At RK Motors Charlotte we realize just how fortunate we are to be among extremely cool cars seven days a week. At any given moment we’re a mere door swing away from lines of wild attention grabbers, rows of overpowered street bruisers, and a roster of custom rods that are so well-done you have to look at them multiple times to glean their glory. But when it comes to all-steel restorations, like this AACA Senior National First Prize Ford Deluxe, we’re not so lucky. You see, well-done pre-war classics are simply not as common as other forms of automobilia and, interestingly enough, Ford itself recently acknowledged that by re-introducing factory-built 1940 Ford bodies at this year’s SEMA specialty show. But why have a high dollar replica when you can call us and get your hands on the real thing? This authentic ‘40 Ford Deluxe has it all: a correct flathead V8, a completely sorted interior that’s laden with optional equipment, and a solid foundation that’s wrapped in a high quality restoration. If you’re a discerning enthusiast who’s searching for a top notch classic to show off at your next cruise night, we’ve got the car for you!
With its wind-swept design and classic good looks, Ford’s 1940 Deluxe series has always been a rare and highly desirable line of cars. And not surprisingly, gearheads, customizers and 70 years’ worth of fans have elevated it to one of hot rodding’s greatest cultural icons. This awesome Ford coupe began life as an authentic 1940 Deluxe and, with the help of a thorough frame-off restoration, has been transformed into one smooth-driving show queen. The car’s build began with a complete tear down of every panel of its rock-solid fuselage. Once those sinuous panels had been massaged to perfection, a glossy coat of Cloud Mist Gray was sprayed on thick and clean. And today, this sizzling classic is a national trophy winner that, despite being roughly 30 years out of its restoration, still looks better than pretty much every car at any show its owner chooses to attend!
There really isn’t much you can do to make a 40s Ford more attractive. The car’s streamlined styling was a home-run when originally introduced; and today, it’s a stunning example of some of the strongest elements of the highly regarded Art Deco movement. At the front of this razor-sharp coupe, a stainless-trimmed hood, which reaches high into the air and serves as the main focal point of the car’s ornate face, rides above a Deluxe grille which flows past a seamless, “V8” branded hood latch into a prominent pointed chin. At the sides of that grille, sculpted fenders center pristine, chrome-trimmed headlights between a small AACA plaque and a curved chrome bumper that’s complete with full chrome guards. And behind that hood, small stainless wipers clear like-new glass that rides between correct chrome mirrors and a small roof-mounted antenna. At the sides, streamlined stainless trim, which runs from the corners of the grille to the sides of the trunk, rides between red-traced “Ford Deluxe” emblems, streamlined door handles and a red-detailed fuel cap. And at the back of the car, a red “Ford V8” emblem rides above chevron shaped tail lights, a Deklite trunk handle, a second full chrome bumper, and clean stainless exhaust tips.
As the company’s final Henry Ford fueled innovation, the Ford V8 remains a durable, torque-rich powerplant whose solid engineering saw use well into the 60s and established a reputation in the hot rodding community that is still unmatched almost a century after its introduction. And in keeping with tradition, this stellar Ford trophy winner is powered by a correct 221 cubic inch flathead V8 which makes roughly 90 horsepower thanks a relatively tame 6.12 to 1 compression ratio. The antique engine has undoubtedly been rebuilt and probably looks much better today than when it originally growled off an assembly line. Aesthetically, the block, which perches a familiar oiled air cleaner and a rare 2-barrel Ford carburetor above correct cast iron heads, has been painted in a typical dark hue. There are many accurate pieces like reproduction Ford hoses, an old school six volt generator, a reproduction Ford belt and even Autolite spark plugs. The addition of a modern pusher fan, which is hidden by a stainless cowl cover, practically guarantees that the flathead’s infamous overheating issues have been completely resolved. And overall, this coupe’s clean engine bay is a charming and 100% functional step back into a much simpler, and some would say much better, period in American automotive history.
And speaking of simpler times, take one look underneath this reliable Ford and you’ll see just how much the automotive world has changed when it comes to ride, handling and structural integrity. The car’s clean floors are finished in a smooth layer of Cloud Mist Gray, while its heavy duty frame and factory-accurate suspension components are veiled in a subdued coat of Ford Satin Black. A correct 3-speed manual transmission still lives behind the rock solid engine proving that ‘simple is good’ by shifting beautifully and doing an excellent job of driving an authentic, banjo-style rear end. In front of that transmission a beam axle and transverse leaf spring remain, just as they would’ve looked back in 1940. And the same holds true behind the transmission, where a transverse leaf spring and a second solid axle help maintain right height and perhaps even add a little extra grip in the corners. Four wheel drum brakes, hydraulically actuated for the 1938 model year, are a welcome addition and a big performance upgrade for Ford fans. There’s an impressive dual exhaust system ran neatly along the frame rails, apparently installed as if the car were new, giving the flathead V8 its traditional and unmistakable voice. And everything rides on a set of 15 inch painted steel wheels which spin fresh 6.50-15 BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls around chrome trim rings and “FORD DELUXE” branded hub caps.
This coupe’s warm and welcoming interior looks straight out of pre-war America complete with simple fabrics, tasteful use of wood graining on the doors, and awesome art deco gauges. At the front of the car, all the Bakelite plastic knobs and handles remain in excellent condition, there’s a prerequisite clock on the passenger’s side of the dash, and the original “FORD DE LUXE” branded steering wheel is a work of automotive art. At the center of the car you’ll find seats that have obviously been reupholstered, but the work is appropriate to the vintage feel of the restoration. At the bottom of the car there’s a thick rubber mat that protects the floor from moisture and muck. And at the sides of the car, clean fabric panels are dotted with carefully painted door and window handles. Back in 1940, everything was pretty much optional; and you’ll surely find it cool that this Ford not only has a primitive AM radio but also a small floor heater. And behind the cockpit a surprisingly large trunk, given the car’s fastback roofline, hangs a matching spare tire and wheel assembly above ample luggage space.
The sale of this cool Ford classic includes a factory reference book and a board of restoration photos.
Cool and classic, this ’40 Ford is a vision in pre-war authenticity; and every piece of the car is 100% show ready and in great condition. You really can’t ask for a more impressive blend of old school style and solid driving characteristics. And you certainly can’t build anything this nice for the time or money it takes to drive this car out of our Charlotte showroom. Step up to something different - this Ford Deluxe is ready to show and go!