Owned by Doug, Holland Landing, ON
When I was a child, I saw a movie with a 40 Ford drag racing and I said I am going to own one of those someday. Back in those days there were no cellphones or computers to scour the internet to look for cars. However, one Friday night on my way to the beer store I found an old 1940 Ford coupe by chance. Initially the older man who owned it said he wouldn’t sell it to me, but I would stop by and chat with him every Friday night. For 6 weeks we talked about cars and life, then he finally said he would sell it to me for $1800. That was September 1983, I was 19 years old.
My buddy Dave bought a 56 Ford pickup around the same time. We worked on those vehicles every single chance we got. New frame from Lincoln manufacturing, new motor, and lots of parts. For 12 years it sat in a barn basement, I wasn’t even able to go and look at it due to starting a new business, getting married in 1988, buying/building a house and having 2 kids in 90 + 92. My new life took up all my time and money.
By 2009 my wife and I had finally gotten our life to a point where we could start to work on it again. It went to John at Dream Machines in Scarborough where it was transformed from my own barn find, chicken poop and all, into the dream come true you see before you today. From a Saturday night race car to a finely finished 40 Ford we love now.
Mustang II front end with custom arms and power rack. New Big Block 502 with aluminum heads fuel injected power plant. 4L60E transmission programable with 2 settings, grocery getter and holy shit hang on. Ford 9” rear end shorted to 33” so I could fit 13” tires under the fenders. Trunk was tubbed to seal things off, coil over shocks all around. To slow it down, Wilwood breaks. 4 wheel Disk breaks all around.
3” stainless exhaust with open pipes cut outs so that you know something is going on under there for sure. Mufflers and catalytic converters to quiet it a bit and make it sound legal. Vintage AC 6 way power heated and cooled seats. Paddle shift so we don’t waste time. Line locks to get the rubber going. Custom 20” wheels on the back, 18” on front. John removed all exposed handles on hood, doors and trunk as well. To get things open we added door poppers and power windows.
We did some subtle body changes but no chopping. The color is apple red Kandy over meteor maroon. 9 coats then clear coat finish. Buffed out and gleaming in the sun. Gary from Motorama watched my car over the last 4 years, each year asking John when it is going to be completed. Last September he asked John again saying lets go and get this thing in the Motorama car show. It was put on display in the grand hall as you walked in. Our 1940 Ford Coupe was selected as one of the top 10 cars in the entire show as well winning best in class interior and best paint.
I am grateful to Gary for giving me the push I needed to get the car “done enough” and get it out to my first show while my wife was still able to make it for a few hours to share in the moment with me while we went on stage to accept the different awards. This was a journey we embarked on together and I am glad we were both there to see it through.
Tough times fell upon my family after this initial car show but through trails and tribulations John was able to take my DT 40 Ford all the way to Columbus Ohio for the Good Guys outdoor car show. Although I was unable to attend, I got constant updates about the show and my car from John. I was told it was massive with approximately 5600 cars in attendance. The DT 40 Ford was picked top 100 and then further selected into the top 12 for the hot rod of the year award. For it to be chosen and be parked beside the top American builders was a huge honor. We were the only small builder in that line of cars and the only one from Canada.
My wife and I worked 40 years to dream, design and have the awesome forty built. Running strong on the road on the 40th anniversary of me buying this car from that chance sighting and convincing that old man that I was going to do this car justice some day. Hopefully this constitutes me keeping my word to him. It was a long winding road with a lot of pot holes but it was all worth it. 50 years after a 9 year old little boy was mesmerized by the beauty of a car from a movie, I got to drive it down the road with my incredible wife riding shotgun.
Special thanks to John Edwards at Dream machines for turning my visions into reality and always finding a way. I can’t wait for the day my lifelong best buddy Dave and i get to drive our dream cars down the road together.
In loving memory of the love of my life, my wife Barb, that gave me the joy of seeing the pride in her eyes the one and only time she was able to ride shotgun in the car our life together built. We certainly drove down many unforgettable roads together over 35 years of marriage. I will smile every time I go for a drive in the DT 40 and look over knowing she will always be there riding shotgun next to me.