Monday, November 5, 2012

Hot Rod Heaven: New 1940 Ford Coupe

1940 Ford Coupe body shell
Courtesy Ford Motor Company

I’ve always been somewhat ambivalent about hot rods. On the one hand, I love the creativity involved. On the other hand, a classic car was destroyed to make it. Yes, there were lots of Fords and Chevys (around here they seem to make the bulk of the hot rods) built in the 1930s and 1940s, but sooner or later they’ll be gone. Plus the likelihood of finding a pristine body to build from—pretty much zero.

Now there’s another option. Dennis Carpenter FordRestoration Parts is offering reproduction body shells for the 1940 Ford Coupe. Built with modern steel and modern techniques, and officially licensed by Ford, these shells are ready to be made into hot rods, or your own reproduction 1940 Ford coupe. They’re already rust-proofed, so apart from whatever cutting down and stretching you want to do, there’s no drilling and filling required. The shells can be ordered with or without door and trunk panels. There’s also an option of a modified firewall to make room for a bigger powertrain.
1940 Ford Coupe body shell
Courtesy Ford Motor Company

They also make and carry parts for lots of other classic Fords. In fact, the company got started because Carpenter wanted dash knobs to restore his own car. Not being able to find any, he got permission from Ford to make reproductions using their blueprints. He’s produced many more parts since then. “When you see a beautifully restored 1940 Ford, it is like a piece of jewelry,” Carpenter said. “People just really love the lines of that car. It is timeless and appeals to all ages.”

Dennis Mondrach, licensing manager for Ford Restoration Parts, would agree. “Like its older 1932 Deuce Coupe and younger Mustang siblings, the 1940 Ford is a bodystyle and design that represents Ford at its best. The 1940 Ford Coupe has always been highly sought after and collectible. Unfortunately, good, solid restorable examples have become hard to find and expensive, so this faithful reproduction is bound to prove popular.”

If you can’t find the parts you need among Carpenter’s large inventory, you can also try Ford Restoration itself. While they don’t appear to sell parts, they do have a searchable database that will point you to the nearest licenced retailer of the part that you are looking for.

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