It could be said that auto manufacturers started getting a little too practical by the end of the '30s and into the early '40s. Gone were the roadsters and true coupes that were more about fun and less about grocery getting. One car I think Ford should have built is a mid-'40s three-window coupe.

To create this ride, I started with a standard wheelbase '46 Ford five-window coupe. The top is my biggest alteration to the stock body. It's chopped quite a bit over the stock five-window and shows influences from some of the great three-window cars, such as the '36 Ford and the Lincoln Zephyr. The doors are lengthened along with the leading edge of the rear fenders. Once these big moves are achieved, it's really up to the builder to come up with the right look. I chose to show two different styles, but there are obviously many ways to make this mid-'40s Ford look great.

The ride in the foreground is pure hot rod. I chose to keep the grille stock, but I'm sure you can picture it with a custom chrome grille. A set of lakes pipes graces the bottom of the car. Since this is a car Ford should have built, I thought Washington Blue was a fitting color. Bronze stock steelies complement the blue and are wrapped with wide whites. Spider caps and stock rings give a tough look to the coupe. A well-built Flathead under the hood would get it flying down the road. Inside, you can imagine a nice, simple tuck 'n' roll.

The sketch in the background has more of a show custom touch. Custom side trim emerges from a side vent in the hood. Custom large-diameter hubcap-style wheels and wide whites have a modern look while giving a nod to the past. Even though she's still primered up, you can see that she's well on her way to completion, and maybe even a trophy.