Several years ago I was on the hunt for a 1940 Ford cowl and floorpan with big ideas of building a Hot Rod Woody. I located several but concentrated on one in northern California that my friends knew about. They checked it out and though it was a good start. I pondered over the project and finally told my friend Jim about the hulk and he purchased it for his project. These type of projects at my age and budget are out of my reach but Jim knew what he wanted and has stuck with the project over the past few years. The project 40 Woody is being handled by the capable Reed’s Rides and Design and is a complete masterpiece in metal work and design esthetics. Ryan not only has the eye but the skills required to tackle such a project. Not many Woodies are built to the specifications that Jim required, so the end result will surely be a stunning award winning 1940 standard Woody.
To many, the 1940 Ford Woody is the creme de la creme of woodies and most sought after by those who prefer the smaller size. The 46-48 Ford Woody is the one you see the most of at the meets and are more plentiful to locate. I like both models and I think the new wood is about the same price for either year. The good wood cost about $50K completed and varnished which makes a new woody very expensive to build. Time is also important, as the good shops, like Chris Messano Woodworks, has a waiting list that you must get on to obtain the wood. Jim will also have Chris do some custom woodwork on his 40 that will make it stand out even more from the restored versions. Today, I will provide you with the current status of the project and I’m sure you will be amazed at the quality of the work that has gone into this lengthy project. Masterpieces are not created over night but I think we will see some paint this year on this marvelous 1940 Woody.
“2017 is going to be the best yet!”
click on photo for a larger image
Starting with this obscure piece of history Jim and Ryan planned the ultimate 1940 Woody build. Little did they know they would have to hand fabricate almost all new sheet metal to fit the final design by Ryan.
Some details of the chassis work shows expert design and execution of the lines and exhaust.
Lots going on here and considerable time spent making sure it all fit.
The chassis is complete using stock rails and custom tubular cross members of Ryan’s design.The Ford Boss 429 is from Kasse Racing Engines and has “excess horsepower(600 +)” as Jim put it!
The rear end is ultra tough to handle the horsepower put to the rear wheels by the mega motor. Jim likes to go fast.
Fitting the Boss into the tiny engine compartment required a new firewall fabricated by Ryan. Note how clean everything is during the build.
The firewall was custom made by Ryan to fit the new engine.
Considerable time was spent making patterns and fitting the seat to the planned floorpan.
Early mock up show how Ryan obtains the stance before moving forward with the build. Wheels (Real Rodders) and tires are a critical part to making it “right!”
The initial layout, showing the bead patterns, gives and idea of what the finished product will look like.
The completely fabricated floors, firewall and tunnel were all pieces of art prior to being welded together.
The final step was to shorten the grille and front fenders. No small task.
The grille and fenders required surgery to provide the look and clearance. The yellow line shows the cut line.
Ryan spent considerable time messaging the gaps to perfection. He added metal, weld beads and a little tweaking to make them consistent.
Making the gaps perfect requires some welding along the lip to clean it up. No details overlooked on this build.
Fitting the inner fender panels so they look like they came that way is handled nicely by Ryan. He will add a tip to the opening to make it look factory.
The front end is now complete and everything fits like it should. The standard grille is just stunning on this Woody.
The 3/4 rear photo really enhances the stance. A modified stock seat frame will be used by Gabe. Note that all fenders were reworked to make them “right!”
A close up of the dash shows the Classic Instrument gauge panel and smooth metal work by Ryan.
A special panel was fabricated to hold the A/C unit which bolts to the firewall.
The Project 40 Woody as it appears today. Note the shortened grille and fenders.
The final color will be a shade of blue with contrasting interior and beautiful Messano Wood.