Tom Nichols' 1940 Ford Convertible
(from Volume 18, Issue 204)

Since he was a kid, Tom Nichols has always had a love for cars and motorcycles. So it was only natural that when he grew up, he wound up owning two gas stations in Michigan during the 1960’s. Then in 1971 he sold both gas stations and bought a motorcycle shop in Michigan. After 32 years of successful business, the motorcycle shop was sold in December of 2003, and Tom promptly started building a house in Middleburg, Florida in 2004. However, with the hurricanes that had swept through the area there was a shortage of building materials during the recovery, so it wasn’t until 2005 that he was able to make the permanent move to the sunshine state.

While he always had some kind of hot rod or classic car, in the 1980’s Tom finally decided that he liked 1940 Fords the best. At the time he had a 1937 Ford Coupe, so he sold it in 1983 or 1984 to buy a 1940 Ford Coupe street rod. After years of enjoyment with his Coupe, in 1993 or 1994 he fell in love with the 1940 Ford Convertible you see pictured here, and just had to have it. So he sold the Coupe (and more), to buy the Convertible. Funny thing is, as much as he loved the Convertible, he also missed the Coupe. So in 2005 he bought another ‘40 Ford Coupe....but this time kept the Convertible, too.

Tom’s all steel 1940 Ford Convertible has a nice yet driveable stance, and draws plenty of looks thanks to the Chrysler Currant Red and Midnight Currant Red two-tone paint, with a subtle graphic on the side, and a set of Budnik wheels. During the spring of this year Tom installed a fresh 350 Chevy motor (so for those keeping score, the car has a Ford body, Chrysler paint, and a Chevy Motor). The small block has a set of headers, is accented with plenty of plated and polished parts, and was also updated to a serpentine belt system from Zoops. For shifting duties Tom contacted Don Marcone at Fourth Gear, Inc. out of Eustis, Florida, who built a 700R4 overdrive transmission for the car. Inside you’ll find cream vinyl and maroon tweed, billet accent items, a Banjo style steering wheel, and white faced gauges. The car has power windows, steering and brakes, plus Tom told us that he has purchased a new Vintage Air unit, which is going to be installed in the car soon.

In addition to the ‘40 Ford Convertible and Coupe, Tom’s wife also has a 1965 Pontiac GTO Convertible. Tom really drives the cars, and has been all over the country in them. In fact, he just came back from Goodguys in Columbus, Ohio with the ‘40 Ford Convertible, and will have returned from the NSRA Nats in Louisville, Kentucky by the time you read this - Driving it there and back for both trips. We know that whenever a big show happens in Florida, we can count on seeing Tom there - Which is always a nice addition. CN