Home Forums CCC Forum 40 Ford convertible custom

This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Mild Mitch 1 week ago.

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    Tom Kelly

    I think it’s probably time I shared my project here on the CCC. This old 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible.
    I picked it up at the 2012 LA roadster show, I really wanted a 35 Ford roadster at the time but didn’t have much luck tracking one down so I winged it at the swapmeet and came across this 40.

    Mostly an Arizona car, in my stash of paperwork I have a title from 1947 with the owner Daniel W Howard. The car changed hands a few times from 1988 til now.
    A few different modifications and colour changes too, there is evidence of the car being dark green, red, medium metallic blue and now matte beige. The passenger compartment has previously been shortened by way of extending the catwalk, a few accessories have been shaved.
    I’ll attach the previous owners history on the car for everyone’s interest.

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    Tom Kelly

    I have been slowly tinkering away with the car, my first objective is to change the steering over to right hand drive. I live in the glorious state of South Australia where left hand drive vehicle registration requires one to be part of a restorers club and have the vehicle completely stock standard (for the most part).
    That’s no fun!
    So most of the drive swap is roughly in place, from here it’s all tidying and cosmetic work. Then customising.

    Originally I wanted to build a chopped, padded top 40. I have heaps of inspiration photos through all different years but one thing that always bugs me with 40 Ford convertibles is the length of the cabin opening, it seems too long and the deck lid looks too short and drops off too quickly. So I’d like to shorten the top a bit and still keep it functional.

    The other details I don’t have nailed down yet. The Bill Halliday and John Geraghty convertibles light my fire.
    Both are obviously missing running boards and fender skirts but still scream custom. I’d like to create something similar with my 40.

    Then there’s this unknown 40 that I shortened the roof on


    Tom Kelly

    I get distracted pretty easily so progress and updates may not come in regularly.

    I now have all the important parts to swap over to right hand drive.
    Pedals have been re-bushed and steering box rebuilt. It feels like I’ve filled a thousand holes in the fire wall and rejigged the bottom corners to accommodate the column on the other side.

    The right hand dash actually came from a fellow in North Carolina and has needed some adjusting an rust repairs.
    The convertible top I received earlier this year from Indiana. You guys know what its like chasing down tricky parts, and this is only an old Ford!

    Last night I adjusted the spotlights so they’re very close to matching and had all my major dash and pieces in place.
    This is where I’ve made it to so far.


    Rik Hoving

    oooooh I’m going to like this.

    Have you thought about leaning back the windshield a bit, as in a similar angle as the 40 Mercs?

    Enjoy the beauty of Customizing


    Tom Kelly

    Hi Rik, I hadn’t even thought of that.
    I’ve been fixated on the rear roof section this whole time!!


    Nice! Looking forward to follow this build


    Goody!  Another great project in the works!  I like your basic plan too!



    Jus' creepin' along..


    Doug Charter

    Hi  Tom …..Great  project……40 Deluxe  my favorite Ford…like that you have changed it to RHD…car will certainly have character….



    Quentin Hall

    Gday Tom, I’m just looking forward to the day when , completely by chance, you, me and Doug all arrive at the same intersection.  39 Cad, 40 Ford and 41 Cad. All customs.


    Quentin Hall

    And boy, would I be tempted to lose the running boards. The examples you show are fabulous. Stay close to them and we’ll all be drooling. Do you intend to do a chopped folding top?  I like the raked screen idea too.



    Tom Kelly

    Thanks for the positive comments fellas.

    Quentin, that sounds like a good idea. I have had a similar vague idea in my head to drive up your end of the country when this is on the road.

    I’m looking forward to the running board removal, I was also thinking adding a stylized/moulded running board like an earlier Lincoln or something straighter like a 46 Ford…….maybe. I’ll do a few photoshops and mock-ups when the time comes.


    Yep, I’m planning to chop the folding top and have been thinking about borrowing your parade boot idea to help hide it away when down.



    Great 40!  Wanted to give you an inspiration shot of a buddies 39.  He recently sold it, but had David Martinez do the padded top.  I know you mentioned keeping the top functional, but just sharing how well this one flows as you mentioned.


    Mild Mitch

    Any news on this one???



    Tom Kelly

    No news, sorry Mitch.

    In the last few years I’ve bought a small farm and have been developing that to where I want it.

    I did just finish building a workshop and I’m in the process of setting it up. I’m real close to tinkering on this again!


    Mild Mitch

    Well that sounds like a cool adventure! (your farm)

    I must say I look forward to seeing more of your project too. I have a ’40 Coupe that I hope to start on this coming year. But it will be “converted” to a Convertible.

    Best regards,


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