The Only One Left: 1940 Ford Limo

right

The military had eight of these built and this is thought to be the only survivor! It’s listed here on craigslist for $35,000. That might seem like a lot but it’s a lot cheaper than I’ve seen it advertised for elsewhere, like here on haggleme where it’s listed for $49,500. Mike Z found this rare and interesting Ford, so special thanks to Mike.

front

The body appears mostly complete except for one fender and some glass and trim. The engine is there, but there’s no word on its state. This was used as a shuttle between Glendale and Phoenix until the late sixties, so it surely has lots of miles and wear. There’s no mention of rust issues and there doesn’t appear to be any in the photos.

looking to front

The inside looks mostly complete, but well worn. This would be a huge undertaking, but perhaps it will appeal to a limousine or shuttle operator. Can you imagine how cool this would look?

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Comments

  1. Charles

    Nice find!

  2. Rick

    Cool rig, never seen a ’40 Ford limo before. Have to ask if it was it a shuttle between Phoenix and Glendale, CA or Glendale,AZ? If it’s Glendale, CA must have been mighty slow going up the Chiriaco Summit with a full load of passengers, and one has to wonder what kept the old flathead from overheating on those numerous 120+ degree days if the thing was still being used up into the 60s.

    • Jason Houston

      Good food for thought… My guess would be Glendale, AZ, since there was probably quite a distance between the two cities back then.

      • MountainMan

        Quite a distance back then? So does that mean there is less distance now?
        I know what you mean Jason but I couldn’t resist

  3. Jason Houston

    “The military had eight of these built and this is thought to be the only survivor”

    Thought by whom?

    How about some documentation?

    • John

      Also, if this was built for the military it should have a data plate somewhere on the dash. Absent that, where’s the proof that this has any military connection?

    • BC

      From the Haggleme sale post ” The six that went to war were destroyed and never came back to the States. Of the two remaining Limo’s, one was stationed at an Air Force Base in Maryland and the other in Texas. The limousine at the Maryland Base is no longer there and there is no data on its whereabouts. The Limousine up for sale is the one from the Texas Air Force Base. “

      • Jason Houston

        Knows all about air force bases, but not their names?

        “Destroyed” how? Blown up at Hiroshima? Sunk on the Bismarck? Sent to the crusher by a 5-star general? Left on the Sahara Desert?

        Sure sounds good, now, just prove it.

        Otherwise, he’s full of canal water.

      • Bill McCoskey

        BC,
        I recently remembered that back in the late 1960s a local Rockville, Maryland junkyard called Save-More Auto parts had an identical 1940 Ford 8-door, in terrible condition from being moved around the lot by pushing it with forklifts & big trucks, and as I recall the drive line was long gone. The central “extended” part of the limo and the 4 custom doors, were all wood framed over steel, and the wood was terribly rotted, with a couple of the doors missing.

        The remaining paint WAS a very faded light gray, typical of Air Force vehicles.

        Maryland only had one Air Force Base at that time; Bolling Air Force Base just south east of Washington D.C. There were also a few Air Force facilities for training and equipment testing, but they aren’t consider “Bases”.

        Today Bolling is known as the “Joint Andrews Air Force Base”.The nearest Air Force base to Andrews is Dover [DE].

        Considering how rare these special cars are, there COULD be some truth to the stories about the cars, I can’t imagine there being TWO 1940 Ford 8-door limousines in the mid-Atlantic area.

  4. Donnie

    It is interesting but I do not think you would ever get the money back it would take to restore it .

  5. bcavileer

    Once upon a time there was a hobby. It was pleasing to the soul, satisfying in the noble effort of restoration and comraderie of fellow enthusiats sharing skills, stories and resources. Shame, nothing but talk of costs, profits and rediculous starting prices for projects that are poorly documented and mostly falsley represented.
    Guess that is what the big players wanted, make it so expensive that only they can play in the sandbox.When I was young this would have been a 1500.00 start and could have conceivably even been the start of niche business, maybe transporting weddings, or once a year a Grandpa hauling the kids and grandkids around town to see the holiday lights. Truly sorry to see what has happened to the hobby. Truly.

    Like 2
    • Mike S

      Excellent posting. Kind of reminds me of the baseball card craze in the 80s-90s and the kids knew the value of the card more than the player. Remember how that whole craze crashed?

      • Jason Houston

        The same as most car hobbies, too many fakes and frauds?

    • Truman Lewis

      On target my friend, no more hobby guy around anymore. just high prices and not as much pride as is the almighty dollar. sorry shape of things.

      Like 1
    • Ed Williams

      I agree with you 100%!

      Like 2
    • Fred Alexander

      “When you were young butter was 18 cents per pound – – – just couldn’t resist that one – – -all in fun – – -and I do get what you[re saying.
      Enjoy.

  6. Birdman

    If it’s REALLY military and it’s REALLY the only one left, it belongs in a museum.

  7. charlie Member

    Chevrolet built some as well, for the Army, you can see one in the film clip at the Midway exhibit at Chicago’s Midway airport.

  8. D. King

    Gone.

  9. P Martin

    Siebert in Toledo, OH built these for everyone. My family business is the original owner of a 37 just like this.

  10. stevee

    How to determine value: Desirable. Rare. Valuable. Then Multiplied by Condition. Just like the Old Cars Guide: the lower the number the better.
    Desirable: Mustang, GTO, Camaro always more desirable than Checker 8 doors or four door sedans etc. Number 1 or 2 on my fantasy list (and yours) is good! Desirable in its time translates to desirable later. Popular is good.
    Rare: One off’s or limited production model. Does not include oddballs but does include Dual Ghias, GT500’s etc.
    Valuable: High dollar car vs. Nash Rambler or Crosley.
    Just because your grandma drove you to church on Sundays when you were a kid does not translate to value to me or the next guy.
    Condition: very few cars are #1 or #2 and most ‘drivers’ are #3 at best.
    So: apply that to this car… and it does not calculate well at all. Rare? So what. Desirable? An Army transporter = no. Condition?
    I have seen “popular” and “desirable” cars that owners have spent (not invested) $40,000 restoring and it sells for $20,000. Actual cash value vs. what you spent? The crunch of reality is the buyer will tell you what your car is worth when THEY feel like spending the money!!
    I am a retired appraiser.

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Sometimes an item is rare because no one wanted it when new, and not valuable today because the public still doesn’t want it!
      That said, as someone who has owned several “airport limos” built by Stageway of Ft. Smith, AR, — I WANT THIS ONE TOO!
      And yes, I concur, it’s likely a Siebert, also possibly a Memphis Coach product..

    • Fred Alexander

      Actually you’re right about Ramblers vs lets say 1957 Chevy Convert. Power Pak, total frame off or up (which ever) – – – all accessories including vacuum ash tray and working Wonder Bar radio and working rain sensor to raise the top automatically if it starts to rain in the absence of the owner.
      At today’s prices and restrictions on finish and paint products (particularly here in Canada) you could well exceed the reasonable resale value outside of the craziness at the BJ auction house where there seems to be little rhyme nor reason some vehicles go way past the peak value because two fat cats with nothing to do with their $$$ make the bidding war a game.
      So having said all that, more often than not when it comes to less popular vehicles being restored (Granny’s Rambler classic 4 dr. with radio) it’s a nostalgia thing – – – and / or the owner just thinks his vehicle to restore will be profitable because of the restoration.
      I know that you’ve seen this lots of times when called to do an appraisal – – – so have I – – –
      I too am a retired appraiser.
      Sold the business back in 1992 to a friend and it still operates today.
      I still dabble in classics and antiques – – –

  11. Andrew S Mace Member

    1. This is cool as he**!
    2. So what if it costs much more to restore than some auction house thinks they can sell it for. At worst, restore and carefully update it, then put it to use as originally intended. To me, it’s far cooler than the ubiquitous extreme-stretch white Hummer limo capable of carrying an entire high school prom. I suspect there might be others over the age of 17 who feel as I do. ;)

    • Jason Houston

      Excellent thoughts. I, too, agree – what the hell is restoration costs anyway (unless you just plan to flip it right away)? A 1940 Ford, done properly, will always be a blue-chip investment. If you invest quality money on something like this it will eventually pay itself back over the long run, plus you get to enjoy the car in the meantime. It’s only a win-win situation.

  12. Jason Houston

    On Nov 23, 2015 at 1:52am, MountainMan wrote,

    “Quite a distance back then? So does that mean there is less distance now?
    I know what you mean Jason but I couldn’t resist”

    Well, as cities grow and become bigger and more bloated, the distance does shrink. What was probably a long drive across open desert in 1940 is probably a short trip urban today, which wouldn’t need stretch limo.

  13. Andrew S Mace Member

    “The same as most car hobbies, too many fakes and frauds?” I’m not sure how to take this comment (my apologies if I misread your intent). It’s one thing to get a gallon of Wimbledon White and a couple of fancy valve covers and then pretend you’ve got a Shelby GT-350. It’s quite another to..uh…”fake” a stretched 1940 Ford sedan, right?

  14. rusty

    posted above

    ““Destroyed” how? Blown up at Hiroshima? Sunk on the Bismarck? Sent to the crusher by a 5-star general? Left on the Sahara Desert?

    Sure sounds good, now, just prove it.

    Otherwise, he’s full of canal water

    Less need to prove this one then some other stories as most military ordnance at wars end was simply destroyed or left overseas. Infact a lot of it simply was pushed over the side of ships on the return journey. No body thought oh..we better save these to become tourist buses at a national park. They said hey lets get the heck out of here and leave this JUNK behind and the military says its cheaper to just abandon most stuff.

    Great vehicle and I say his story is very credible even though I too believe its almost impossible to prove having the last one of anything. Credible because Who needs the stuff after fighting a long war. Especially military staff cars..these were vehicles built for a purpose they were’nt considered anything more than ordnance [its only now that people put desirability into them] After the war there was not that much use bringing them back [no one ever dreamed of taking high schoolers in them to proms].

    Much of the ex army stuff that has survived is actually stuff that had not been sent, did home base duties or returned perhaps to be rebuilt before wars end. There was still enough ordnance left homeside to keep enthusiasts busy in the 70/80s.

    So much anger on this site recently its becoming less enjoyable to read…I too lost interest in the way the hobby was heading [and that was back in in the 90s ] but the horse has bolted so you “aint” gonna fix it.. But if it helps soothe the anger when our backs are up against the wall in what ever next human disaster/conflict those who paid big money will not be able to cash in so no point being angry…you havent spent that big money..its cool man. hee hee

    Serenity now..Serenity now.

  15. Mike

    Is there any info on the missing ones as I know of a Ford limo here in Australia of that era

  16. Helen Parker

    My husband bought the 1940 Limo from a man in Ill, He has been doing a restore on it for nearly 2 years and is at this point is disassembled and under paint and hoping to get the rebuild under way soon. It is simply awesome !!!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks for the update, Helen! Be sure and post some pictures!

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