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History Help me find some old photos of this Cedar Rapids Iowa 1940 Ford Coupe

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Roadsir, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Last Thursday I saw this 40 Ford coupe for sale on C/L and it really caught my interest. I also knew the person who had the car for sale and didn't know that he had purchased. The car was for sale at Goodguys in Des Moines where he bought it and spent a little time sorting it out. The previous owner picked it up at the estate auction (more on that later)



    The car was 30 minutes away so I ran down to Chads place to check it out Friday afternoon, and I offered up my 34 project as a possible trade. By 7:30 he's at my shop and were having a few beers and by 11:30 we'd arrived at good deal for both of us.

    By noon Saturday were swapping inventory between the two garages and I'm the proud new owner of 40 deluxe coupe that I hope be caretaker of for a long time. Chad has roller 34 project that will make him a badass hot rod.


    The Ford was owned by the same person, Jack Brazier, of Cedar Rapids Ia. since he was 18, for 64 years. He purchased this car from his uncle in Minneapolis in 1956. His name was Girard Christopher, and the car could have some Minneapolis history as well. Hopefully someone recognizes these names. I would really like to find some old pictures of the car and more details.

    Sometime early on this car had a Hemi in it. The fenderwells are clearanced nicely, and it had a Joe Hunt magneto decal on the firewall. I'm don't know displacement but I have good reason to believe it was attached to a Cad LaSalle Transmission. More on that later.

    The car was parked sometime in the early 60's. I have corresponded with one hot rodder (Ron) that Frank offered the car to him in 1963 for $550 but when he showed up with the money the next day the car was no longer for sale. Ron turned me onto another person that may have some more history named Frances. I have a phone call into him.

    In the car was a letter from Franks Daughter. Heres a picture.

    I have also reached out to Franks daughter and here is some of her email:
    Thanks for contacting me about my dad's car. I fear that one of these days I'm going to lose track of it. I'm lucky I haven't already.
    My dad passed away in July 2013 at the age of 81 from bladder cancer. He had owned that car since he was 18. He bought it from his uncle. He had a big hemi in it at one time and used to race around with my mom when he was young. I would say probably 40 or more years ago he put the car in his shop and took out the hemi. My mom said he wanted more of a "cruiser" and was going to put a smaller engine in it. He worked on the new engine for the car his whole life. Never put it in. He liked to work on a lot of things and I think he enjoyed that more than actually finishing the project sometimes. He was an amazing person. Even sick and 81 years of age he never acted old a day in his life. He worked as a machinist for Terex before he retired. He was very social and had many, many friends of all ages.

    She is trying to get back some photos, and documentation, and trophy that went to the first buyer. I really hope to track that information down as well.

    In the mean time I'll start uploading pictures and hope the "power of the HAMB" can help tell the rest of the story.
    Jet96, kiwijeff, MIKE STEWART and 9 others like this.
  2. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,345

    uncle buck

    Great find on the 40! Keep the updates coming on its history and its nice that you plan to follow thru with his daughters wishes.
  3. Here's a few more picture of the car. The tach and gauges were additions from the 1st buyer

    Neat upholstery. I hope I can find someone to restify the seat.


    Under the seat is pretty nice. There is some rust in the quarters.


    A nice headliner, and all the mouldings have been chromed


    A set of cheater slicks came with.


    At the estate auction the car was sold less motor and tranny. The new owner dropped in this Motown 406 and a Borg Warner power brute super t10 with a nodular iron case. It hauls ass, and has caused me second guessing 50's motor, or 50's inspired car that can hold its own on the street. Jack might have got a kick out of that.



    Excuse those 80's edelbrock covers. They look like ass. Check out the gas welded inner fenders.

  4. Here are some interesting photos. Sometime over the years Jack had abandoned the hemi and was planning either a SBC or a Flathead. These are pictures of the car and parts that were auction separately.......I wish I'd know about this.....Man I would like to have a few of these parts back.
    The important trim stuff came with the car but the engines parts sold separate.
    40 banjo.jpg 40 Carbs.jpg 40 close up of parts 1.jpg 40 close up of parts.jpg 40 flathead 1.jpg 40 flathead cam valves.jpg 40 banjo.jpg 40 Carbs.jpg

    Attached Files:

    lothiandon1940 and kidcampbell71 like this.
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  5. Is that a flathead Magneto? It's not a 392 Hemi...Is it a Joe Hunt?

    40 Magneto and starter.jpg 40 pistons.jpg
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  6. Check this out. Cad LaSalle, what is the bell-housing? Who bought it.
    Are those Zephyr gears in the box below or ??

    40 Tranny.jpg 40 tranny gears 1.jpg 40 tranny gears.jpg
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  7. nice 40 ! congrats ! please tell me that Tach is going away for something more period correct... just my 2 cents
    DrJekyllMrHyde likes this.
  8. So it appears Jack was thinking a Flathead for some period of time, but also a Small block Chev.

    Jack parts books.jpg Jacks Mags1.jpg Jacks Mags.jpg

    Attached Files:

    kiwijeff and kidcampbell71 like this.
  9. During the Auction the car was less motor. Note the battery box area was fixed, Joe Hunt Mag decal, and the frame and firewall is exceptionally nice and not cut up.

    The car now has a CE split bone kit, new Posie Spring, Rebuilt 40 Box, Tube shocks and 4wheel disc brakes.

    40 firewall.jpg 40 firewall low.jpg
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  10. Front floors, doors, rockers are really nice. The trunk floor has a few holes as well as the tool box area,. Typical of 40's. Where the fenders attach are great.

    40 front floor.jpg 40 floor.jpg 40 left rear well.jpg 40 trunk floor.jpg
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  11. 40 with parts stacked around it.jpg Once last shot when the car was auctioned last January. I'm hopeful that more pictures and history will come to light and I'd like to hear from anyone that bought parts at the auction.
  12. And I need to make a wheel and tire choice........
    Chrome steelies?
    Full Caps?
    Moon Discs?
    Torq Thrusts?
  13. Absolutely, as soon as I find a suitable replacement tach and the cheesy little underdash gauges will get some Stewart Warners in a panel.
  14. oem style chrome would look great, with a nice rubber rake...can't go wrong with Olds Feista caps and steel rims...
    509garyd and Roadsir like this.
  15. I'd check with Titus' wife on the upholstery.

    A truly awesome score!
    wingnutz and Roadsir like this.
  16. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 13,798

    Staff Member

    What a wonderful car, you sir are a lucky man. I seem to remember a thread here on that auction. If you can find it it should lead you to some of the people that attended. While the car may haul ass now, It would seem fitting to me to put whatever engine/trans combo back that it ran back then... I vote chrome steelies too ...
    Roadsir and kidcampbell71 like this.
  17. What a great story and great car. Keep the updates coming for us.:)
    kidcampbell71, i.rant and Roadsir like this.
  18. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,382

    from Illinois
    1. 1940 Ford

    A little reminder that we are all just caretakers of our cars. Neat story,will follow along.
    40fordtudor and lothiandon1940 like this.
  19. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,406


    I remember getting a link to the auction online, as my little brother was really hot for that car. Not sure what his bid was, but obviously it went for more than he thought.

    Looks like a nice car, and I'd have a hard time not trying to find another hemi for it. Those pics above show a lot of parts that might not have been actually in the car. The trans is not a Cad-Lasalle. The mag is not a flathead.
  20. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,498

    from BC

    That is an OLD Crane box, pre 1974 at least. I'd also be STRONGLY tempted to build a Chrysler for it.
    Runnin shine likes this.
  21. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,477

    Corn Fed

    Oh yeah. I saw that at Des Moines GG's and knew it was the one from the auction. IIRC there was a snowstorm the same time as the auction so I didn't go to it. I don't remember what I bid on-line, but it obviously didn't end up in my garage. Glad it's in yours now. You'll do it right.
  22. ....... I still have my fresh 392. It's got a Vertex mag and Wilcap adaptor that will bolt right up. I'm thinking hard about this.
  23. Corn Fed.
    Thanks. This may derail my roadster plans but I did get a new 32 chassis kit in the deal.

    So maybe the hemi goes in the 40, and the Motown motor could go into a Eastwood&Barakat inspired drag car of some sort.
    falcongeorge likes this.
  24. Always have liked your coupe, especially with the hood open and seeing that mill.
    Moriarity likes this.

  25. Maybe @titus will chime in......
  26. I did have a conversation with Frances today, he had some memories. He's in his 70's. Thought it had 4 carbs and a magneto and a stock tranny.

    He turned me on to Joe who is 80. Understandably his memory isn't as good. It may take some pictures to spark more memories.

    It was fun chatting with these guys.
    kiwijeff and Tim like this.
  27. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,402

    from Nebraska

    Congrats on the new car! Very cool that you already know that much history on it. I imagine with the power of the HAMB, you'll be able to piece the rest of it's past together.

    Also, I agree on the chrome steel wheel comments... imagine chrome '40 wheels with blackwalls!
    lothiandon1940 and Roadsir like this.
  28. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,342


    You kinda hate to mess with a running driving car, but that thing needs a Hemi stuck back in it. You already have one, and the car is already clearanced to fit so.......

    Damn nice car.

    wingnutz, Texas57 and Roadsir like this.
  29. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,498

    from BC

    My pick, '56 starfire wheel covers. These are not re-popped as far as I know, can be pricey and hard to find. Never thought of putting them on chrome wheels, this looks GREAT.


    Lincoln Premier, again no re-pops. Guys seem to come up with nice centers, don't know where they get them, I thought this really looked sharp.

    Olds Fiestas, these are available re-pop, look GREAT on '40s, If I hadn't found a set of Starfires, I might go with these.

    Aftermarket Cones, Night prowlers has re-pops of these.
    1940 coupe - 1961.jpg
    Short bar '55/'56 Lancers, no re-pops, not as hard to find as the Starfires, I have 7, but they are for another project. If I could find one more, I would switch between starfires and lancers on mine.
    This is a '36, but more of a side on look at a fat fender car with '55/'56 Lancers

    '50 Merc with trim rings
    Aftermarket 15" long bar lancers, I always thought these would look really good with short bullets in the center, and the area behind the flippers painted body colour on a darker car. These are available re-pop.
    and the ever popular Chrome reverse.
    ImageUploadedByH_A_M_B_1438122719_864042.jpg Squeak\'s%2040%20002.jpg
  30. You're right those Starfires look great....

    falcongeorge likes this.

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