Updated in preparation for the unpredictability of the automotive industry in the Second World War, the 1941 Ford daw massive commercial success until 1948 thanks to affordable pricing, many options, and a lot of body styles. This particular two-door coupe, however, is a far cry from the original model both inside and out.
Offered by Duffy’s Classic Cars with an all-steel body, the old-timer Deluxe Coupe is now a full-fledged hot rod with General Motors small-block power instead of the Flathead engine that democratized the V8 back in the day. The 5.7-liter motor is joined by a Performer-series Edelbrock carburetor as well as an electric choke.
Shifting comes courtesy of a Turbo 350 three-speed automatic transmission and a Lokar shifter, and all of the suck-squeeze-bang-blow goes to a 3:73 posi-style differential for the Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck rear end. Disc brakes on all four wheels, power steering, dual exhaust, and a chrome alternator are also featured.
Painted in Tuxedo Black with custom flames, the 1941 Ford sweetens the deal with a leather interior with dual power seats from Mercedes-Benz. The one-of-one restomod retains the split front windshield of the original yet the bumpers have been deleted in the process. The hot-rodding theme continues with 15-inch steelies that match the flames on all four corners, wrapped in 205/70 and 255/60 rubber shoes, respectively.
Introduced in the latter part of the 1930s, the DeLuxe – a.k.a. De Luxe – was meant to differentiate the Standard line of Ford passenger cars from Lincoln. This fellow here, however, is anything but standard or deluxe.
First things first, let’s talk underpinnings. The 1940 model in the photo gallery and following video doesn’t feature a Flathead V8 but a 427 stroker engine professionally assembled by a shop in Idaho. Based on a 351 block, the 7.0-liter blunderbuss is complemented by a Holley carburetor as well as an Air-Gap intake system from Edelbrock.
Stylish valve covers and polished breathers are also featured, along with a chrome-capped Walker radiator, Russell lines for the deep-sump oil pan, and a smoothed firewall. Wherever you look in the engine compartment, the attention to detail beggars belief. But the motor isn’t the only hardware-related upgrade.
I’ve long maintained that the best driving early Fords were made between 1936 and 1940. They ride fine, they handle great, and they stop predictably. Add a little power to the flathead and you’ve got everything you need for a daily driver that is pretty reliable and really easy to fix when shit does do what it does – break.
By contrast, the shoebox Ford doesn’t steer or stop nearly as well and later 50’s Fords don’t really handle at all. So, in my book… the sweet spot is that four or five years that ended the 1940’s.
This morning I was thinking about all of this when “32csr” posted an add in the classifieds for a 1940 Deluxe Convertible. It’s a survivor off the west coast and it ticks every damned box. The beauty of an untouched car is that no one has screwed it up yet and you get the honors all to yourself. Simply take that near perfect early Ford engineering and do your best not to confuse things while you:
Her name is Debbie Walls and she has contributed to the upgrade of thousands of street rods over the past three decades. Maybe yours. Debbie and her husband, Skip, are the founders of Lokar Performance Parts as well as hard-core hot rod enthusiasts. It’s always interesting to find out what the people who create performance and dress-up products for our hobby, people like Skip and Debbie, have in their personal corral. In their case, the list has been long and includes race cars and muscle cars in addition to street rods.