Larry Lethby's 1940 Ford Coupe
(from Volume 28, Issue 342)

story by owner Larry Lethby, photos by Michael B. Kelly


The 1940 Ford has always been my favorite car. Over the years I have owned a total of 17, including my original ‘40 Ford for 60 plus years now. I am a “snow bird”, spending my winters in Davenport, Florida and the rest of the year in Ontario, Canada. I found the 1940 Ford Coupe featured here in Buffalo, New York, then went on to make it into what you see now.

The modifications start with a custom built frame by Jack Greenhaugh. It utilizes an independent front suspension with Afco coil over shocks, power rack and pinion steering, a 9-inch Ford rear end with a 4-bar link and coil over shocks, plus disc brakes all around. Stainless fuel and brake lines were used throughout, with custom made aluminum junction blocks, a stainless steel gas tank, and all button head stainless steel bolts on the complete assembly. All of the chassis components were painted and finished to show quality.

Under the hood you’ll now find a Ford Cobra 5.0 FE crate engine with a set of headers and a custom made ceramic coated exhaust system. It also has a serpentine belt system, and everything on the engine has been polished up for an attractive look when on display. Shifting duties are handled by a Ford AOD automatic transmission from Gearstar.
The classic ‘40 Ford body was left basically stock with just a few modifications, was brought down to bare metal, with the body and paint work done by Jason Albano of Wild Rides and Fabrication in Ontario. One subtle touch on this car is the use of ‘39 Ford trim, which unlike that of the ‘40 Ford is smooth without ridges. That required some custom made trim pieces, including those by the grill. The paint color is called Matador Red, and combined with the one piece windshield, trim, bumpers, custom side mirrors, and a set of chrome American Torque Thrust mag wheels really compliment the naturally beautiful lines and curves that a ‘40 Ford has.

For the finishing touches inside I went to Miller Interiors, who came up with a nice sculpted design done up in a color called Allante. The all power seats are from a Bronco, which were cut down 6-inches. The dash is from Bitchin, with white faced classic FoMoCo gauges set inside a central billet cluster, and air conditioning vents incorporated on the lower edge. The distinctive wood graining on the dash, window frames and steering wheel were done by M.J. Signs, and billet trim items were used throughout.

After many years having gone into the build I am now enjoying getting to drive the car and take it to car shows and cruise-ins, be it in Florida or Ontario, Canada. Of course my first 1940 Ford Coupe that I still have will always be near and dear to my heart....but this latest one is certainly putting a smile on my face these days too! CN