Rod & Custom Feature Car
Bill & Maureen Cromling
Dayton, Ohio
1940 Ford Coupe

This car was built to be very low and with that in mind Terry Palmer of Tempe, Arizona, started with a SAC chassis and installed a modified and narrowed Mustang II based IFS with coilovers. The narrowed front necessitated a different rack and pinion setup, and Sweet Mfg. had just the right unit. A 9-inch Ford with 3.50:1 gears was mounted out back with parallel leaf springs moved inside the 'rails for maximum tire clearance. Stainless steel brake and fuel lines were run by the Squeeg's crew.

Bill is a Ford-in-a-Ford guy so a 402ci injected Roush engine was ordered and because Cromling feels a hot rod has three pedals, why not step up to a Richmond six-speed transmission? To get that just right vibe of a mechanical fuel injection setup, Kinsler ram tubes were fitted to the modern EFI. The valve covers were milled out to accept engine-turned aluminum inserts. Headers were fabricated by Joe Spovati, with the remainder of the Jet-Hot coated exhaust installed by Terry Palmer.

Body & Paint
The door and trunk corners were rounded and new rocker panel fillers were made to eliminate the unsightly gap between the door and running board. The windshield was made to resemble a '39 convertible windshield by using parts from the A-pillars of another '40 coupe along with two Bob Drake windshield trim kits modified to fit. More '40 to '39 backdating is seen with the '39 front fenders, grille and hood. The hood was modified/massaged to accentuate the stock peak at the leading edge as well as welding both halves together and hinging the whole unit clamshell style with scissor units installed at the firewall. For bumpers, front and rear, skinnier '40 Merc rear bumpers were utilized for a familiar but more pleasing look. The bumper irons were shortened a bit to suck the blades in nice and tight to the body proper. A custom sheetmetal fan shroud and inner fender panels were crafted by the Squeeg's crew.

Custom Saf-Fire blue paint was mixed using PPG product and was sprayed over the prepped and primed body. Custom mixed bright red was shot on the meticulously prepared chassis. Blended candy hues from yellow to orange make up the basis for the elaborate yet elegant flame layout. Paint mixing and spraying as well as the flame pattern was handled by Doug Jerger. All of the gleaming chrome was brought to perfection by the experts at Jon Wright's CustomChrome Plating out of Ohio.

Wheels & Tires
Halibrand Sprints (15x4.5s and 17x8s) were mounted on buffed radial tires, 75-series smalls up front and 50-series jumbos out back. These were the only wheels considered, with the stance at perfection, nothing would have suited the look as well as a set of hot rodding's iconic hoops.

Gabe's Upholstery got the nod to expertly handle the interior. Pearl white bolsters with blue pleats all stitched from leather hides were used over the Glide bench and throughout. The headliner is pearl white with blue piping. Square weave carpet was color-matched blue. The stock chromed grille hides the A/C controls on the pearl white painted dash. The glove box door and garnish moldings were chromed as was the fashion for any well heeled Sixties hot rod. Squeeg made a shift arm and gas pedal for his pal, then drilled and sent 'em for chrome. Matching Hot Rod Garage pedal pads and arms from the talented Okies out of Sand Springs handle the whoa and clutch regulating duties. A bitchin' Tri-C tilt hot rod style column is topped by a matched blue leather rimmed Brizio wheel.