The hot rod and woodie worlds are circles that intersect. We know a number of guys that have their feet firmly planted in both. It was in the woodie world a few years back that I stumbled across a compete ’40 Ford chassis. By complete I mean it included the engine, trans, rear end, brakes, wheels, tires, gas tank – everything. The old owner wanted a brand new, air-bagged, disc-braked, 350/350 chassis for his car. He didn’t want any of “that old flathead crap.” I saw it as the beginnings of a traditional coupe or roadster build, so I jumped on it.
I have a pair of original Deuce frame rails that these parts will eventually go into, so I put the ’40 frame up for sale. A customer wanted it for his ’40 coupe and let us build it for him. We set it up with split wishbones and a dropped axle, a parallel leaf rear end, and a center cross member modified to accept his modern 350 transmission.
Chassis Engineering (West Branch, Iowa) is the go-to source for the parts needed to convert these frames. CE stuff is well designed, sturdy, and proven. They call their parts “bolt-on” components, but anyone that’s built a car knows what that means. We thought you might like to follow along as we “bolt” this project together. (more…)