Friday, January 13, 2012

The Danny Hall 1940 Ford Coupe - another surviver

By Dick Page and Rik Hoving

This is how Danny Hall's 1940 Ford Coupe looked
when it was featured in Custom Cars July 1958

This 1940 Ford coupe was owned by Danny Hall of Tacoma, Washington when it was featured in the magazines. When Danny bought this 1940 Ford he had great plans with it… Full custom was the only way to go for him. So Danny contacted Schneider's Custom Shop in Tacoma to do the heavy work for him. The top on Danny's coupe was chopped 3 inches, with the windshield raked back at a very pleasing angle. The drip rails remained, but where shortened around the rear side windows. Unusual for a chopped 1940 Ford the rear window was chopped as well. The hood was welded and nosed, the trunk decked and the rest of the body trim was also removed. Electrical solenoids where installed to open the doors and trunk from the dash. Danny used a 1941 Lincoln front bumper bumper and an 1950 Chrysler bumper at the rear. The license plate surround comes from a 1953 Studebaker. A very nice Custom parts that is not used a lot. He installed the Studebaker taillights, and those are the best looking taillights for any 1940 Ford Custom.

The Studebaker license plate surround on the rear bumper

Wonderful flow of the top and this view also shows the
shortened drip rail

The interior in Danny's Coupe was done in red and white naugahyde in a very nice but unusual tuck & roll upholstery pattern. The body was painted in a really deep Titian red lacer. Danny installed some new smooth hubcaps, but a set with a nice revile in them to give the car just a bit more flash, but not to much. I think he made a perfect choice with those. The car already came with a set of spotlights, so they where put back on. Back in the 1940's and 1950's you needed to have a set of Appleton S-112 or S-552, but those seamed to be less popular in the later part of the 1950's. A lot of the cars started to use Dummy spots from Cal Custom or other aftermarket companies. But Danny wanted to use the real ones, perhaps they where Appleton's, but not the famous Custom Series, these where a bit smaller. Still they look very good on the car. Danny was a member of the Tacoma Toppers Car Club.

Danny Hall's 40 Ford coupe was a big deal to Dick page as well. Danny worked in the neighborhood where Dick Page lived, just a very short walk from his house and he always loved looking at it up close.  When he heard that it was for sale in a body shop in Bremerton around 1970 he went to see it and was shocked to see it radically changed and sitting outside in primer. After that the car was painted lime green with gold trim.

I only found this small scan of the car
around 1970.

Later Bob McCutchen owned the car. For the last sixteen years it has been owned by John Dixon of Olympia Washington who loved the car when he first saw it in its present form and has no plans to change it. So the car is still around today… it sure does not look anything like it did in its glory days in the 1950's. But the new owner feels otherwise.

This photo of the former Danny Hall 1940 Ford and now owned
by JohnDixon was taken in the summer of 2011 by Dick Page.
It pretty much looks the same as it did in the 1970's
But far from how it looked when owned by Danny Hall.

Dick page helped the John Dixon identify his chopped 1940 Ford coupe as the Danny Hall 1940 Ford, showing him some hidden signs that nobody knew about. But Dick was able to find them. Positive ID.
Could this 1940 Ford be brought back to how it was in the photos shown above. Yes I think it could. It would need four new fenders, possibly a replacement hood and most likely a new old chassis. But the rest is all there, and most of all the great chop performed by Scheider's shop is still perfect today. I sure hope in the near future we could see this old custom get restored again.


  1. very nice a true custom either way john conley

  2. Most people customize cars in order to draw more attention to them. Cars that are frequently entered in car shows are often customized, as are those that compete in races or other automotive competitions. Customizing a car can be a subtle or as noticeable as you want it to be.

  3. Bought my first rodding magazine when I saw this car featured. Loved its smooth sharp styling and still do. A real classic in the 50's style of doing things.
    It's a pity that it has changed somewhat but glad it still exists. A great inspiration to me