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1940 Ford Deluxe Hot Rod Coupe - 289 V8, 4-Speed, Clean Montana Car!

1940 Ford Deluxe

Condition: Used
Make: Ford
Model: Deluxe
Type: Coupe
Year: 1940
Mileage: 61284
VIN: 185415208
Color: Black
Engine: V8
Cylinders: 8
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual
Drive type: RWD
Vehicle Title: Clean
Item location: Belgrade, Montana, United States
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Description for Ford Deluxe 1940

Up for sale is this 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe - a super clean, dry Montana car that was in the same family for at least 40 years before I purchased it this summer with the intention of flipping it. The old man who had built it had died and his wife had pre-deceased him, so I was not able to get any information about the car other than what their kids told the auction company, which wasn’t much. Therefore I’ll try to share as much as I have learned in the short time I’ve owned it.
Body
To me, this is what makes this car special - the flat black primer helps you to appreciate how extremely clean the body is. The doors fit well and close tightly, the body lines are straight, and since this car is from Montana, it is virtually rust free. The only cancer I know of is right at the bottom edge of the body behind the driver’s door, and in the tail panel (see photos). The doors, fenders, and trunk lid appear to be cancer free. I would suggest replacing the tail panel with one of the replacements now available, since it looks like the car was hit in the back and the panel is pretty hashed from being worked back into shape. Similarly, the rear sections of both fenders have some unfinished filler work on them, probably repairs from the same accident - nothing serious, and the rest of the fenders are very straight.
From what I’ve seen, dents on the roof and huge trunk lid are common flaws on these cars, and this has neither - the body lines are incredibly straight, and moreover, the trunk lid lip is not rusted out as most are. Sometimes I find myself standing in my garage just to admire how straight this car is! That’s basically why I thought it would be a good investment, because the body was in such good shape.
The glass is all original - the rear windows are fine, but it needs a front kit put in to replace cracked panes. The worst is the driver’s door window, which has a section broken off.
Interior
The inside is clean and functional - comfortable black bucket seats, a carpet treatment of tan in front and black in the rear, and a vinyl headliner that needs re-tucking in one section. The door panels are old and have some holes, and are not well attached to the doors. Some of the interior metal, such as the dash, is only rattle-canned. The speedometer and oil pressure gauges work, but no others. There is definitely room for improvement in the cabin, but again, it’s clean.
Drivetrain
The auction house said that the late owner built this using the running gear from a low-mile 1967 Fairlane. The 1940 factory frame and front end remain, but the rear end is presumably the Fairlane 8 inch and leaf springs, with what looks like some kind of drag racing bars. Under the hood sits a 289 with a Holley 4-bbl, with power running through a toploader 4-speed. Fuel is fed by an electric pump, controlled by a switch on the dash. Oil pressure is outstanding, and doesn’t drop off after the motor warms up. The choke sticks sometimes, so I’ve had to prime it to start it after it’s been sitting and cold. The engine sounds great and the exhaust is clean and clear, with no sign of oil burning. It has a bit of a mean lope to it, which could either be a cam that the owner installed, or indications that more tuning is needed, or both, but it sounds good blowing through the dual glass packs. I put new plugs and wires in it, but when I hooked up my timing light, I saw that the guy had removed the outer harmonic balancer ring, so the markings are gone - it feels like it needs refinement in timing to me, but also, the carb might needs a rebuild or adjustment. Because I haven’t put plates or insurance on the car, I’ve only driven it around the block. From that I can say that the brakes work well, the rear end ratio seems pretty high (probably 2.80 if it came from a Fairlane), and the transmission and clutch feel tight with no perceivable gear whine. The tires are older bias whitewalls with a little bit of checking on the sides but plenty of tread, and even wear. The odometer reads 61284 but actual mileage is unknown.
Overall
As I said, I bought this car because it was local, had a super clean body, and I figured I could make a little advertising it nationally. I have done my best to describe it accurately, including its flaws, based on my limited time with the car. Let me be clear that this is an unfinished hot rod project - it is “rough around the edges”, needs finish work, and it not ready to jump in and head down the highway. It is definitely not a “rat rod”, but not yet a road-ready car. It has many little things that the new owner will probably want to fix: ie, the shift boot is only slipped over the shaft, the running boards need new rubber covers, the lights aren‘t hooked up, etc. That being said, this is a complete, clean, straight, running-and-driving 1940 Ford Coupe. It won’t have you cleaning up piles of mouse poop, replacing 100 rusted panels, or searching for a parts car. Most of these are either basket cases or already finished. This is a unique opportunity to get one of the last of these coupes that you can finish your way - do a few more things and drive it as is, or take it apart and build the car of your dreams. Any builder will tell you that you’re way ahead to start with a clean body, and this is certainly a special find in that regard. As I said, I’m only looking to make a little on this flip, and my reserve is extremely low. This is as cheap as you’re going to get into one of these: right year, right body, right drive train, right condition.
I have a couple of video clips of a walk-around while the car is running, and of me driving it around the block, which I can send to your smart phone. It is also for sale locally. All potential buyers are welcome and encouraged so see the car in person. I am located 8 miles from Bozeman, Montana, right on I-90 for easy shipping.