and the lakes) and many times a 4:44 rear-end (for the drags). I remember a ’40 sedan delivery with a Ferguson 4-banger (Model C?) which also had that coveted tube axle.

  9. 1-MAC

    Nice car. Please do not butcher it and drop on the ground. Leave it stock,like Henry made it.

    Like 1

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