Rod & Custom Feature Car
1940 Ford Coupe
The original frame on the '40 had been previously modified ... poorly. So Gary set it aside and ordered up a fresh foundation from Cornhusker Rod & Custom. The new frame was set up with a SuperBell axle, reverse-eye spring, and Pete & Jakes shocks. A pair of parallel leaf springs keep the 3.50:1-geared rearend suspended. A Reno Rod & Custom pedal assembly and Chevy pickup master cylinder operate the Wilson Welding Lincoln-style front drum brakes and rear Ford drums.
From the evidence Gary has, the '40 had the small-block Chevy in it as long-if not longer-than it had a Flathead. The latest version is a '66-vintage 283 rebuilt by Brian Keck at Keck Machine in Quimby, IA. It gets a nice hot rod rumble from a COMP camshaft, roller rockers, and TRW pistons, with a vintage Edelbrock C3B intake and 500-cfm carb topping things off. Gary gave the mill a proper period look using a vintage Cal Custom air cleaner and valve covers, plus a pair of Speedway Motors Tru-Ram exhaust manifolds (which lead to aluminized pipes and Flowmaster mufflers). A Walker radiator handles cooling, while a Hurst-shifted Richmond Super T-10 four-speed adds its own cool factor to this fine '40.
Wheels & Tires
Like a good pair of shoes, the right wheels and tires can make or break a hot rod. Gary picked a set of winners when he bolted up the 15x5 and 15x6 Rally America chrome reverse rollers wrapped in BFGoodrich Silvertown radials (165/15s and 235/75R15s) and capped them with spiders.
Body & Paint
The Ford had its share of rust, so Gary rounded up some metal-savvy friends to help with repairs. Jeff Patcins worked on welding in a replacement firewall, rear pan, tool tray, and trunk floor; Jim Johnson assisted with the floor replacement; and Gary Hoesing helped get the fenders and decklid in shape. Larry Cain, meanwhile, added a few new holes to the hood with his louver press. Gary then enlisted Tom Scott in Elk City, NE, to perform the final bodywork before prepping and squirting the RM gloss black single-stage urethane. A pair of chrome front nerf bars and Bob Drake headlights and taillights add a bit of shine, along with the factory stainless and grille.
Gary made the trek to Fremont, NE, to have the crew at Sky's Seat Cover Center give the '40 cabin a '60s makeover. They obliged with yards of pearl white tuck 'n' roll vinyl stitched over the original seat and custom side and door panels. Other period touches came in the form of Stewart-Warner Blue Line gauges in a Knecht Equipment panel, a Sun tach screwed to the dash, and a '59 Impala wheel topping the Flaming River column. Gary wired the car using an Affordable Wiring kit and hid the Pioneer stereo behind the original speaker grille using a mounting box from Hot Rods by Dean. Seatbelts came from Juliano's.