Garret Walther's 1940 Ford
1940 Ford coupe owned by Garret Walther of Stockton, California. The coupe was Garret's first car, and he bought it in 1955. At the time he was a senior in High School in Stockton. A friend was selling the car because he bought a 1941 Ford coupe that he wanted to race at the drags.
1952 Chrysler engine
When Garret bought the coupe, it came without an engine, so his brother Clyde came up with the idea to install a 1952 Chrysler Fire Power engine in the car. They ordered a used engine from a wrecking yard in Los Angeles. "The plan was to keep the 1939 Ford transmission and buy an adapter plate," Garret told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2020. "Bad idea. We picked up a welded steel adapter from a Bay Area shop. Looking back it was crude...we should have looked into a cast aluminum plate. I imagine cost was a factor."
Lots of torching required
Garret remembered the engine being installed with lots of torching of the firewall for clearance. "But, brother Clyde got it running and we hit the streets of Stockton. Of course, we added a dropped axle with big and little tires to get the right stance. And dual exhaust exiting in front of the rear wheels, under the running boards." Garret ran 5.50-15 tires up front, and 8.20-15 in the back. It was dressed up with Baby Moon caps and whitewalls.
According to Garret, the car ran well, but the clutch kept going out. "We could replace it and it was good for a few months before making weird noises. All due to misalignment of the adapter."
After a while, Garret gave up and started looking for a trade. Luckily a friend owned a 1950 Oldsmobile fastback, and a deal was made in 1958. "No cash involved!" The new owner switched to a cast adapter and proceeded to drive the car for several more years. In 2020 Garret had no clue what became of the '40 Ford after that.
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