- Hero image courtesy of: the movie American Graffiti, screenshot from my computer's DVD player. All text & errors by: Chris Breeden

Sometime around 1947 Tom Hocker a member of the Kustoms of Los Angeles club, bought a solid 1940 Ford Coupe. He set about stripping the car down completely and altering the rear cross member to the get the car lower. He liked the effect, but felt like it wasn't enough.

ABOVE: Both pictures are from the November 1953 issue of Rod & Custom Magazine

Tom placed the coupe into the capable hands of George and Sam Barris of Barris Kustoms. They decided to chop 2.75 inches out of the front of the roof and 2.5 inches out of the rear of the roof. They also laid the windshield back and the back glass forward on the car. Finishing touches on the top include: The rear upper corners of the doors had a slight radius done to them and the drip moldings removed. Lastly, they removed all exterior door handles and trim.

Photo courtesy of: kustomrama.co

Photo courtesy of: kustomrama.co

On the rear of the car, Barris molded the fenders and the rear splash apron into the body of the car. They also, installed Packard fender skirts and molded them in as well. Both the doors and deck lid were electrically operated by push buttons. Controls were installed in the dash. Utilizing the bumper from a '49 Pontiac, Sam and George removed the stock Chevron taillights and placed newly made ones into the bumper guards, along with the exhaust tips.

Photo from: The November 1953 issue of Rod & Custom

Photo from: The November 1953 issue of Rod & Custom

Once all of the metal work was completed the car was sent over to the famous Carson Top Shop for upholstery. The craziest thing that was done to the interior was the chroming of all the window rings!

Photo courtesy of: kustomrama.com

Photo courtesy of: kustomrama.com

Up front, Barris installed smooth blank off panels into the outboard grille openings. The headlights were frenched in at a steep angle.

Photo from: The November 1953 issue of Rod & Custom magazine

Photo from: The November 1953 issue of Rod & Custom magazine

Tom installed a 1948 Mercury engine, Lincoln Zephyr transmission and a higher geared rear end.

Photo courtesy of: kustomrama.com

Photo courtesy of: kustomrama.com

Sometime in the 1960's the Barris frenched headlights were replaced with a pair of quad headlights.

Photo Courtesy of: the movie American Graffiti, screenshot from my computer's DVD player.

Photo Courtesy of: the movie American Graffiti, screenshot from my computer's DVD player.

The car would make a quick appearance in the 1973 George Lucas movie, American Graffiti. This is one of the earliest examples of a full on Custom 1940 Ford Coupe I am aware of. The car was featured in the November 1953 issue of Rod & Custom magazine. Making it one of the first few cars featured in the magazines first year of publication. At last word, the car was owned by Ed Hagerty and was being redone again. I have been unable to locate any updates on the cars current status. That's a shame because it's one fine looking '40 coupe! That's all we have on this car so lets Keep on Cruisin'!

Art by: Chris Breeden

Art by: Chris Breeden

What do think about this now 70 year old Custom? Tell us in the COMMENTS!

Thanks for reading and be sure and comeback!

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