Stalled for 60 Years: 1933 Ford Model 40 Fordor

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We see our share of stalled projects here at Barn Finds, and some of these have been stalled for longer than others. This 1933 Ford Model 40 is a project that stalled in the 1950s, which means that it has been in its current state for 60-years. Now that it has been dug out of its hiding place, the time has come for it to head off to a home where it can finally be reassembled. The Ford is located in Bullhead City, Arizona, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Ford is now sitting at $7,233, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

According to the seller, a previous owner dismantled the car to undertake a restoration. That person then passed way, leaving the car in its current state. It appears that no one was particularly interested in the Ford, and as you can see from the first photo, the car found itself slowly but surely being buried under a growing pile of assorted odds and ends. Amazingly, after six decades of this sort of existence, it actually appears as though the Ford is complete. The photos tend to support this claim, as there is a good collection of parts, and it appears as though they cover the vast majority of the pieces that would be required to reassemble the Ford. The only rust that is said to be in the car is some in the driver’s side rocker, but a replacement is being provided as part of the sale.

Amazingly, not only does it appear as though the interior of the Ford is complete, but it really looks like a good clean will see it present quite well. The upholstery on the seats isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste, but it does appear to be free of rips and tears. The same is true of the rest of the trim and headliner. It all has a fair accumulation of dust and dirt from 60-years of sitting, but I think that a bit of time and elbow grease could bring it up quite nicely. There are a few items missing from the dash, but it looks like these items are present in the supplied parts photos.

Obviously, the engine and transmission aren’t currently fitted to the car, but that old 221ci flathead engine looks quite tidy, doesn’t it? Information is quite scant, but the owner says that the motor does spin, and the outward appearance would suggest that it may have undergone a rebuild at some point. The transmission is a 3-speed manual unit, and given the fact that the owner says that the car is complete, it means that it must be there somewhere.

I know plenty of people who would hesitate to take on a partially dismantled project car because they don’t know what is missing until they commence the reassembly process. This one has been dismantled for six decades, and every day that a car is in this state increases the chances that more parts will magically disappear. This is a project car that has had plenty of time to shed its parts, so, would you take it on?

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  1. Jeff

    Super kewl and I would love to have it!

    Like 2
    • JerryDeeWrench

      Wow this thing is nice. Looks like it could be reassabled and be a driver with out any major issues. Great find and lucky new owner.

      Like 3
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    My comments are the same as the 2 door 40 above. How come this car wasn’t suggested as a Rat Rod candidate? This is the stuff you save in any form but a Rat Rod. (Really got on the horse on that subject didn’t I…)

    Like 3
    • Terry J

      Hi bobhess, I assume that your comment is meant as a joke. ?? As a home built RaTT Rod owner myself, it is generally not common to pay an astronomical sum for the basic vehicle to start with, and certainly this ’33 will go high. Very high. Typical Rats start with vehicles or parts of vehicles that restorers have passed over. Of course everybody has their own opinion on what a Rat Rod is since there are numerous categories.. :-) Terry J

      Like 2
  3. stillrunners

    What I dislike are flippers showing their other projects in the back ground – like in this case – the VW Bus he would rather spend (or sale) the money on.

    Like 0
    • triumph1954

      Darn Flippers! Some nerve, having 2 project cars in garage. Nice car, fair price.

      Like 0
  4. Ken Carney

    I’d do this one exactly the same as the
    model 40 I just commented on. Later
    Flathead, juice brakes, 12 volt electrics,
    dropped front axle, filled roof, and lest
    we forget, a sweet set of duals comin’
    out the back! Now that’s how you build
    a nice hot rod!

    Like 4
  5. Will Fox

    I guess the saddest part of this find is, in 60 years nobody even bothered to try to tidy up the garage, let alone do something with the car. That’s pathetic.

    Like 4
  6. bobhess bobhessMember

    Terry J… Don’t have any problem with well built Rat Rods. Someone mentioned Gasmonkey’s cars. From a constructors standpoint I loved the ’49 Chevy top chop more as a work of art rather than a rat rod. Repeat… I don’t go for chopping up rare cars in relatively good condition for rat rods. Plenty of raw material out there still to build some pretty wild stuff.

    Like 0
  7. Terry J

    So we agree except for the Gas Monkey cars example. That is an excellent shop but though their cars purposefully look like rusty Rats, under the surface is usually a completely different car built with high dollar engineering and parts. I’ve seen episodes where they took a Ratty looking car to the auction and were disappointed that they didn’t get back the $50,000 they had in it. Ha ha. Cracks me up. :-) Terry J

    Like 1
  8. Willowen

    ’33s are sweet! I do not think I’ve seen a Fordor body on one, and I’m impressed by the generous amount of glass all around. Properly (and discreetly) built, this could be a perfectly usable daily driver/ tour runner, or so it would seem. I could be a bit more generous here, just because the last two cars we had before Dad died were a ’46 Tudor and ’36 Fordor flatback. This was 1952-59, so they weren’t exactly antiques yet, but they were cheap to buy and cheap to run, even for a man with no knack for machinery whatsoever.

    Like 0
  9. bigdoc

    I’d build it back close to original with a two tone paint job {black fenders} and drive it like I stole it.

    Like 1
  10. YooperMike

    As a collector I have to ask, how much for the 34 CA license plates ?

    Like 0
  11. Jim

    not the original motor

    Like 0
  12. Joe Haska

    Almost the same car except with 2 extra doors and the same comments. Also, niether one made its reserve, which from the bids, is over 10K. My same comment, this is a very changing market and I have no idea were its going, but I don’t think anyone else does either.

    Like 0
  13. Dan Mar

    Ended: Aug 05, 2019 , 11:28PM
    Current bid:US $8,550.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 14 bids ]

    But then it was relisted , and then the Listing was Canceled by the seller.

    Wonder whats happening with it now.

    Like 0
    • Willowen

      Seller suddenly looking at reality? That final does not look either high nor low, given the work needed for an actual restoration, which this deserves. If it were mine, and I were convinced that the buyer knows what he’s getting into and is intent on going there, I would send it off with my blessing. But then I tend to care more about the cars than any profits, just because I’m not as sentimentally attached to my bank balance as I am toward a seriously fine old car. That’s why I gave away a car last year to some guys who had serious restoration plans; it was worth almost nothing, but it was a good car with some specific flaws, and these guys had a specific remedy for the most glaring of them. I’m as happy about that deal as any where I actually made money.

      Like 0

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