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.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bruce Rosengren's 1936 Ford Cabriolet.

Bruce Rosengren from White Bear Lake, Minn. has owned this 1936 Ford Cabriolet from 1955 till 1958-59.
He would like to know if his old car is still around, and also who was the original builder of this great looking Custom.

Bruce Roseengren and his 1936 Ford Cabriolet in 1958.
Bruce had to remove the hood and hood sides in the summer to
prevent the engine from overheating.

Bruce bought the car in 1955 as a used custom from a news paper ad in St Paul for $350.-  The car was obviously customized in the 1940's with a chopped windshield, a padded top that most likely is an original Carson Top Shop top and one that was made none removable for unknown reasons. The interior was done in red lather for the seats and red velour for the rest.
The stock grille was replaced with a custom made panel and Packard grille with solid hood sides. The taillights where 1948 Chevy units. All the work was really well and most likely done by a professional body shop. The car was painted a two tone light green and cream color when he bought it. And after Bruce had made the changes it was painted with gray primer, he never got around to give it a final paint job and wen the car was sold it was still this same gray primer.

When Bruce bought the car in 1955 everything and especially the natural aging pointed toward this being an old custom car from the 1940's, but Bruce was not really interested in its history at the time, so he never asked about the cars past owners and where it was originally built.

The car with its smoothed hood and solid hood sides.
An amazing early looking Custom Car for 1958.

Bruce had Dick Freudenberg rebuilt the 59ab Flathead engine and had a local shop french the Chevy taillights and set in the rear license plate.

A better view of the Dick Freudenberg rebuilt Flathead engine with
two carb intake.

Bruce went into the Navy in 1957 and had parked the car at his parents house. His father sold the car a few years later, after first asking Bruce if this was okay with him.
Ever since the car was sold Bruce regretted ever letting him father sell it.

This fuzzy photo of the rear shows the set in license plate and 1948
Chevy taillights.

Over the years Bruce has always wondered what happened to his old Car, if it is still around. With all the restorations of old Custom Cars going on in the last couple of years Bruce now also wondered who built this car in the 1940s, and he really regrets never asking more info on the car when he bought it in 1955.

So if anybody who sees these photos of this great looking 1940's styled 1936 Ford Cabriolet recognizes it and can shed a bit of light on its history or current whereabouts, please let me know and I will make sure to pass it on to Bruce. (

Without the mid/late 1950's car in the drive way this photo could have
very well been taken in the 1940's.