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Hot Rods The wedding hotrod - 40 Ford Convertible

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tomkelly88, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. BEFORE you read this post, please open the PDF attachment and have a read of the story behind this car. Today is the first time I've known the entire history on the car and it has blown me away.
    A lot of love has been put into this car and for me to enjoy it as much at the people before me, I need to change it.

    Here is my story following on from Ken's:

    October/November 2011: I was enjoying a beer with my friend Pete in his office checking out model cars and hotrod books he has collected. I mentioned that it was time for me to get a hotrod. I'd been watching the limited amounts 35/36 ford coupes on the market in Australia through the net and wasn’t very impressed with the selection. So on that afternoon we decided a trip to California was needed to find me a car.
    We just needed a couple of guys to come with us. Enter Geoff and Geoff.
    The trip was planned to sync up with the LA roadster show of 2012.

    I was really gunning for a 35/36 Ford coupe or roadster and with a backup plan of a fat fendered 39 or 40 Ford; to be honest I would have been happy with any 1930-1940 Ford. Through the HAMB I had sussed out a 36 3 window in Oregon but it was decided to be too far away for the amount of time we had, I didn't have much luck finding original 35/36 coupes so we decided to wait for the swap meet and see what turned up.

    Half way through the Saturday of the swap meet I was starting to get a little nervous as I hadn't seen anything suitable, then I get a call from Geoff (hot-rod dude) telling me about a 40 Ford convertible.
    So we go and have a look at the car, and get chatting with the owner Ken (gasserguy) another hamber from Arizona.
    Ken told me the most of the history. I was surprised he still had the title from 1947! We went for a cruise so I could see how it runs and handles, we returned to the fairplex and by this time I'm really impressed with the car and a deal was done.
    Here is the car as I found it at LARS:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  2. 3 months later and it had arrived in Port Adelaide, South Australia. Why the hell would you buy a convertible if you lived in this wet, cold part of the world?!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  3. A couple of weeks ago we had a bit of a welcoming BBQ, Pete brought his 39 coupe.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  4. And today, I rolled it out of the shed for a quick blast and to take a few photos.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

  5. I’m told that it has a 48 Mercury flathead, it does look like the 59A style engine. I assume it’s a stocker but the exhausts exit just behind each door and it sounds wicked! My plans are to hot it up a little, I have a pair of finned offenhauser heads and an offenhauser two carb manifold and a pair of 97s. I’m also kicking around the idea of a full flow oil filter, has any one set one up before? Worth doing?
    The electrics will be changed over to 12volt too.

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  6. Blackroad
    Joined: May 18, 2007
    Posts: 290

    from Sydney

    Awesome car, one of my favorite body styles. I have put full flow filters on all my flatheads, but all by drilling out back of block where oil pressure switch goes.
  7. Ya done good, real good!
  8. Thanks, I'm going use this thread to show how the car progresses.

    I'm thinking the car will be returned to an elegant dark green colour, so far I'm planning on keeping the 15" steel wheels but will have WWW tyres, 5.60 on the front and 7.20 on the rear, I'm still battling with the wheel colour at this stage.
    The stance will be about the same, its reasonably low in the front already so the taller tyres will lift it a little and the rear may need to come down a tad, possibly by just reversing the spring eyes.

    The biggest challenge is going to be finding a convertible top. I have a few bits and pieces that came with the car, some are damaged and I don't know what a lot of the pieces are for! The tacking strip/flange around the rear edge of the cabin opening has also been folded under the other side of the panel or removed completely.

    I've put up some photos of the pieces I have, hopefully someone can identify them for me? I do recognize the soft top latches above the windscreen.

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  9. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,834

    from Indy

    a very nice looking vert. enjoy
  10. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,202


    Nice car--40 tops are fun--lots of pts and special bolts. The header is avail from a place in Pennsylvania and the irons must be found--might be best to find a complete top mechanism--no need for vacuum cyls, and rams--work very well as manual top.Westcottts has some pieces I believe.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  11. Big Al
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,417

    Big Al

    cool old convertible and a nice story.
  12. Thanks for the comments. I was curious about the vacuum system for the top, good to know it operates ok manually. That's how I'd set it up I recon.

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
  13. Saw it sitting at the shippers in Long Beach and wondered who had bought a cool car.

    Makes it even cooler that you got the history of it too.

    Congratulations now drive the wheels of it.
  14. Cheers, I'll be spending every minute I can in it..... as soon as I get past this rego system!
  15. Great car Tom, Adelaide needs more Fords just like ours.... -H.R.D.-
  16. Mike
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,535


    Good on ya!

    Ken was considering putting that car up as a partial trade for my '47 Ford Woody last year.

    You scored yourself a good, solid, bitchin' machine there.
  17. Thanks Mike. I'm very happy he didn't trade it!!:D
  18. Slow progress at the moment. I'm neck deep in rebuilding an old Holden and have promised myself not to touch the 40 until its done, that's a very hard promise to keep! And I've broken it once already!

    I picked up a few cosmetic pieces at the LARS swap meet too, I decided to install them and spruce up the front a bit.
    Little did I know!
    The center grill and trim looked out of place and was smashed and dented so I had a closer look. The center trim isn't original and appears to be piece of stainless molding from some other car and is held on with some large nuts.
    I think the grill has taken a hit at some point because the replacement grill I have doesn't line up right. It looks like the two outer grills have been pushed back and are a little misshapen.

    While the old grill was out I removed neat little parking lights from behind the outer grills.
    THEN.... I put the old grill back in the car, the new setup will have to wait until I have time to pull the entire grill apart and make it all fit right.

    The headlight rings were swapped with a nicer pair.
    Hood ornament has been replaced and greased as the previous one was broken in 4 places.

    The hood center trim was replaced cos the old one had some holes drilled in it!?
    And I also replaced the outer grill trims.
    Promise well and truly broken!

    Last night I played around with some new plug wires.
    Using these terminal ends, how do the wires attach to the plug terminal?
    I have just made a tight coil of bare wire and soldered it into the end of the terminal. I'm not sure how well this will work though... any ideas?
    kidcampbell71 and kiwijeff like this.
  19. Wow Tom, that's a fine car.
  20. Race City Rodz
    Joined: Nov 29, 2010
    Posts: 466

    Race City Rodz

    Subscribed! Nice car.
  21. damn thats sweet-sure ya dont still want a 36??
  22. Hopefully I'll have a 35 coupe at some stage, I just love their swoopy fenders and lines. Thanks for the comments.
  23. you can have one now if ya decide its to wet for the rag in Adelaide
    rhd flatty etc
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  24. vonpahrkur
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 919


    nice car! Congrats!
  25. SWEET!
    Haha, thats one nice looking 36 (35?)
    Sorry though, I'm not giving this thing up any time soon.

    Does anyone know of anyone know of any other USA 1940 ford convertibles in Australia? I have seen a couple in magazine but they're the half breed aussie versions, none US.
  26. Done any more to it Tom? If so , you know we all like foders!
  27. Nothing Geoff,

    I've driven it up and down the driveway a few more times, got the lights and wipers working again. Been doing some research and trying to get my head around what’s involved in a 12 volt conversion.
    Too much work to do on the HR, then I'll get into this car.
    I'll miss out on your Australia day gig too, I fly back to work 2 or 3 days before hand. I'll try convince the olds to head along though.
    Joined: Jun 27, 2010
    Posts: 10


    Wow!! Great find, i have done 5 40's converts., all barn finds frome friends in the us, u have all the correct hardware u need for the convert. Top, 3 pcs. Screw into car above windshield, & the 3 holdown latches come in from the wooden header bar to secure the top. Latches are worth $600. Alone from bob drake parts. I have a diagram somewhere, if u need more, let me know, best regards, ron, florida snowbird
  29. Hey Ron,

    Thanks for posting. 5 convertibles! I think there's only 5 or so in my country! I'd love to see some photos of the ones you've done.

    Any chance you could dig up that diagram for me?
    I'd really like to see what one of these roof frames is made up of, especially for buying bits. I don't have much Idea of what makes up the frame.



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