Funny Face: 1941 Ford Tudor Sedan

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While the 1940 Ford was a home run styling wise, the 1941 model was still a good looking car.  The problem is that it has always lived in the ’40’s shadow.  That is a shame, because there were a number of improvements implemented that made the 1941 Ford a better car.  It is just that funny face holding prices back.  Take for example this 1941 Ford tudor being sold on craigslist
out of Portland, Oregon.  While the tudor isn’t the most desired model, the current owner of this very presentable Ford has sunk a lot of money into getting it ready for the road.  Only a few details remain, and the $9,000 asking price is a bargain considering that a freshly rebuilt engine rests under the hood.  Thanks to Ikey H. for letting us know about this neat old Ford.

This car falls into the “one piece at a time” category of restorations.  Named after the Johnny Cash song, this is where you concentrate on making an improvement here and there until you get the whole car done.  The main improvement made by the seller was a complete engine rebuild.  This is no small feat with an older engine.  Flatheads have their own little quirks that make it important to find a machine shop that has rebuilt a few of them.  From there, the parts are more expensive than those in your standard small block Chevy rebuild.  A friend recently had his 21 stud Flathead rebuilt at a shop experienced in that black art.  The bill added up to a figure north of $4,000.

The seller also sprung for a set of Coker wide whitewall radial tires.  For those of you who have driven cars with bias ply tires, you’ll appreciate the improvement.  Cars just ride and handle better on radials.  As for the rest of the car, all of the glass and door rubber has been replaced.  The cost of these pieces is fairly considerable given that there are a lot of them to replace.  The chrome and stainless trim on the car seems to be quite serviceable as well.  The seller tells us that the car needs a paint job, and points out a rough spot in the passenger rear fender in the yellow circled area above.  If it were me, I’d leave the paint alone.  That old black lacquer has character.

Looking underneath the car in the photo above, we can see fresh metal in the floor pan area and a new exhaust system.  While it would be nice to see the pans protected with a layer or two of primer and paint, this does show that some serious work was done to get the car ready for the road.  If you go to look at the car, be sure to inspect it carefully.  Make sure that the welds are done properly and that the doors open and shut fine with the proper gaps.  While if done from inside while the car was still on the frame, and I guess that was the case here, bracing wasn’t likely necessary.  Still, it would have been a good idea.  Make sure to ask questions.

In addition to the new exhaust in the picture above, all signs point to the car being the recipient of new brake lines, hoses, and linings.  While the brake line routing might be a bit sloppy, the replacement lines are a lot better than originals.  These cars have a single circuit system.  That means a break in any line ultimately results in a loss of braking at all four wheels.  Modern cars have dual circuits, so that a loss will result in just two wheels without braking power.  If you live in mountainous country, these little details are pretty important.

Looking inside, we see that the dash wears a brilliant coat of black paint,  It is probably a repaint though.  If the pans needed replacement, then the interior was probably humid enough to damage the finish to the point that stripping and repainting would be necessary.  What likely is new is the ivory colored plastic trim on the dash and at least some of the dash knobs.  The steering wheel also looks to have been the recipient of some restoration.  The rubber mat on the floor has the appearance of being original though.  The seller tells us that the interior will need to be re-upholstered, but a new headliner with steel ribs will be included in the sale.

Finally, we see the rebuilt Flathead V-8 under the hood.  It appears that the car has been converted to 12 volts by the presence of the vintage look alternator.  The ad says that the car has a six volt system, but I don’t think these alternators are available for 6 volt positive ground systems.  An updated ignition coil has been added as well.  The engine also has a plastic fuel filter, which might mean that there is still trash or gummed up fuel in the original looking gas tank.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know a fuel filter is pretty much a necessity.  I am just curious to see if the original tank was ever boiled out.  Replacement tanks are available for a modest price, and I would like to see one on a driver like this.  Breaking down is no fun.

There are a few things left to do according to the seller.  The clutch will likely need replacement, and there are some wiring issues to be addressed.  They also say that a repaint and reupholstering is necessary to make the car perfect.  I think it is almost perfect as it sits.  Once you fix a few things here and there and work all of the bugs out, this would be a fun car to cruise around in.  Tudors don’t bring a lot of money, and prices are on the decline.  Why not finish this one out and enjoy it?  Ther is a lot to be said for a car you can have fun driving but not worry about it when you leave it in a parking lot.

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  1. Gaspumpchas

    Nice 41- All the little details could be done as you Drive. Clutch is a bit of a job, but not insurmountable.if the metal work is done nicely you could paint the floors now but would have been easier when the body was off. For less than 10 large, nice way of getting into the hobby. Sure is a looker from here. caveat emptor. Good luck to the new owner!!



    Like 7
  2. Norman Wrensch

    I don’t see a alternator here, looks like a generator to me. Most likely still 6 volt

    Like 3
    • John C.

      I had a original 40 ford coupe with the original type engine, that also looks like a generator to me. Mine looked just like that one.

      Like 0
  3. Superdessucke

    Coyote V-8 conversion? Plaster that Fedora right to the back window!

    Like 2
  4. stillrunners

    Lotsa work there so price is right on…….

    Like 4
  5. bobhess bobhessMember

    My ’32 had the same running gear as this car and you had to pull the engine to do the clutch and/or transmission. The sheet metal came off these cars pretty easily so an engine pull wasn’t a big deal. Do the important stuff to keep it running, put a 4″ dropped axle up front to go with the white walls and go cruising.

    Like 3
  6. Tony T

    Floor boards unscrew to access tranny/clutch … owned a ’41 in high school …

    Like 2
  7. mikestuff

    I haven’t told a story for a while, and this has little to do with the car but…

    I grew up in a house in Sandy, UT, from 1955 to 1972, with my parents, an older sister and a younger brother from the age of 5 until I was 22 and left to get married. I remember Pete and Tom, two old bachelor brothers who lived in the house next to ours (there was a field between us). They were both in the 60’s then and one of them drove a black Ford of this vintage, don’t remember the exact year and the other one had a greyish Dodge pickup of the same vintage. The black Ford was pretty cool looking and he washed it a lot. We never had much to do with them but they sometimes would bring tomatoes from their garden to my mom.

    Probably 10 years later, one of them died. I don’t remember which one, by then, someone had moved a nice brick home onto the lot between us. A woman who lived in that house was the sister of the one who died and she was there to kind of take care of the one who was left.

    During a high school era conversation with my mother, she told me the last guy had died, and she said his sister was going to sell the first house. I was talking about the brothers to her and found out that they weren’t brothers at all, but were a gay couple (although that wasn’t a word that was used in the 60’s). Especially in Utah. Don’t remember what term she used but she was always non judgmental when things of that nature came up. The house that my ex-wife lives in is about 3 blocks from my parents house and I go by there occasionally. Both the house that was moved in and the “brothers” house were torn down and replaced years ago and have no clue what happened to the ister. My mom and dad stayed in that house until about 1979.

    Like 6
  8. Howard

    Yes, the floorboards do unscrew to access the top side of the trans, but it has the enclosed driveshaft and the trans won’t come out without getting it out of the way somehow. Back in the day, the local shadetree mechanic would put a bumper jack against the banjo housing and force it back enough to get the driveshaft out of the back of the trans….. If you were trying to squawk the tires, you had to hold the shift lever in first so it didn’t kick the first/reverse slider right out of the bottom on the trans case. Then more than likely, you would twist off a key in the rear brake drum lol. I routinely carried extra key stock in the glove box of my 46.

    Like 4
  9. ctmphrs

    Just curious Jeff Barnett, what were the number of improvements made in 1941.

    Like 1
    • Jeff BennettAuthor

      2 inch longer wheelbase
      completely new bodies
      new club coupe body
      wider body
      optional electric windshield wipers
      5 more horsepower

      Like 1
  10. moosie Craig M Bryda

    Looks like a 6 volt battery in the last picture to me. Very nice car, great price

    Like 0
  11. Ernie the Dancing Weasel

    So….he rebuilt the engine, and it needs a clutch? My definition of “rebuild” pretty much requires the engine to be several feet away from the car, with the flywheel hanging out for all the world to see.

    By any chance, would the owner be a gentleman named Arnie Cunningham?

    Like 2
  12. John C.

    It’s a shame he gave up on it after going this far, I didn’t finish the paint on my 40 Coupe back in the day, left it with the original black but I did finish everything else on it 100%.

    Like 1

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