- *Fat Man frame
- *350cid V8
- *700R4 automatic transmission
- *Ford 9 inch
- *Vintage Air air conditioning
- *2008 restoration
In 1940, a top of the line Ford De Luxe wagon was considered a symbol of success and prosperity. And thanks to their hefty $950 price, these cool and extremely useful cargo haulers were a rare sight even in their heyday. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has not been kind to their wood bodies over the years, and most that survive have been relegated to carefully stored concours level trailer queens which rarely see road time. But every once in a while we run across one that has been so well restored it can pull duty as both a show car and a weekend toy. This fully detailed, road ready 1940 Ford De Luxe is a real deal, all steel wagon that wraps a potent small block Chevy engine, a modern sport tuned suspension, a custom boxed frame and updated interior amenities in one of the coolest bodies ever produced.
With its attractive styling, the 1940s De Luxe series has always been a rare and highly desirable piece; and not surprisingly, rodders and customizers have made it into a cultural icon. In 2008, this authentic 1940 De Luxe wagon was completely restored by Treehouse Woods Automotive Woodworking and used as a mold for high quality fiberglass replicas which they continue to sell today. The refurbishing took almost two years of skilled bodywork and carpentry which included rebuilding the wood body with correct Birds Eye Maple that looks just as nice today as when it rolled out of Fords Iron Mountain manufacturing facility. After the carpentry was complete, the streamlined '40 Ford nose and fenders were covered in GM code B89451F Light Mesh Brown which mixes the best attributes of a classic Almond Yellow with the warm and smooth qualities of a modern tan urethane. Today, this gnarly wagon is a high gloss, well varnished piece of Americana which displays top notch build quality from its traditional bear claw door hinges to its finger jointed trim pieces.
At the nose of the car, streamlined styling flows from a flat-topped hood that reaches high into the air serving as the main focal point for the car's front end. Below the hood, a stainless grille flows along the hood line to the bumper and is flanked by Ford Deluxe exclusive body colored grilles that feature horizontal stainless dividers. Below the grille a curved chrome bumper shines like new and complements fender mounted, new for 1940 sealed beam headlights that are heavily trimmed in chrome. Stainless trim that runs from the grille to the windshield incorporates a hood latch with a painted red “V8” script. At the sides of the hood, streamlined stainless trim runs from the corners of the grille to awesome curved rearview mirrors and sits above chrome “Ford De Luxe” emblems that are outlined in red. The divided windshield features new glass trimmed in stainless and two stylized chrome wipers that are anchored to the cowl at the center of the windows. Above the windshield, a new fabric top runs the entire length of the wood panel body and parallels new covered running boards and new chrome door handles all around. At the back of the car, a brown spare tire holder includes a chrome hubcap and trim ring, and sits above another show worthy chrome bumper. Correct chrome trimmed tail lights with chrome loomed wires sit on body colored mounts and complement a locking gas cap complete with a Ford script lock cover. Traditional body matched steel wheels with chrome center caps, chrome trim rings and red “Ford De Luxe” stampings sit at all four corners and wear 205/70/14 front and 235/75/15 rear Firestone wide white wall tires.
While this Ford De Luxe wagon isn't a hot rod or custom in the strictest sense of the word, it has been modified to provide a better performance. Flip up the hood latch and you'll find a 350 Chevrolet crate engine sitting snuggly between glossy Light Mesh Brown inner fenders. A chrome air cleaner sits on top of a Weber 4 barrel carburetor that is complete with stainless fuel lines, a visible fuel filter and Lokar linkages in braided sleeves. Under that carburetor, a chrome Edelbrock Performer EPS intake looks great between chrome valve covers complete with a chrome Moroso breather. At the rear of that intake, a chrome sleeved coil sends power to a points distributor which feeds loomed Accel Super Stock wires. The chrome theme continues at the front of the motor with fresh belts driving a chrome alternator, a chrome AC compressor, a chrome water pump and a chrome power steering pump with braided hoses via Billet pulleys. A Griffin aluminum radiator is sandwiched between a crank driven flex fan and a nose mounted electric fan and features a chrome overflow tank. At the sides of the motor, stylish Sanderson exhaust manifolds sit next to a Painless Wiring harness on the left of the car and fresh hoses for the air conditioning on the right of the car. There's plenty of power at any RPM thanks to the reliable 350 and all necessary components are in place for trouble free motoring.
Armed with the knowledge that woodies require a lot of special structural support for their organic bodies, the owner of this classic Ford started with a boxed Fat Man frame and built in a ton of modern drivability. Housed behind the motor you'll find a newly refurbished 700R4 automatic transmission that provides effortless cruising and good fuel economy. The transmission feeds power to a bulletproof Ford 9 inch rear end that houses stout but street friendly 3.73 gears. At the front of the car, a double A-arm suspension houses tubular control arms and stainless coil over shocks. And at the back of the car, you'll find a factory leaf suspension complete with a heavy duty sway bar. A frame mounted brake booster sends power to front GM disc and rear GM drum brakes and combines with power steering to make for easy turning and stopping. Fuel is supplied to new stainless fuel lines from a new stainless gas tank and exhaust flows from the Sanderson manifolds into a true dual system with great sounding turbo mufflers. Aesthetically, the bottom of this wagon looks good with satin black floors, a satin black frame with stainless hardware and a semi-gloss driveshaft and axle.
Inside this cool wagon you'll find 1940s era luxury that has been accented with a host of modern updates. The maroon leather bench seats are in excellent shape and combined with the like new maroon carpet, floor mats and kick panels contrasts nicely against the Birds Eye Maple body and Light Mesh Brown dash. In front of you, the body matched dash features stainless brightwork and aftermarket Haneline gauges in a nice turned aluminum gauge panel. Below the dash, aluminum knobs for the Vintage Air air conditioning system are housed in a Birds Eye Maple enclosure above chrome trimmed foot pedals. A body matched steering column includes a shifter for the 700R4 and a banjo style steering wheel with a “V8” hood button that has been customized to include a Birds Eye Maple rim. Door panels are simple wood pieces with Birds Eye Maple housings for manual chrome door handles and up/down grab handles for the Autolock power windows. Open the glove box and you'll find controls for the SecretAudio sound system that is complete with Eclipse speakers mounted under the dash. In the back cargo area, custom Birds Eye Maple boxes house more Eclipse speakers below a crank out rear window. The interior is striking but simple, and no corners were cut in making it comfortable and driver friendly.
Documentation for this Ford De Luxe includes a copy of the original owners New York registration, summarized restoration receipts that total over $100K, and recent maintenance receipts.
If you're looking for a unique ride with some of the best modern car technology money can buy, you've found the right car. This 1940 Ford De Luxe wagon is exceptionally well done and utilizes top shelf components for a completely street ready ride and looks spectacular from any angle. I can't think of anything more unique, and chances are you're not going to find anything cooler for the money. Call today!
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