Barn Hot Rod: 1940 Ford Coupe

1940 Ford Hot Rod

What can I say, I’m a sucker for period hot rods. New ones are great, but they just don’t tell the same story as an old car turned into a hot rod 30+ years ago. This 1940 Ford Coupe was turned into a tire burning custom back some time in the ’70s. It has a great look to it, especially now that it has had a few decades to age in the barn! You can find this Ford here on eBay in Gentry, Arkansas with a $25k asking price. It isn’t cheap, but you’d be hard press to recreate this car’s look.

1940 Ford Coupe

While we often talk about patina around here, let’s face it, we all like shiny cars with nice paint. Well this one has just a little patina, but still has a bit of shine to it. The paint obviously isn’t the original, but it’s old enough that you should be able to wet sand and polish it if you’d like it to be even shiner. Personally, I’d just put some glaze and wax on it to protect it.

1940 Ford Coupe Engine

Power in this Ford actually comes from a Chevy, in the form of a Corvette engine. The seller doesn’t offer any information about the engine, but it looks to be a 327 (can any Corvette fans confirm this?). The engine looks pretty rough, with some rust issues. We don’t know if the engine runs or turns over. The seller does state there is absolutely no rust, but I assume they mean aren’t any rust holes yet, as I see plenty of rust in this engine bay.

1940 Ford

The seller worked as a body man and claims this car’s body is in good shape, with great gaps, no Bondo or rust. I would want to see it in person to validate these claims, especially before putting down $25k! Speaking of the price, doesn’t this seem high for a car in this condition? I get that having a very rusty example restored is going to be expensive and you won’t ever be able to get the same look as this one, but is this one really worth this kind of money? What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Charles

    Don’t have an opinion about the price. I like the car.

  2. Keith

    At least it’s not a rusted Porsche, if it was the asking price would be 200k!

  3. randy

    Price is double what it should be with the engine opened up to the environment.
    Not to mention the nest of stuff on the intake. Running well, it might command this type of cash.

    • bill

      no it isn’t, where do you find straight ’40 deluxes ? ? i just sold one in worse shape for $20,000 and it didn’t run

  4. ch

    Everybody’s got a neighbor who has a Corvette engine in their pickup or hotrod. There’s one on every bock. There are more Corvette engines now than Chevrolet ever made for the Corvette.

    Like 1
    • Jason Houston

      That’s because Corvette supplied engines for Ford right before WW II broke out. That why so many ’40 Fords have survived with their original Corvette engines. I thought everybody knew that?

      Like 1
      • james

        LMAO That is funny as hell. Its like every 302 SBF made after 1984 is a Boss 302 thanks to fomoco marketing.

        Like 1
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      You are correct ch. I have a couple pair of the finned Corvette covers hanging in the garage. Bolt them on almost any small block Chevy and low and behold to most people you have a Corvette motor.

      Like 1
  5. Alan (Michigan)

    BIN dropped to $22K.

    The 1940 Ford is for me a top candidate for a hotrod. Always has been, and will be until I check out.
    This car has a lot of potential, but there could be a significant corrosion problem lurking on the underside.

  6. Dolphin Member

    I like ’39 and ’40 Ford coupes a lot, and I always visit them at Show ‘N Shines. Most owners are older and serious rodders who would probably rather give up a lot else before their Coupe.

    I would prefer a color that ran more under the radar than bling red, and also an all Ford build. A done-up flathead would be good. To me these are really cruisers, so a flathead with duals / duals plus some chrome under the hood would complete things.

    The seller has dropped his price to $22K with no bids and a day and a half to go, which is no surprise given the high asking. I think randy is right about the asking price being about double. I’ll be surprised if it sells, but not surprised if it appears later with a lower asking. The seller might do better if he drops his text down a notch to mostly lower case and gets more sophisticated with his sales approach. He’s trying too hard to double up on the value of the car.

  7. grant

    Loved it till I saw the bow tie. Fords should be Fords…

    • Mark S Member

      I agree if your going to build a hot rod keep it brand consistent

      • OldCarGuy

        The front sump on the Ford small block is right where the front spring and cross member are. The small block Chevy is a much easier install with it’s rear sump. If you’re not running the original flathead, who cares?

      • Mark S Member

        I searched up 1940 chassis and found what I thought was correct, the front cross member is ahead of the engine. There should be no problem fitting a front sump oil pan Ford engine in this car.

      • OldCarGuy

        Apparently, you’ve never built one. I have.

  8. Paul R

    If the car had a Camaro or Nova sub frame grafted under it the asking price would still be too high but getting in the ball park. Its riding on stock suspension, with a 3 speed Saginaw transmission.
    Should be lacquer paint that will cut and buff to an amazing shine if it was properly applied.
    Corvette engine? Like others have said, more of the engines out there than cars produced. Other than the camshaft profile, the early Vette engines were just another small block.

  9. Duffy

    Price? Dream when your feeling blue. Use to love that song.

  10. Marty Member

    Agreed on the “Corvette” engines. I’ve seen so many old cars, and even lots of trucks, on which the seller has advertised “Corvette engine” only to see the numbers and discover far more often that it has a casting number that was used in Corvette AND Impala, Chevelle, Nova, etc. But somehow this translates to so many sellers who have no problem telling potential buyers the vehicle has a “Corvette” engine.

    Looking up the stamped-in ‘suffix’ number almost invariably reveals the engine did not originate in a Corvette.

  11. Jerry Long

    I always heard that the Chevy engine fit without redoing the firewall because of the design of the small block Ford as opposed to the small block Chevy? Engine length?
    I searched for more than a year for a 40 Ford pickup with a 289/302/351 engine. I found none which kept the original firewall. My pickup has the 350/350 engine/transmission setup with many more updates. Let’s face it, nothing is easier and cheaper than this swap. Sad but true.

  12. Wayne

    “Corvette supplied engines to Ford before WW2 broke out”. Seeing that WW2 broke out in 1939 and the first Corvette was 1953, how does that equate?

    • John Schiessl

      Corvette was still a skunkworks in’39

    • Mark S Member

      Jason’s just being sarcastic, he’s not a fan of cars that have been customized in any way.

  13. OhU8one2

    I think I would go with the Mustang Cobra 4cam,32 valve motor. With a T56 trans,and while your using Cobra part’s,grab the I.R.S. rear diff. Then figure out how to make it all fit. There’s a sweet street machine. Plus zero smog.

  14. MikeW

    I think the Mustang II used a reversed pan that would work.

  15. Doug Towsley

    The Ford Coupes always command a premium in this body style although I never understood why. The prices for these are well above the norms. I Have multiple prewar coupes of this body style, sold a few in the last couple years still have 3 left. You can have that body style for a fraction of that price if willing to look at other brands. Many have some really cool features. I agonized for years over the art deco nose on my 39 Plymouth versus the horse collar grill on my 37 Plymouth and which i liked better. Nash made a cool one, some of the Olds and Pontiacs are super attractive. If restoring, then certain cars can be difficult to find parts or repair panels for. The Ford has such a following, perhaps consider the parts availability. I DESPERATELY need a mommy side door (Passenger side) for a 37-38 Pontiac Coupe. Very hard to find.
    (Chevys wont work but i would consider one just to cut and modify as they are 4 inches in length different). Keep the nice ones for restoration, but theres some REALLY interesting old iron out there that normally would be scrapped that can make a really fun rat rod, and after years of restoration work,. Its a lot of fun to cut loose, and not worry about scratching the paint. Several of my prewar coupes have bullet holes and I intend to leave them. Part of their character.

  16. Doug Towsley

    Oh and a comment on the engine. Lots of people run SBC motors as no point in debating why besides cheap, easy and lots of power for less than other motors. As a mostly die hard Chevy guy, I embrace the concept. However, Im betting that motor will get yanked out by the new buyer. It is interesting the posting here on Barn finds shows a version of the motor no longer seen on the FeeBay ad. the one pix on FeeBay shows a different picture and the intake scoop and carb are now gone. I rather like those old period air scoops, Totally NOT a performance enhancement but look cool. Thats an old alloy casting, and i bet he got a offer that was attractive and sold it.
    True enough those are Corvette valve covers, they came in 2 different bolt patterns and theres repops available today. I used to run some on my 283 and my 327 I ran in my 63 SS Nova, But the intake on that motor in the pictures is cast iron, and the early style breather off the front of the intake says 283 to me. Plus hard to see but it sure looks like small valve Power Pak heads (typical of a 283) plus the old style generator all point to a plain motor. Other than VIN and Casting codes, the early Corvette motors arent anything special to anyone except a restorer or collector. I REALLY like 283 motors and very fond memories of them but that motor in that Coupe doesnt add any value to that deal. The trans is gonna be a Saginaw,, so doubt the power train will survive the resurrection before being swapped out. If it matters, theres plenty of websites or books that can decode that engine. I have a copy of the spotters guide and a SBC interchange manual. All that stuff is on the net now

  17. Arkiehotrods

    I bought a red ’40 Ford coupe a month ago, less than 30 miles from where this one is, for the same money. It needs nothing. Finished car. I’ve put over 700 miles on it in a month. That one in Gentry is very rough, and not worth half what he is asking.

  18. Rick

    Always liked the 40 coupe, but like tudor sedan better, is on my list of top 10 favorites

  19. George

    I think the price is way out of reason.I have a restored 36 Ford 5 window coupe Street Rod, completely restore made out of a rust free 40, 000 Albany, OR car–where they don’t salt the roads, which I store in a Garage (Barn) and it in new condition, which I’d like to get more and the ones comparable are asking near$40K plus, but I’ll take $ 30K. The 36’s are arguably as popular as the 40’s. I wanted ’40 Deluxe, which is what the one advertised here is, but I love both the 40’s and the 36’s. When I found the 36 30 miles from home, I bought it. It has air conditioning, P/s; P disk brakes; ghost flames and looks like new. It wold take $30K, which I will take for mine where that is already done, to have the advertised ’40 look like mine. A guy couldn’t even do it for $30K unless he did the work himself, was a professional grade painter, a professional grade upholster to even come close to making the ’40 close to mine. I think my estimate of $30K is probably overly conservative even if you have the fore mentioned skills given the ludicrous present price/cost of parts, paint, upholstery fabric etc., if he did the work himself. My estimate does not include what the tons of hours he will have to spend getting the car on the road. So the cost where the hull costs $25000, puts him at the least $55,000 plus his free labor, where with mine, he could have a turn key qulatity car for $30K where the only labor he need extend it to get in, turn the key, and drive off. He will also be at lest 2 years younger, could use the time spent on the car, painiting the house and doing all the thing a wife always want done, and she will be a lot happier-or not. Obviously under my senario the “40 is worth zero, and still cost more at that cost than what is available on the market. From my perspective and as a matter of logic, the ’40–although clearly a desirable car, is worth about $6-7K and certainly no more than $10K. I have been trying to convince Jesse to let me list it on Barn Finds, but he won’t because “it’s not a Barn Find” (sic), which a fair number of cars listed on here clearly are not either–particularly the derivable perfect ones or event the less-than-pristine drivers. Of course you all the regular readers of this column already know, I disagreed, because everytime I open my Barn-looking garage, I find it parked in there. And at my age I am always “surprised at finding such a nice old car in my “barn” because I had probably forgotten it was there. Actually–although I may not be able to get a concensus from regular readers who have had the strength to labor clear through one of my lengthy tomes, I’m not quite that forgetful yet, although looking at the news, I sometimes wish I were, And like a damn lawyer I wrote him Jesse a lengthy legal opinion suggesting that he was, strike that, might need to re-evaluate his decision. Jesse, beimg the nice guy his presentation suggests he is, wrote me a 2 liner (how one can do that,causes me to marvel) telling me he dd not have time to read it just then, but would pop some popcorn, drink (what I’d guess probably will be a non-alcoholic) beverage, squash down on the couch some night after work and read it. (those may not be his exact words but he said something like that). He must be out of popcorn, or else I am wrong in guessing the beverage would be non-alcoholic, and he drank some beer while reading it and fell to sleep before he got to the end, because I haven’t heard from him since. I am sure I will soon, if he reads any of the responses/opinions the habitual readers, as well as other readers have. George

    Like 1
  20. George

    I think the price is way out of reason.I have a restored 36 Ford 5 window coupe Street Rod, completely restore made out of a rust free 40, 000 Albany, OR car–where they don’t salt the roads, which I store in a Garage (Barn) and it in new condition, which I’d like to get more and the ones comparable are asking near$40K plus, but I’ll take $ 30K. The 36’s are arguably as popular as the 40’s. I wanted ’40 Deluxe, which is what the one advertised here is, but I love both the 40’s and the 36’s. When I found the 36 30 miles from home, I bought it. It has air conditioning, P/S, Power disk brakes; magenta ghost flames and looks like new. It wold take $30K, which I will take for mine where that is already done, to have the advertised ’40 look like mine. A guy couldn’t even do it for $30K unless he did the work himself, was a professional grade painter, a professional grade upholster to even come close to making the ’40 close to mine. I think my estimate of $30K is probably overly conservative even if you have the fore mentioned skills given the ludicrous present price/cost of parts, paint, upholstery fabric etc., if he did the work himself. My estimate does not include what the tons of hours he will have to spend getting the car on the road. So the cost where the hull costs $25000, puts him at the least $55,000 plus his free labor, where with mine, he could have a turn key quality car for $30K where the only labor he need extend is the energy to get in, turn the key, and drive off. He will also be at least 2 years younger and could use the time spent on the car, painting the house and doing all the thing a wife always want done, and she will be a lot happier-or not. Obviously under my scenario the “40 is worth zero, and still cost more at that cost than what is available on the market. From my perspective and as a matter of logic, the ’40–although clearly a desirable car, is worth about $6-7K and certainly no more than $10K. I have been trying to convince Jesse to let me list it on Barn Finds, but he won’t because “it’s not a Barn Find” (sic), which a fair number of cars listed on here clearly are not either–particularly the derivable perfect ones or event the less-than-pristine drivers. Of course you all the regular readers of this column already know, I disagreed, because every time I open my Barn-looking garage, I find it parked in there. And at my age I am always “surprised at finding such a nice old car in my “barn” because I had probably forgotten it was there. Actually–although I may not be able to get a consensus from regular readers who have had the strength to labor clear through one of my lengthy tomes, I’m not quite that forgetful yet, although looking at the news, I sometimes wish I were, And like a damn lawyer I wrote him Jesse a lengthy legal opinion suggesting that he was, strike that, might need to re-evaluate his decision. Jesse, beimg the nice guy his presentation suggests he is, wrote me a 2 liner (how one can do that,causes me to marvel) telling me he dd not have time to read it just then, but would pop some popcorn, drink (what I’d guess probably will be a non-alcoholic) beverage, squash down on the couch some night after work and read it. (those may not be his exact words but he said something like that). He must be out of popcorn, or else I am wrong in guessing the beverage would be non-alcoholic, and he drank some beer while reading it and fell to sleep before he got to the end, because I haven’t heard from him since. I am sure I will soon, if he reads any of the responses/opinions the habitual readers, as well as other readers have. George

  21. John B.

    I love small block Chevy engines but I prefer original if possible. That being said there are a lot of things to realize. Corvette valve covers were produced in large numbers and then they reproduced even more! Most people see the valve covers and think it’s a Corvette engine-back in the day hot rodders got a Corvette and more times than not blew them up! The original Corvette engine got junked and a bigger engine replaced it. I have owned several Corvettes when they weren’t ridiculously priced; most did not have the original engine. The steering wheel, radio, and wheels did not survive very well either-they got replaced with after market pieces.

    Like 1

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