Custom Car Chronicle

Restyling the 1940 Ford Coupe


Turning a “tall top” 1940 Ford coupe into a streamlined tail dragging Custom Car.

The 1940 Ford coupe has never been used a lot for customizing a lot. There are a few nice once done in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and even in more recent years. But the very high, forward angled top and the short doors of the 1940 Ford coupe made it rather hard to customize with the right flowing lines. I was working on a clients digital customizing project 1940 Ford and found this nice side view photo. It is always hard to find good side views and even though this one found on the internet was rather small, it was good enough to work with. When the clients project was finished I decided to use the same image for an idea I have in my head for a long time.

A 1940 Ford coupe with long (possibly sedan) door and a much longer roof line. Almost like a 1941-48 Ford long door coupe body combined with the 1940 Ford body. Perhaps it could be possible to use a 1941-48 Ford top, but in my case I wanted to use the 1940 Ford body and just reshape it to create better line.




What was done on this Digital Restyling 1940 Ford project.

  1. Get the car lowered, skirts added and new hubcaps and better looking tires.
  2. Stretching the doors, till the side window opening length had the desired look.
  3. Angle the rather upright 1940 Ford A-pillar back to give the car some better lines.
  4. Roughly cut the top in sections and reposition them to create a longer smoother roof.
  5. The rear was lowered a lot more than the front of the roof.
  6. Shorten the section of body from the trunk to where the top starts.
  7. Slightly pie-cut sectioned the body from the belt-line to to bottom of the side windows.
  8. Reshape the side and rear quarter windows till the shape looked good and matched the shape of the top.
  9. Adding details like shortened side trim, teardrop fender skirts, ’46 Ford bumpers.



CCC-1940-Ford-Coupe-RH-00-WStarting photo of a hot rodded 1940 Ford coupe with a way to busy background. (notice the one piece front end with separation lines on the front fender).


CCC-1940-Ford-Coupe-RH-02-WThe first version I did was an early 1950’s feel with Sombrero hubcaps and complete smoothed body.


CCC-1940-Ford-Coupe-RH-01-WI also wanted to see how the car would look when done in the mid 1940’s. Single bar hubcaps, Appleton spotlight and doorhandles.


CCC-1940-Ford-Coupe-RH-05-W(added on June, 2015) After an online discussion about the design I made a few more refinements to the design. Reshaped rear quarter window, echoing more of the original 1940 Ford rear quarter window shape. And I moved the rear quarter window back an inch, perhaps a little less. So that the very narrow B-pillar behind the door opening of the original 1940 Ford is now about the same with as the door pillar on the A-pillar. This gets the whole look of the B-pillar a bit better in balance. To be able to do this I had to move back the whole roof a bit as well, otherwise the C-pillar would get to thin.


CCC-1940-Ford-Coupe-RH-03-WThis combination of base photo and early design stage shows how much had to be altered to the body to make it look like as in the finished design. When everything was done the busy background was removed to show the lines of the car better.


My good friend Wolf always wanted to see how a well proportioned 1940 Ford three window coupe would look like. For this 3- window coupe the roof shape was modified with a bit more bulge at the back. and the back portion of the roof was moved forward a little over the earlier 5-window version. The doors were also lengthened to get the side windows more in proportion with the new top shape.


CCC-1940-Ford-Coupe-RH-04-W1940 Ford 3-window version.

[box_light]Want to see more? Take a look at some other Digital Restyling projects by Rik Hoving Kustoms on the Custom Car Chronicle site.[/box_light]



Are you day dreaming about your own perfect dream custom?

  • Do you wonder what your precious car would (or could!) look like, even before you start cutting on it?
  • Would you like to see different paint variations and styled on your custom car before you even start to mask the car, or order that expensive new paint?¬†
  • Or would you like to see the difference of a 2, 3 or 4 inch chop and see the impact it will have on the rest of the car?
  • Maybe you want to see any other modification done to your custom car, without having to actually perform that modification and find out a different modification would have worked better with the rest of your car?

Do you suddenly see all the possibilities? Perhaps now is a good time to contact Rik Hoving and ask him about the possibilities of his digital Restyling options. Request are free of any obligations.




(this article is sponsored by)



Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

10 thoughts on “Restyling the 1940 Ford Coupe

  • I like these “Digital Restyling” posts Rik! Keep em’ coming. Really fun and interesting to see the differences of an before and after picture.

    The longer doors really gives the coupe a whole different look. Makes you wonder why they even went with the short doors on them at all.

    And I really recommend asking Rik about “Digital Restyling”. It’s a big help for those “what if” ideas you get all the time for your ride.

  • Hi Rik !
    OUFFF , how many years have I waited for this , a -40 Ford club coupé , yes yes and yes ,love averybit of it , due to long door its possible to get the top skin and door sidewindow to peak in the center of the door , such lovely proportions , who will be first to whip this into reality . You made my day already but might I ask for a hardtop version and a 3W ? Big thanks for showing this , dynamite stuff !!!

  • Wow! I think this is by far the best looking chopped 39/40 Ford coupe I ever seen. If I had seen it in real life I would probably guessed that somebody had merged a 41-48 coupe roof to the body. Hopefully somebody will go ahead and make this concept real, it’s a winner. By the way, my vote goes to the 5 window version.

  • Good taste is timeless.
    I agree that had this car actually existed,
    1946-51 period,
    it would have been a trendsetter.
    As the three-window is easier to accomplish,
    my choice would be for the much more labor intensive and stylish
    five-window/opera coupe iteration.

  • very very nice Rik! very similar in profile to the Donn Lowe built Futurama 40 i think.

  • I find that nothing compliments a chop on these and later fords of the 40s is letting the front screen up into the header panel about an inch. Its makes the transition from the front glass around to the side much cleaner. Just did this to my 41 phantom p.u.

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