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Projects trying to unkill a 1940 Ford Coupe....

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by mikec4193, May 19, 2019.

  1. A little back dad took me in 1965 to the opening night at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in my then very sleepy hometown of Malta NY....I remember the colorful old coupes and coaches from those early forward 54 summers and I found this in Northern PA...the owner did not have much history on it but he thought he had a picture of it at a oval track back in the late 1950's or early 1960's...we made the deal sight unseen for me...I crossed my fingers that it would not be too rough...I keep thinking back to the era it ran probably has not seen an oval track in at least 55 years...even had a tow bar inside the cab...
    A little side note: I raced locally for 3 years first back in the early 1980's with a 6 cylinder Camaro...then more recently I did 10 seasons in 4 cylinder Dodge Neon...the numbers on all my cars were 4 or 14...the number under the primer on this old jalopy is either 4 or cool is that???
    01212_gxFbf1fzjO4_1200x900.jpg From the original Craigslist ad...
    60092861_2215798158457720_2964141258081042432_n.jpg Loaded and ready to make the haul from Allentown PA
    DSCN5006.JPG Unloaded the first night at my place...
    DSCN5052.JPG The first Sunday I had a grinder and sawzall and we are off and running...
    Before I got some of the grinding done...
    The plan I have right now is to make it a Jalopy again...but with 2 seats in it...and lights too...I am getting rid of a lot of the hodge podge 1950's engineering that has been done to it over the years...

    I had 1937 Ford coupe back in the late 1970's when I was a teenager but I squandered it as the ladies and alcohol sorta took 2 kids are all grown...been wanting a 1937-40 Ford coupe since then...I dont think I can kill this one as it is already pretty humble as it sits now...hoping this week to get ordered a parallel rear leaf spring set up back in the car...and then figure out a front wish bone set up...

    I am a totally newbie with these vintage Fords as in my former life I fooled with AD style trucks and Willys Jeeps...even had a couple VW please be patient with me...Thanks for letting me share on here....

  2. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,520

    rusty valley

    looks like a great project, will make a fun jalopy
  3. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,722

    from Oregon

    Lucky guy. My Dad raced a 1937 Chevy coupe and I would like to do a recreation of that car. Looking forward to your progress.:cool:
    Stogy and chryslerfan55 like this.
  4. jimgoetz
    Joined: Sep 6, 2013
    Posts: 384


    Looks like a lot of fun. I always wanted to build a jalopy for the street myself. I grew up a few miles from a dirt track in the 50's and every gas station around had a couple of these parked out back. Track was called Sportsman Park right on the border of Bedford and Northfield Ohio. On a summer night I could hear the cars.
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  5. DSCN5008.JPG
    Standard issue 1/2 keg gas tank
    I have been told this is a 1950's Ford truck rear end...anybody want it???
    Right rear jacking bolt / shackle mount...
    DSCN5034.JPG Right rear shock mount...gotta love this stuff...
    DSCN5077.JPG took the cage out of it... DSCN5062.JPG Top right cage weldment...
    DSCN5063.JPG Drivers side rear...this was done more right...if that is a word or not... DSCN5050.JPG with the cage out...boy do I have to find some parts to make this thing right again...I think Dennis Carpenter sells most of this stuff I will need...wanna make it so it wont flop around when we drive it...
  6. An ambitious project- but it’s a 40 and well worth the effort- looking forward to watching your build - congrats!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
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  7. Started grinding some... DSCN5024.JPG Still not sure what was going on here so...
    grinder grinder....gotta love my grinder...I actually have 2 of them...
    Sorry kinda blurry but you get the idea...
    More 1950's stuff going here...
    DSCN5085.JPG Almost looks like a Ford ears are still ringing...gotta love ear plugs...

  8. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler

    It looks like stock cars in my youth. I recall the first one I ever looked in. It lacked a floor. Later I looked in another one, and it didn't have a floor either. Must have been a local speed secret.
    Good luck!
    lothiandon1940, jimgoetz and Stogy like this.
  9. I built my 34 from an old stock car. The only body part I was able to save from the original body was the top and it had the center torched out of it. 34larrycane.jpg 34larrycane1 (1).jpg
  10. Neat! I have an old roundy-round '34 coupe that raced in the Reading, PA area in the early '60s! Wonder if they ever raced each other??? Oddly enough, mine is #14 as well.
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  11. BTW, don't toss that 3/4 ton axle. The early champ quick changes used the short side axle housing and axle shaft. Takes 2 of them to make a quick change.
  12. jimgoetz
    Joined: Sep 6, 2013
    Posts: 384


    If you are going to try to recrate the stock car look keep that rear end as long as it is any good. That was the hot set up in these cars.
  13. Cliff Ramsdell
    Joined: Dec 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,183

    Cliff Ramsdell

    chryslerfan55 and RDR like this.
  14. I missed out on a 40 Jalopy here in So Cal. It was at a Fathers Day show/swap, an old guy bought it to make it a street rod but realized it was too much, he had sold the 3/4 hub off the front but most remained.
    Didn't have the money, when I finally did get the money, I dug up the ad and the number was no longer good
    chryslerfan55 and Stogy like this.
  15. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,732

    Corn Fed

    I don't quite follow why you are cutting all that stuff off. Are you building a hot rod or a stock (dirt) car? All that "crudeness" is just part of the game. Those things were made to run and win at the track, not be pretty and win at a show. You've stated you're new to the old stuff, so you should do a little more research before you cut away all that history.
  16. Cutting away 'historical' stuff and cutting away ancient, crude, and janky fortifications are two different things.
  17. revkev6
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,351

    from ma

    that is awesome Mike! I drive a 36 coupe with a flatmotor for an old timer around here that looks very similar. it's strictly race only.

    the parts you cut off the frame near the steering box were reinforcements. I just had to add more to the ones on the 36 last summer. was very hard to turn with a manual box and 10" slicks. pulled it apart to look into my options on it and when I put my HAND on the 3/4" diameter steering shaft and turned it i could flex the frame. which is already reinforced with 1/4" plate on the outside for nerf mounts and a boxing plate inside. we put another plate along the bottom frame rail and tied it into the front x-member. that helped the flex and a bigger steering wheel helped me turn it.

    whats the plan for running gear?? flathead I hope!!!

    edit: on a side note, I raced albany saratoga in my youth in a minisprint. love that track!
  18. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,732

    Corn Fed

    As Jimgotez & Revkev6 said above, he's cutting off/discarding standard racer stuff. The steering box supports had pretty decent looking welds. And the rest of this car actually has a lot less scabbed on stuff than most racers I've seen.
    chryslerfan55, saltracer219 and Stogy like this.
  19. jimgoetz
    Joined: Sep 6, 2013
    Posts: 384


    Back in the time of this car when something was changed most likely nothing was ever removed unless it was in the way. If something cracked, plate it up and weld it. You had to race next Sunday night. Hell I bet if that frame was cleaned up and brush painted white it could have won best engineered car at some of the old dirt tracks. Ha Ha
  20. So I put a call into Weedetr trying to figure out a plan for a functional rear suspension that wont char my teeth...I have a buddy who says he knows of a barn full of 9" Ford rear ends...hoping we can go check them out this week sometime... DSCN5091.JPG
    I have never seen trailing arms and leaf springs on the same rear end...this I bet was the hot set up around 1960 or so..the rear end was not even in the correctly...I should reword that...for that era it was in just 2019..I was scared of what I saw... DSCN5090.JPG
    these jacking bolts were holding up the rear leaf spring shackle...
    the fellow I bought it from threw in this 1940 Ford sedan split rear window...not sure if I want to use it or not... DSCN5092.JPG
    I learned tonight I could move this frame alone...the rear end assembly took some grunting tho....
    Found some issues here...time to get out some flat stock and fixer up correctly...ordered some 1/8"x 8" from the local steel shop...cant wait to get her back on all fours again...

    The rear end I pulled out there is no gears in it all...not sure where to get gears for it...anybody out there know what this rear end is so I could maybe order some gears for it???
  21. Yes, use the split rear window. Great project!

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
    exterminator, chryslerfan55 and Stogy like this.
  22. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,933


    Hang on there, pardner! Before you get to doing any more cutting, welding or buying/scrounging parts, put together a plan. Step One: decide what the final car will look like when you're finished / find a photo of a car that looks like what you want yours to be. Step Two: Build the picture. This proven approach will save you a lot of time, money and disappointment...and will ensure that your project will actually get finished. Great starting point, good luck!
  23. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,352


  24. ol'stinky
    Joined: Oct 3, 2010
    Posts: 336

    from New Jersey

    I had been eyeing that thing up on Craigslist, but I knew I couldn't get it. Congrats! That thing is cool.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  25. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,732

    Corn Fed

    No dont put that split window in there. Racers had them cut big. And if you're thinking of "fixing" the cut down door dont do that either.
  26. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,439


  27. Peanut 1959
    Joined: Oct 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,857

    Peanut 1959

    Fascinating project. I'm intrigued enough to subscribe. Looking forward to more updates.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  28. Kickstarter
    Joined: Mar 2, 2006
    Posts: 664

    from NC

    Very cool! I remember going there to watch the races in the early 70's.

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
  29. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,449


    Them screw Jack things that you were referring to was a weight Jack set up for tuning the suspension...that's a really cool old Jalopy that probably had some interesting history. But none of that means anything now that its racing soul along with what made it what it was is being removed ...but it's your car to do with what you want to do...its just to bad that someone with a clue to what they have and have some appreciation for what the car represented and its history didn't get a hold of it and preserved it...since your just going to end up with a few peices of body and kind of a frame to work with , you could have found that any place and a mostly complete piece of racing history could have been saved ....but hey that's life, enjoy what ever you end up with.....

    Sent from my SM-T387V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  30. dugydog
    Joined: Nov 28, 2008
    Posts: 114


    If you are parting out some of the “goodies” on your car I’d be very interested in the sign used as a fire wall in front of the keg fuel tank.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    Cliff Ramsdell and jimgoetz like this.

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