Custom Car Chronicle

Digital Restyling ’40 Ford Pick-Up




In the 1980’s Automotive Illustrator Steve Stanford created one of my all time favorite design sketches. A 1940 Ford Roadster Pick up as early 1950’s Kustom.

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]teve Stanford’s Illustration appeared full page in Street Rodder magazine. It was absolute perfection in my eyes then, and it still is today.  Steve designed a teardrop shaped ’40 Ford Roadster as how it could have been built in the late 1940’s as a Californian shop truck. Edsel Ford’s design restyled to the max. In the early 1990’s I even set out to built a 1/25 scale model car of this Ford, and I named it the Streamliner Pick-Up Truck. I studied Steve’s design for a long time. Looking at the long doors I assumed Steve started with a two door sedan body with the rear cut off. I figured that to make it look really good the wheel base had to be lengthened, and to make the body looks as long as it did in Steve’s Illustration, the body also needed to be sectioned, one or two inches. Obviously the front fenders are lengthened, but upon close inspection the rear fenders are also quite a bit longer. The top of the sedan was removed and a ’36 Ford restyled cowl and door tops added. The running boards removed and replaced with metal units with stainless protection bars on them. The pick up bed was something that needed to be made from scratch, or possibly an 1940’s trailer body. For the model I created I decided to use the sedan roof, reshaped a lot.

I had always hoped that somebody would be inspired to built a real car based on Steve’s designs. And at one point I believe George Poteet started the project. But I never saw it finished. Until a year or so ago I saw photos of an indoor show with a light gray-green colored 1940 Ford Pick-Up Truck based on Steve’s design. But sadly it was restyled as a Street Rod, and to me lost a lot of beauty in that process. Even though there is an amazing amount of work done on this car, a lot of the wonderful styling Steve did in his Illustration was not copied into the real car.

So… when I found a nice outdoor photo of this car online (there was no photographer mentioned, so unfortunately I cannot give credits to who took the original photo) I decided it was time to Digital Restyle the car to much closer to Steve Stanford’s original Illustration. My digital version is still not a 100% copy of Steve’s design, but it comes very close. My changes include the use of the DuVall windshield that came on the real car, and the addition of a Padded top. As for the last, I had always wondered how Steve’s version would have looked with a padded top on it, so this was a good time to create it.

CCC-streamliner-pick-up-06Steve Stanford’s original design as it appeared in Street Rodder Magazine in the late 1980’s.

CCC-streamliner-pick-up-00This is the real car as it was built inspired by Steve’s design. Nice, but to much Street Roddish and a little to boxy for my taste.

And this is the version I created styled more after Steve’s original design.

Digital Restyled

For my Digital Restyled version I started with dropping the body in the rear. I added white wall tires with Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps and ’37 DeSoto bumpers replace the thin Brizz units. Next up was the extension of  the front fender, reshaping the running board, extending the rear fender and adding a long teardrop shaped fender skirt. Next I sectioned the body a little to make the body look less boxy and the car appear  much longer overall. The doors where shortened compared to the real car, this would leave more space for the padded top B-Pillar. The pick up bed was reshaped, rounded more and extended in the back. The top of the front door line was reshaped to fit better with the angle of the DuVall windshield and the door tops were slightly reshaped to look more elegant, and not so flat as on the real car.
As last I created the padded top, which was actually pretty hard to get just right. It is a very short top compared to regular Padded Tops, plus it had to be mounted to the V-shaped DuVall windshield.

Once my Digital version of Steve’s Design was finished I decided to make it look a bit more like Steve’s original sketch and included the airplane in the background.

CCC-streamliner-pick-up-04While at it I decided to make one more image with the same base elements, but with a bit more realistic background. I changed the color on the Pick-Up to a sea-foam teal color, a hint to the SoCali Plating Comp. 1935 Ford Shop Truck.


And one more color variation, just for fun.

Now its time for somebody to actually built Steve Stanford’s version of the 1940 Ford Streamliner Pick-Up Truck. I’m looking forward to see the in progress photos…






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)

7 thoughts on “Digital Restyling ’40 Ford Pick-Up

  • stop all this Rik…haha..i keep finding new projects on my list! i sure hope i will turn 100!

  • I subscribe to the magazine and just love that truck. I would stare at it and imagine what it would look like if it was converted to a kustom. Great job Rikster. I wish your version was reality.

  • Another winner. Lots of inspiration in this for my own project. I really love the rounded shoulder tray cover. Just shows how close the streetrod guys can get and still miss the mark a metre from the try line.

  • I remember when that original illustration came out in Street Rodder. You really had to scramble for custom car information in those days. I think I bought that issue basically just for that one page!

    Your designs are great. I’m usually not that into real subdued earthtones, but that grayish version is really nice!

  • The customized version is far superior to the street rod version. I would like to see a side view of the pickup. The tailgate looks a little odd to me in the pictures here. The hump on the tailgate area needs to flow with the shape of the rear fenders more.

  • paul tomassetti

    This reminds me of that El Ray 47 pickup I was so hot for a few years ago. Awesome!

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