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Old 06-28-2017, 02:33 PM   #1
Kube
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Default Rare '40 convertible restoration project

Okay, some of you guys seem to enjoy my pain so I'd thought I'd share my current project progress with you.
I wrestled this particular '40 out of the basement of a barn many years ago. While I typically complete most projects in a year or two, other things got in the way so this one has sat in the corner for most of the past nine years. I did manage to get a lot accomplished during those past years but now (finally!) I will be completing this restoration.
Some may have noticed the title of this thread, specifically the "rare". Why rare?
This is one of 111 - '40 Ford convertibles built with a factory installed Mercury engine. This one came with supporting documentation, the cowl tag, etc.
While it was quite rough when I'd acquired it, because of the extreme rarity, I simply had to have it. So, perhaps foolishly, I overlooked the monumental task before me.

My intention is to restore this car to the highest degree of quality and authenticity that I am capable of. That includes of course restoring it as the original "letter of build" clearly indicates.

My hope is to have this one ready for Dearborn, 2018.

I will make a number of separate posts this evening to bring this project "up to date".

Attached herein are photos of the vehicle upon purchase. I know, I know... "What was I thinking?"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PB190007.JPG (122.3 KB, 921 views)
File Type: jpg project 40.JPG (145.4 KB, 900 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN0437.jpg (73.0 KB, 957 views)
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kube View Post
Okay, some of you guys seem to enjoy my pain so I'd thought I'd share my current project progress with you.
I wrestled this particular '40 out of the basement of a barn many years ago. While I typically complete most projects in a year or two, other things got in the way so this one has sat in the corner for most of the past nine years. I did manage to get a lot accomplished during those past years but now (finally!) I will be completing this restoration.
Some may have noticed the title of this thread, specifically the "rare". Why rare?
This is one of 111 - '40 Ford convertibles built with a factory installed Mercury engine. This one came with supporting documentation, the cowl tag, etc.
While it was quite rough when I'd acquired it, because of the extreme rarity, I simply had to have it. So, perhaps foolishly, I overlooked the monumental task before me.

My intention is to restore this car to the highest degree of quality and authenticity that I am capable of. That includes of course restoring it as the original "letter of build" clearly indicates.

My hope is to have this one ready for Dearborn, 2018.

I will make a number of separate posts this evening to bring this project "up to date".

Attached herein are photos of the vehicle upon purchase. I know, I know... "What was I thinking?"
My God, you are really gonna have to get-on with some of that "anal-ness" I spoke about earlier to pull this one off, Kube. Just where in the heck do ya start with a mess like that? I'm kind'a convinced from your past performances that there's probably no doubt, you'll pull this one off just fine. DD
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

The actual car looks pretty straight and original.
With a new floor installed it would be half-way there.
Good luck.
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

It looks a lot better then some of the other "project" 40 convertibles i have seen for sale lately.
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

V8coopman, and SwoopNZ, Believe me, there have been PLENTY of times in the past nine years I have asked myself "Self, WTF were you thinking"? The answer nearly always came back very much not to my liking.
To kind of play "catch up" on this project I can tell all that nearly everything related to this car sans the body and paint is done. Engine, trans, well, the entire drivetrain are done. Highly detailed and awaiting installation. The interior panels, seats, dash, moldings, etc. are done. Steering column, steering wheel... the list goes on and on. There are literally 22 boxes cataloged and stored in my basement along with all the items too large to box. ALL of it is done - detailed and ready to install.
Through the years, while restoring other cars, I have managed to spend a few hours here and there on sub-assemblies for this project.
In reality, there is very little to do other than the finish body and paint. The hood and fenders already have the guide coat on them. Once the body is where I want it, I'll get the fenders and hood aligned and blocked out.
Oh, the frame still needs to be restored. I'll get that done before any paint work on the body.
The photos attached herein depict pretty much where the body currently is at.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCN2122.jpg (51.4 KB, 703 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN3518.jpg (78.0 KB, 715 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN3519.jpg (80.3 KB, 676 views)
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

That car looks like where the phrase "ambitious project" was started. Did come with the original engine?...... Mark
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

The trunk lids on this model never seem to "look right". Yep, the design (in my opinion) fell short of what it could / should have been.
To make it to my liking, this lid was actually cut in to four sections. A little "shrink" here, a little "stretch" there and this one fits about as perfect as they get. It closes and latches under it's own weight from just an inch above the catch.
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File Type: jpg DSCN3513.jpg (65.5 KB, 541 views)
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

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That car looks like where the phrase "ambitious project" was started. Did come with the original engine?...... Mark
Nope - the Mercury was long gone unfortunately.
On the fortunate side of things, I had a '40 Merc block and rebuilt it properly. Locating a pair of NOS high compression aluminum heads took a long time and lightened my wallet considerably. Still, the "build letter" specified those particular heads so another "had to have" item.
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Old 06-28-2017, 04:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

I must say how much I admire your tenacity and dedication to this important project. Many of us here in New Zealand start projects in similar or worse states than your '40. I look forward to possibly seeing it at 2018 Grand National meet in Dearborn next year.
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Old 06-28-2017, 04:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

Well done, Sir!

Keeping it with the Merc may have been a few $$ more, but it's the berries.
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Old 06-28-2017, 04:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

I'm curious what a 1940 Ford convertible cowl tag say that tells you it had a Mercury engine. I know very very little about the 40s. That's really neat.

Also, do those aluminum heads say Mercury somewhere? 99T heads or something?
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Old 06-28-2017, 05:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

"Kube": You are amazing.
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Old 06-28-2017, 05:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

Following along. I am appreciative of your build threads and seeing the progress and quality of work and detail. Thank you.

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Old 06-28-2017, 05:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

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"Kube": You are amazing.
If "amazing" means "insane"- okay... we agree.
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

Looking good!
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

Wow!!! This is great. Looking forward to seeing this car at Dearborn 2018.
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

That is a pretty engine..... I've read your posts where you mention selling the vehicles you restore. I'm curious, do you keep any? Do have an early Ford that you drive?.... Mark
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

Top notch work Kube. Good for you for saving it.
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:06 PM   #19
Kube
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Default Re: Rare '40 convertible restoration project

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That is a pretty engine..... I've read your posts where you mention selling the vehicles you restore. I'm curious, do you keep any? Do have an early Ford that you drive?.... Mark
I've saved many and sold even more. I have also done a number of them specifically for others.
To be quite frank, I have never really enjoyed driving them very much. I DO enjoy the restoration process immensely. From the research to the gathering of parts to the disassembly of each and every component to the restoration of those components and finally the assembly - the true "icing on the cake".
I know my OCD (obsessive / compulsive) behavior drives me to do this but I feel fortunate in that I am able to. Each project is a self test of sorts to see what I am capable of.
I know... strange indeed
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:12 PM   #20
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Top notch work Kube. Good for you for saving it.
I only hope this one ends up in good hands eventually. Being one of just 111, it is in a way a piece of history.
A total (all models) of 4182 - 1940 Fords were factory equipped with the Mercury engine. Most of them were Tudor sedans.
I knew of only one other convertible to exist built this way. I had witnessed it about ten to twelve years ago in New York. I have since lost track of it.

I had sold a deluxe coupe a few years ago that I had restored. That was also a documented "Merc" car. I know of only one other of those to still exist. It is near here (I ain't tellin') but is super rough. Still, it is documented since new so if and when I am able to acquire it - I most likely will.
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