Bring A Trailer NO RESERVE auction preview: Desirable two-door, locally built Hot Rod, ideal for further refinements.
1940 Ford Opera Coupe Hot Rod
VIN – 18534467
Exterior Color – Maroon Metallic
Interior Color – Blue Velour
Engine – 302 cu. in. Ford V8
Transmission – 3-speed automatic C4
Current Miles – 8,794 miles TMU
Owner Purchase – Current owner purchased in 2015
The American Hot Rod is one of the most innovative and individualized automotive genres of personal expression. Custom cars, Street Rods, Lead Sleds, and T-Buckets all contribute to the creative world of hand-built hot rods, spanning more than 70 years. Despite the passing years, the 1940 Ford remains among the most popular vehicles in this genre. Looking at the streamlined body design today, it’s hard to imagine these cars were developed only a decade after the Model T had concluded production. What Ford accomplished in technical and design advances in that ten-year period was nothing short of groundbreaking.
Advances in design and engineering included full fenders, integrated running boards, a smooth dashboard with multiple instrumentation, comfortable seating, and durable V8 power. The Opera Coupe could be ordered in Standard or Deluxe trim with the primary feature being sideways positioned rear “jump” seats which would offer interior seating for two, highly favored over inclement weather rumble seating. Opera Coupes were popular as young family cars offering rear seating for children and a full-sized trunk. Over time, the 1940 Ford has become highly sought after in the hot rod community, especially all steel factory bodied Coupes and rare Opera Coupes.
History and Build Details of This Car
This 1940 Ford Coupe was purchased by the current owner in 2015 from a family member who had owned it since 2005. Under current ownership the owner reports that he has driven it 2-3 times per month, further indicating that it never broke down or overheated while driving it. The owner considers the car to be a very pleasant weekend driver.
The steel body features a raked “Bigs and Littles” stance (larger diameter rear tires), lowered body position over radiused wheel openings, and a combination of mild modifications while retaining the stock Ford appearance and original body trim. The 302 V8 engine and modern 3-speed C-4 automatic transmission with auxiliary transmission cooler, runs a full-length driveshaft to a solid rear axle on blocked rear leaf springs, standard type modern shocks, and drum brakes. The front suspension features coil-over shocks suspended by modern Ford Mustang II A-arms and front disc brakes. The brakes are assisted by a twin reservoir power booster mounted to the firewall.
The 302 V8 engine is outfitted with tube headers which exit to dual exhaust, twin central mufflers, and pencil tipped straight pipes dropped under the rear bumper. The engine features Edelbrock finned aluminum valve covers, a modern alternator and 12V system, and modern ignition. A four-barrel Edelbrock carburetor and Edelbrock air cleaner complete the engine compartment.
Service records accompanying the car include the purchase of 15x8 and 15x7 steel wheels, trim rings and caps, a new battery box, rebuilt custom C4 transmission, ¾” Tru Cool transmission cooler, and various Napa parts engine accessories purchased to complete the engine build. The engine build invoice notes machining and specs dated 2009 including cam bearings, main bearings, valve job, block hone, and assembly. Invoices from 2011 further outline the Mustang II upper and lower control arm kit, suspension bushings, sway bar bushings, and gas deluxe shocks as well as front suspension and steering installation in 2012. In 2016, a new master cylinder, new Delco battery, new front brake hoses, new rear wheel cylinders, and new front calipers were installed. With 8,763 miles indicated, the last service included new spark plugs, tune up, new water pump, new battery, and the installation of a new timing cover, new timing chain, and gears. The car currently indicates 8,794 miles on the odometer.
Today this Ford Hot Rod features a glossy exterior finish with various vintage trim and emblems in good condition. The paint has aged well but there are chips and various paint imperfections notable upon close examination. The doors, hood, and deck lid all open and shut with typical fit for cars of this vintage. The body is in generally good condition including the body rake, wheel position and stance. The grille and chrome center hood trim, sculpted belt line trim, and chrome door handles are consistent with driver-level presentation. The chrome headlight trim, side view mirrors, and distinct chevron taillights convey nice touches. The twin pane V windshield, side glass, and rear glass are also in good condition. The car sits on matching painted steel wheels Radial GT 195/60R 15 front and 215/65SR 15 rear tires.
The interior is finished with comfortable cruising in mind. Gently crushed velour material has been used for the seats, headliner, door panels, and surrounding rear compartment and jump seats. The painted black dashboard is fronted by a Lecarra leather wrapped steering wheel, while the floor shift selector engages the C4 automatic transmission. A set of five matching contemporary VDO instruments are clustered in a satin silver bezel. A set fan and heat knobs are mounted under the dashboard for defogging the windshield and two modern seatbelts are installed for the front seats. The trunk is finished with matching black carpeting with modern wiring loomed to a section of the trunk floor concealed under the carpet.
Under the hood, the 302 V8 engine is accessible and built with modern components easily serviced or replaced through local car parts centers. The underside of the car is in good condition, reflective of original 1940 construction and modern updates most of which appear to have been performed in the early 2000s.
The car starts, stops, runs, and drives well. Although the build was performed by a hot rod/street rod enthusiast, this example should not be considered a professional build and, as is the case with many personal hot rods, we recommend a professional builder review the car prior to long-range driving or high-performance motivated use.
The car is titled in the name of the owner on a clear California title with a matching California authorized metal replacement identification number riveted to the firewall. A California Car Cover is included with the car.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608