Only problem with 1940 Ford is driver error

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A decade and a half after Ford built 541,896 vehicles in 1940 they were still popular. Timeless styling and the venerable flathead V-8 engine proved to be a winning combination.

Toby Aaron recalls that in his Highland Park, Ill., high school days, a 1940 Ford was THE car to own though he did not have one. About a half century later, Mr. Aaron set out to belatedly correct the situation. He began looking for a 1940 Ford and wanted one of the 23,704 convertibles that were manufactured.

Thanks to the Internet, the hunt was brief. He located a Yosemite Green 1940 Ford Deluxe convertible coupe in Balston Spa, N.Y., north of Schenectady. He asked for pictures of the car and then enlisted the aid of a friend who is knowledgeable about 1940 Fords. More photos were requested, along with additional information.

Reassured by his friend, Mr. Aaron began negotiating and eventually, a deal was made. Mr. Aaron purchased a car sight unseen. “What am I doing?” he thought.

The Ford made the trip to Mr. Aaron’s McLean home in a truck a year ago next month. He was anxious before the car was unloaded from the truck on 6.00x16-inch white sidewall tires but afterward, he was relieved and extremely pleased. “It’s a wonderful car,” he says.

He noted that each half of the two-piece windshield had a wiper but that inside the handsome cockpit, only the driver’s door had an armrest.

Papers that came with the car indicate fluid capacities are 5 quarts of oil, 22 quarts of coolant and 15 gallons of gasoline. A two-barrel downdraft carburetor of the Chandler-Groves design feeds fuel to the 221-cubic-inch V-8 engine to enable it to produce 85 horsepower in order to move the 2,956-pound convertible.

When new the Ford had a base price of $849, however, the original owner of Mr. Aaron’s car most certainly paid substantially more because the car is equipped with extra cost accessories including:

• Oil filter.

• AM radio.

• Exterior mirrors.

• Rear fender skirts.

• visor vanity mirror.

• Oil bath air cleaner.

• Bumper end guards.

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