One Fine Forty (and it’s a Chev!)

One Fine Forty (and it’s a Chev!)

Norfolk, Virginia, is the place and this is the car. It’s a Chev, if you were wondering, one that rolled off the assembly line shiny and proud in the year nineteen forty. It’s old now, maybe even an antique to the kids at the shopping mall or grocery store or in the SUV next to you swiping and tapping away at their smartphones as the light turns green (time to go!) Back in the nineteen fifties—before all that—it was just an old car. Or maybe just a car. A two-door with four wheels and a six-cylinder. There really was nothing special about it. That was, until Jack Peed got his hands on it.

At that time, Jack was a custom car guy. As a matter of fact, he always was. Once the Chevy was in his garage, he immediately saw it as an ample platform for a slew of customizing tricks. Down went the top! Not one, not three but four inches. Four! That’s a haircut. But he made it all work, nice and even. Yes! Up front he spliced in a rectangular grille from a ’49 Nash of all things (a popular modification out East during the early nineteen fifties) and smoothed the nose out. He shaved the door handles, trunk handle and everything else that needed to be removed. Sleeker! That was the battle cry. With that in mind, nineteen forty-six Ford taillights were frenched before the entire car was sprayed light purple.

Sure, the Chev was custom on the outside, but what about within? Yes, the interior was treated to a fine tuck’n roll job, but under the hood is where the real action was happening. The six got bored and ported and stuffed with a lumpy cam. The original intake and exhaust manifolds were cast aside and replaced with more breathable pieces. Two carbs mixed the fuel with the air while a mag provided the spark. Hot!

And so you have it. A tasteful custom car that certainly must have drawn a crowd wherever it went. Jack was highly active in the East Coast custom car scene for decades, and he went on to own the Sonny Daout ’50 Chevy for quite some time. That car’s now in Gary Minor’s garage…but you have to wonder—what ever happened to Peed’s fine forty?

Joey Ukrop

Photos from Rod & Custom August 1955


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