Why the 1940 Ford was a Masterpiece

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What makes the 1940 Ford so special? It’s not simply that you can see and feel the inspiration for future automobiles or marvel at their historical significance. What really makes this old car so special is its charming modern design for the time and its simplicity.

The simplicity that made this car so unique has been lost as automobiles have become more complex. However, there’s something about driving this older vehicle that brings a thrill. The 1940 Ford symbolizes an age where “bigger” didn’t mean “better.” It is proof that you can have an inspiring car without all the electronics.

The Design of the 1940 Ford

The 1940 Ford had a style all of its own. It resembled a car designed for speed and comfort more than anything else, which wasn’t necessarily the case in the boxy cars of the 1930s.

There’s no denying that the 1940 Ford was ahead of its time.

Its distinctive look started at the grille and ended at the following rear end. Some people say it has a shapely look, like a woman, and that rings the bell of many collectors.

It was an aerodynamic-looking car, something anyone would be proud to drive.

Groundbreaking 1940 Ford Features

The 1940 Ford had some groundbreaking features, especially in a car in this price range, which was $720-$955.

  • The 1940 Ford could be started in two different ways. You could start the car by using the starter pedal, which you would press until the engine starts. Or you could also use the hand crank. Either way, it doesn’t take much effort to restart after it’s stopped.
  • The 1940 Ford featured a parking brake which was operated with a foot pedal. This helped keep the car from rolling.
  • The trunk was accessible by folding down the back seat.
  • It featured a windshield wiper to help remove water from the front window, a rare option back in the day.

The 1940 Ford had power, reliability, and comfort for its day.

The 1940 Ford Drive Train

There were three engine options:

  • Inline 8 90-degree | 135.0 cu in. | 60 HP
  • V 8 L-Head | 221.0 cu in. | 85 HP
  • V 8  L-Head | 239.0 cu in. | 95 HP

There was only one transmission option, a 3-speed manual sliding gear.

How the 1940 Ford Entered the Hot Rod World

The hot rod world was made possible by this car. The fact that this car was once associated with gangsters and prohibition also made it appealing to people who liked to make movies about those eras. This lifted the 1940 Ford’s street cred.

1940 FordAnother reason why this car was so popular among hot rod enthusiasts is because of the car’s origins. The original design came from Edsel Ford himself, and he had to fight his daddy, Henry Ford, to get it into production.

The 1940 Ford has become a popular vehicle for car enthusiasts to recreate in their own way. By the  1950s, these beautiful cars were cheap and abundant (541,896 of all models), so hotrodders had a field day customizing bodies and engines.

Probably the first car to be painted with flames was a 1940 Ford. Ed “Pops” Hetrick owned it, and it’s still on display at his museum in Pennsylvania. This car, and others like it, were often seen as the first real hot rods. They also helped pave the way for more recent custom creations.

As you can tell, the 1940 Ford was a true masterpiece. Both stock and as a tricked-out hot rod, they are beauty on wheels.

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