Interior Design — Forty Ford Dash

I believe the 1940 Ford comes in second as the most popular Hot Rod of my era. The Deuce is still king, but as age takes it toll on our bodies, the roominess of the larger Forty takes precedent for the long haul trips. The interiors of all models offer much more comfort than the Deuce. Interiors are a personal and reflect the owner’s ideas for completing his/her Hot Rod. Amenities play a big part of today’s builds. Heat, tunes and A/C seem to be the most popular items installed with power windows also being considered. While these items were never considered in my youth, they now are required items for our cruising adventures, especially on long trips across country. I still only consider tunes as a basic requirement including iPhone plug-ins and XM Radio antenna. The dash is what you look at all the time your are driving down the road so it must provide access to all of you installed amenities. Today we will look at the various dashes some people have installed.

Stay Tooned!



Click on photo for a larger image!



This is the stock dash out of my sedan. Note hand done instrument panel. One ash tray door was missing.


A quick sandblast and some DP 40 made them brand new again.


Here is your basic 1940 Ford standard dash with grille and radio block off plate installed.


The convertible and Woody dash are different and are very pricey at swap meets. This one was $1000 a few years ago but complete with gauge panel.


The stock Briarwood Brown dash is perfect for the resto – rod look.


The Delux dash is also a beautiful in the stock condition with the radio plate, clock and chrome strips installed. The correct colors are Monaida Maroon and Rose Sand metallic. Note turn signal flasher has been added.


The truck dash is part of the cowl and has a completely different look.


Bob-O had Scott cut out the stock dash and install a car dash. Lots of work buts looks great.


He used later gauges for the flathead but it all fit with some effort.


Woodgraining and paint looks good when used together.


Keeping it simple, filling the radio hole and adding the A/C vents works well also.


All wood grained components gets real busy but also adds some character to the interior.


Here is another example done in a custom color with tilt wheel and A/C vents and large unit hanging below dash.


Tim Beford of, Bedford Forties, paints the unit and it sort of disappears.


He also installs the flasher under the dash.


He places the head in the glovebox on some builds.


The CAS unit can be installed under the radio plate also.


Tim has built several forties and has these features he developed over the years.

1940 ford 009

The 1940 Ford dash offers some opportunities for hidden features. The A/C vent is concealed behind the flip up radio block off plate.

1940 ford 011

The radio grille can hide a multitude of items in a stash box from Deans or make your own.

1940 ford 012

The ash tray covers can hide the A/C vents also. Magnets are used in this example.

Instrument Clusters


Lee Kelly upgrades the stock panels to 12 volt and does a professional job.


Most people like the standard face plate the best.


The delux version has been replaced with a chrome housing for the Hot Rod look.


Custom units are available from several sources.


Compare this unit to the ones above. The best!

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