Tom and Diane Hughes have been happily married for a long time.
They have also been the happy owners of a 1940 Ford resto mod convertible that has been a part of their lives since 1980.
The car has been a constant summer companion for Tom and Diane over the ensuing 38 years. In fact, it even saw duty pulling a Boler trailer down the road for many years. “It’s a trailer princess now because it’s done its duty”, according to Diane. She noted the car pulled the trailer down the road for 100,000 miles (about 160,000 kilometers) to support her case.
Tom had a different take on the car’s trailer queen status and told MyStarCollectorCar their ’40 Ford convertible “gets better mileage behind the motorhome.” The numbers support Tom’s case because he says the motor home gets 10 mpg and the car gets 9 mpg.
The trade off between mileage and performance can be found under the hood of the ’40 Ford. It now sports a 427 big block engine that was yanked from a Corvette, along with the rest of the running gear on the ‘Vette.
Tom said the car was “bought over coffee on a Monday morning” and had an Olds engine under the hood at the time. The ’40 Ford also sported an orange paint job with a white convertible top when they purchased it.
The car was already modified when Tom and Diane became its owners but they wanted to put their own stamp on the car, so the ’40 Ford underwent another transformation under their ownership.
Their project took about five years and involved a hands-on approach by Tom because of his sizable mechanical skills and desire to be completely involved with the process.
They wanted a comfortable car that was a solid combination of performance and comfort on the road. The upgrades included power steering, power brakes (with front discs) and an aftermarket air conditioning/heating package that keeps thing comfortable when the top is up on the ’40 Ford.
The sale of the Boler trailer helped offset the costs of a “re-do” on the ’40 Ford, according to Tom. He was able to add his vision for the convertible and brought creature comforts, along with blazing performance, into the mix.
The seats were donated by a Chrysler Laser and the front end is a Mustang II kit that adds extra handling to the 78-year-old Ford.
The Ford’s convertible top is now black and the paint is now red on the car because this ‘vert has undergone a major transformation at the hands of Tom over the year.
These days the 1940 Ford is used for special events and offers everything that Tom and Diane require in a well-built resto mod project. The car can now handle cool and hot weather because of Tom’s efforts.
Diane is able to drive their 1940 Ford and knows that Tom has made their convertible into a very comfortable car over the years.
The couple have built many happy memories with their car in the past and will continue to build more happy memories with their very cool ’40 Ford in the future.
BY: Jim Sutherland
Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.
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