The Bill Akin Collection
$38,500 USD | Sold
| Auburn, Indiana
- Offered from the Bill Akin Collection
- All-steel Ford body shell; completed in 1980 and nicely preserved since
- Powered by a fully built Chevrolet 454 cubic inch big block
- Muncie four-speed transmission with a 1969 Dodge rear axle
- Countless custom touches and fitted with iconic hot-rodding equipment
- Moon intake, Weber carburetors, and custom aluminum wheels
- Brilliant orange paint with a classic pleated Naugahyde interior
As acquired by Bill Akin, this 1940 Deluxe coupe was remarkably rust free and straight. The all-steel car’s transformation began in 1979 and was completed in 1980. Today, it remains “as-built,” a survivor from an era of explosive interest in street rodding.
The running gear consists of a balanced and blueprinted 1970 Chevrolet 454 big block. The Moon intake manifold mounts four 48 IDA Weber carburetors and the engine is mated to a 1965 Muncie four-speed transmission. A great deal of thought went into installing the engine without cutting the firewall for clearance. Fabricating custom motor mounts and shortening the water pump were only part of the necessary modifications. The rear end is a 1969 Dodge Dart unit mounted on a pair of parallel leaf springs; the front suspension is essentially stock using a dropped axle and 1953 Ford F100 brakes. The aluminum wheels are mounted using custom machined pin drive race car style knock-off centers.
The interior remained in its stock configuration with the factory cloth replaced by pleated tan Naugahyde stitched by Chuck Bennett. The instrument cluster was upgraded to Stewart Warner gauges and Tom “Stroker McGurk” Medley donated a genuine Bell sprint car steering wheel. Rick Harris applied the brilliant orange paint to both the body and many chassis components, including the frame. The chassis was assembled with a great deal of attention to detail.
In 1980, the ’40 coupe was chosen as one of the top 25 cars at the Street Rod Nationals, received the “Best Engine” award at the Hot Rod Magazine Nationals, and was featured in their October issue. It also made the cover of the 1984 Rod and Custom annual and in 1992 was chosen by Hot Rod Magazine as one of the 20 most influential street rods built in the last 20 years. Rod and Custom magazine also included it their 1995 selection of the top 1940 Fords of all time.