Period Hot Rod! 1940 Ford Deluxe

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What a terrific find! It appears that someone was in the middle of trying to turn this solid 1940 Ford Deluxe into a hot rod and suddenly stopped. The seller tells us it’s been stored as-is for at least 45 years! It’s listed for sale here on eBay and is located in Spring Hill, Kansas. Despite bidding exceeding $7,000 the reserve has not yet been met.

The seller hypothesizes that the small dents in the more horizontal surfaces of the car have been caused by items falling on or against it during the long storage period. Despite those dents, the bodywork looks remarkably solid and would work well for either a restoration or a hot rod. After you’re done reading this post, be sure and let us know what you would do with the car in the comment section.

This sure is a solid car — even the running boards don’t look bad, and those fragile grill components look almost perfect. If I’m correct that this is a 1940 Deluxe Coupe, there were 27,919 produced. It sure sounds like a bargain now at a $720 list price ($13,073.25 in today’s dollars)! The only trim that seems to be missing is the opposite side (driver’s) turn signal lens.

Although it says “Ford Deluxe” on the hood, that’s not the make of the engine under it. That’s correct, Chevy fans, there’s an 265 cubic inch V-8 engine, 3-speed manual transmission and rear end sourced from a 1955 Chevrolet under this vintage hot rod! Some of you might be happy with that, others might want to go back with the original

I’m guessing whichever way you go, hot rod or original, you’ll want to replace the interior. I can smell the mice stuff from here.

This is the one rust hole the seller mentions, and it’s in the trunk. So what would you do — original or hot rod? I’d find a late model Mustang drive train and in it would go — but that’s me! I want to hear from you!

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  1. RoughDiamond

    Oh I love Barn Finds like this. I would leave the car as is and try my best to continue in the direction I thought the original builder(s) had envisioned.

    Like 6
  2. rustylink

    moonshiners liked this particular model due to it’s “a bobcat stance” – love that description.

    Like 1
  3. Bernie H.

    I have a little different approach, since the paint is gone, I’d restore back to black, original type interior and make it look bone stock on the outside. The power train would have to be a 289/302 Tremac 5spd. and 3.25:1 ford 8″ rear. Don’t need a 9″ here, 8″ plenty strong enough.I’d probably opt for quiet duals so my wife would ride along. Hey, I’ve got too many cars now, but its nice to dream about another

    Like 9
    • Stillrunners

      Pictures get a C-…with no under hood shots they were close to a D.

      Like 0
  4. Bob S

    I would love to own that car! I would leave the body stock, paint it a pretty red, and rebuild the existing running gear. The only change I would make to the running gear, would be to change out the Chevy 3 speed and install either a 3 speed with overdrive, or even a T5. If I did swap out the engine, it would only be because the 265 didn’t have a full flow oil filter, and if I did that, I would put in a 327.
    I think the dash of the 40 Ford is one of the prettiest designs to come out of Detroit, and I would do a stock restoration of the interior.
    I have enough projects to last me the rest of my life, but I owned a 39 coupe, and never stopped liking these cars.

    Like 1
  5. TimM

    Such a great body style to hot rod!!!!
    32 Fords can eat their heart out when this car is done right!!! Would love to buy it but I got to many projects as it is good luck to the new buyer

    Like 2
  6. John Taylor

    Well it needs pulling down anyway so I do have an FE engine sitting under a bench in my back shed which would fit nicely in there, but just going by the bid so far it would owe me $15,000 landed here, H’mmm maybe.

    Like 3
  7. Joe Syslo

    Nice little ’40! I am skeptical about the rust given the trunk floor condition and no pictures of the driver side floor. All rubber is going to need replaced, as well as glass. The instrument panel is a mess and will require resto. You can also count on having to rewire, Interior will need to be redone…guess you are looking at a complete restoration. Gotta get the Chevy parts out of that beautiful FORD!!! I have just gotten done doing a 1946 Ford Super Deluxe Business Coupe Resto-mod… Four and a half years and over $130K. I think you’d be looking at similar cost to do this one right!

    Like 9
    • Ted

      Joe that just flat out works. I love any Fords of that era that capture the ’46 Fat Jack look.

      Like 3
    • moosie moosie

      What an awesome looking ’46, congratulations on doing it up right, the way YOU wanted it. Many many miles of smiles to you.

      Like 3
  8. rojo

    One up on this one showing. This is my best friends. Been with him almost fifty years. All there. Only problem both of us have been blessed with all our needs so not for sale.

    Like 5
  9. bobhess bobhessMember

    Joe.. That car’s gorgeous!

    Like 1
  10. Ted

    Why can’t I find rodneys like this? Hoo yeah, jug of shine, best girl and ridge running the revenuers at night……

    Like 1
    • Rob S.

      40 ford deluxe. Only on its second owner!

      Like 0
  11. chrlsful

    I’d say give it all U can on stock & period looking correct hop up mods (carb, timing, ignition, cam; may B discs up frnt) but pretty much orig in and out (wring, interior, etc). Hafta run it 2 C bout suspension & steering upgrades. Luz seein the old skool oem…

    Like 0
  12. Joe Haska

    Nice 40 Ford project, but I would like to see the other cars in the photos. The 46 Ford looks like it could be a coupe and the 2 open cars appear to be 35 or 36 Ford Phaeatons.

    Like 0
  13. Chas358 Chasman358

    A Ford drivetrain, even a trusty old flathead, belongs in this car. (IMO)

    Like 7
  14. Bob McK

    Beautiful car, but if it has been sitting on that dirt floor for 45 years, what is the frame like?

    Like 2
  15. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Candy apple peach exterior with white leather interior. Overhead cam Ford v8 and automatic transmission. A/C, power steering on mustang II front suspension, Ford rear end with coil over rear shocks. Fifties style nerf bars for bumpers. Four wheel power disc brakes. Electric wipers, heat and defroster with ducking from later model Ford. Fully carpeted in white trunk area. True spoke wheels with white wall radial tires. Stainless steel running boards.
    It’s only a dream. Or is it a nightmare.
    God bless America

    Like 0
  16. Wayne

    I would old school 50s the drivetrain. “Y” block Ford with 3 Stromberg 97s. 3 speed and 2″ exhaust system with glass packs. Pretty much stock style interior Sea foam green body with medium green fenders. Sea foam green steel smoothies, chrome acorn lug nuts and center knock off style spinners. Maybe some “wide whites” for tires.
    Just sayin’

    Like 0
  17. John S

    Oddly enough, I found a car in Los Gatos, Ca. with a similar story a few years back; A ’39 Coupe with a 327, fuelie heads, fender-well headers, Muncie 4-speed and a ’55 Chevy 4.10 posi rear end. It has a ’40 DeLuxe hood & grille as well as side trim. The car was reported to be a street/drag race/dry lakes contender back in the late 60’s. It sat in a warehouse for 35+ years, then was sold “to make room” for other stuff.
    I just freshened it up and corrected some of the quaint modifications that were done to it over the years. Driving a piece of “Hot Rodding History” is a real blast!

    Like 1

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