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Ford Builds A New 1940 Coupe, Sort Of 1
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Ford, Hot Rods, Kurt, Vintage on 11 1st, 2012

Ford’s 1940 Coupe body – image: Ford Motor Company

One of the most iconic body styles among hot rodders is the 1940 Ford Coupe. Since the car has now been out of production for over 70 years, original examples in salvageable condition are getting harder and harder to find. Fiberglass replica bodies and parts aren’t as desirable as sheet metal, leaving those who wanted a 1940 Ford Coupe street rod of their own with few good choices.

Until now, that is. Ford has just announced that it’s again producing an all-steel 1940 Ford Coupe body, which awaits a modern interior, suspension and drivetrain. The body joins other all-steel vintage bodies already in Ford’s parts catalog, such as the 1965 to 1970 Mustang bodies.

Ford’s 1940 Coupe body – image: Ford Motor Company

Unlike the original, this body shell is built from high-strength steel and assembled using modern robotic welding. It’s fully rustproofed, too, meaning that the replica bodies will likely last far longer than their original counterparts.

Ford’s 1940 Coupe body – image: Ford Motor Company

The price for a complete body starts at $11,900 plus freight, and individual panels are also available if you’re already mid-restoration. Ford will show a built-up example from this year’s SEMA show, meant to give attendees an idea of what’s possible given a large enough budget.

Chris Harris, Rally Co-Driver: Video 7
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Chris Harris, Kurt, Pirelli, rally, video, Videos, Vintage on 06 7th, 2012

Chris Harris rides shotgun in a Lancia Delta S4

Chris Harris would be the first to admit he makes a lousy passenger. He also doesn’t attend tire product launches, since his self-described job is reviewing cars, not components. Every rule has its exception, and when Harris was invited to the launch of the new Pirelli P7 Corsa Classic vintage rallying tire, he jumped at the chance.

Why would Harris attend an event where he’s merely a passenger and not the driver? Why would he waste time on a tire launch that isn’t even for contemporary sports cars? Two words sum it all up: hero worship.

To demonstrate how good the new P7 Corsa Classic is, Pirelli arranged ride-alongs with Markku Alén and Juha Kankkunen. Those names may not be familiar to those of us on this side of the pond, but Alén drove in WRC competition for Fiat, Lancia, Subaru and Toyota from 1973 to 1993. Only Sebastien Loeb has more stage wins in WRC, although Alén never earned a WRC championship.

Kankkunen, on the other hand, won the championship four times, driving for Toyota, Peugeot, Lancia, Ford, Subaru and Hyundai. In other words, both drivers have forgotten more about car control at speed than most of us have ever learned.

The cars that Harris would be chauffeured around in were special, too, including the legendary Lancia Stratos and Lancia Delta S4. The Stratos’ short wheelbase and mid-engine, rear drive layout quickly earned the car respect among drivers, since it was blindingly fast and easy to rotate, but utterly unforgiving of mistakes. The Delta, which was a bit more balanced, packed as much as 800 horsepower in various trims, making all-wheel-drive a necessity.

Of the experience, Harris said it might just be the best day of his working life. We certainly wouldn’t argue with that point.