Featured Cars

October 28, 2016

Chuck Layman 40 Ford




Chuck Layman buys a 40 Ford Coupe in 1977. He rebuilds the car into a smooth Custom over the next 8 month. Today the car is still around, looking just like it did in 1978.

Chuck Layman recently shared some photos of his old 1958 Oldsmobile Custom with us. A car he built in the early 1960’s and one he has lost contact with since 1965. He is still trying to find out what happened to that Oldsmobile. Chuck also send us some photos and information about another great looking Custom he built and owned in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In contrary with the Olds, Chuck does  know where his old ’40 Ford Coupe custom is today, And he also would love to have this one bck, but sadly the current owner, who has owned it since around 2015 is not letting it go…. yet.

However there is one thing about Chuck’s old ’40 Ford coupe he would like to know, who originally built this car in the early 1960’s in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Chuck bout this 40 Ford Coupe in 1977 in Salem, Ohio. But back then he was not able to find out much about the car. He did find out that the car had been used to advertise the first Custom Car Show in the Pittsburgh Civic Arena, and as far as Chuck remembers, the car was even on the cover of the first program, but he has never been able to find a copy of that one. The original builder back in the early 1960’s finished the car in dark blue, and later sold after which it ended up in Salem, Ohio.

ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-01The 1940 Ford coupe how it looked back in 1977 when Chuck Layman bought it.


When Chuck bought the car in 1977, it was still painted dark blue from when it was originally finished in the early 1960’s. But time has had its toll, and all four fenders had primer spots from paint chip repair work. That did not matter from Chuck, since he planned to do a full redo of the car anyway. It took Chuck about 8 month hard work to get the car back in shape, and to the style and finish he liked. The Ford already came with a 331cid Cadillac engine, but Chuck fully detailed it before he repainted it and added a tri-power and the Std 3 speed Transmission.

ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-03The car originally came with a nice Lincoln steering wheel, which did not make it into the restored car.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-04The dash is removed and the wires are being organized, before everything is pulled out.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-02Chuck in the process of further dissembling the 40 Ford for a full resoration. The fenders have already been stripped from many layers of paint at this point.



ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-05Working on the Cadillac engine and starting to strip the paint from the fire wall (left image).


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-06Stripping the early 1960’s paint, plus everything that was underneath to get the car back to bare metal.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-07Body is in primer and the engine removed for a cleanup and new maroon paint.


He took the car back to bare metal and got the whole body as smooth as he could before sending it off to Rocky Leonhardt of Leonhardt’s Auto Body in Pittsburgh PA. Rocky did the final body work and added the antenna on the rear of the body just above the trunk. He painted the car in a deep maroon, and a fine job he did. Chuck won best paint awards with it during the time he showed it at the Custom Car shows in the late 70’s and early 1980’s.

Chuck had his old Oldsmobile upholstered by Art Meyers back in the early 1960’s and he really loved his work. Art was still in business in 1977-78. So Chuck took the Ford to Art Meyers Custom Upholstery in Pittsburgh and he redid the interior beautifully in a dark maroon. Once Chuck had put the car back together, now with a nice stance and teardrop bubble skirts for a more ’40’s Custom look he enjoyed driving and showing it for the next 5 years.

ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-08The freshly painted body back from Leonhardt’s Auto Body.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-09All back together, now with new beauty rings and teardrop bubble skirts for that more desired late 40’s Custom look.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-10The Caddy engine is beautifully finished with three carb set up and nice chrome plated valve covers.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-11The Lincoln steering wheel was replaced with a three spoke wood steering wheel, that was just a bit more “in” back in the late 1970’s. The dash is painted body color and the beautiful maroon upholstery matches the color perfectly. Fuzzy dice!!!


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-12RockyLeonhardt, the painter also did the sculpting around the antenna.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-13Close up of the sculptured antenna surround.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-14No matter which show Chuck went with the ’40 Ford, he always won a trophy.



ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-16And more trophies.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-17Local Pittsburgh newspaper report on Chuck’s 1940 Ford.


In 1983 Chuck sold the car, and after that is changed hads a couple of times more. In 2015 he got a phone call from a guy claiming to have the 1940 Ford Coupe he had restored back in the 1970’s. After sharing some photos Chuck knew for sure that that was his old ’40 Ford, and it was still looking exactly as how he had finished it around 38 years ago. The car is in very good shape and since Chuck had sold it somebody had added dual Spotlights, but everything had always been kept the same way. Stunning.

ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-18This is how the car looks now. The current owner send Chuck a few photos of his old ’40 Ford how it is sitting in the owners garage. Looking exactly as how Chuck restored it back in 1977-78. The only things that are changed are the addition of the dual Spotlights and the removal of the Fuzzy Dice.


ccc-chuck-layman-40-ford-coupe-19Even the old show sign (now hanging on the garage wall) Chuck had made is still with the car.


Chuck is trying to get his old car back, but so far the current owner has no intentions to sell it back to Chuck… time will tell.
As mentioned in the beginning of the article Chuck is still trying to find out the original history of this car. Who owned in back in the early 1960’s when it was chopped, and who chopped it in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area?

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About the Author

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)



  1. reminds me a lot of jeff ludwig/dick kohl ford. very cool car. hope at some point he’s able to get it back.

  2. what a beautiful little 40 ford rik, it sure look kool,

  3. A lot of 1940 Ford coupes don’t look good chopped. This one was done just right. Love it, thanks Rik.

  4. Wow, what a beautiful chop! A ’40 coupe can go either way and still look good…but this one makes me like them better with a haircut.

  5. I’m privileged to see and ride in this gorgeous ’40 coupe on a regular basis. My good friend Kurt Weaver from Lancaster County PA is the owner. Kurt has an amazing collection of cars and NOS parts. If interested, you may view the stuff that he has for sale at his ebay store k.weaverfamily

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