The overwhelming amount of cool streetrods being driving regularly is testament to their important part of the car culture and overall practicality. Doug Curran has built his share of 55 Chevys with a 57 thrown in and a few mid 50’s Chevy trucks. About 6 years ago he started to build a car that had so many emotional connections to it, and the end result is so impressive he could not wait to finish it.

Building a 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe was a long time project with a lot more waiting, than anything else. This particular car was always special to him because his late wife had gone to her grad in the car as one of her friend’s Boyfriends owned it .  Currans’s future brother in law ended up owning the car and watching him start stripping it down was too much for Curran and a deal was made to trade a 1938 Chevy for it in 1977.

Driving a 1955 Chevy 2 door hardtop as his daily driver and racing another one took up most of his free time and he had just finished a 1934 Ford Fordor sedan that he still owns. With the closing of the Mission Racetrack he moved on to other things but still did not get around to the 40 Ford.

Time marched on and parts that were not used on the numerous streetrods he built, started to be put aside for “One of these days” The decision to move from Coquitlam to a bigger bit of property in the valley allowed him to build a decent shop and he even hauled the 40 Ford with him…but still it had to wait.

Finally six years ago the project got started with a few rules…this would be the type of Street Rod he would of driven in High School if he was one of the rich kids. To that end nothing that was not built prior to 1965 would go in the car. The glaring exception is the Dual Master cylinder but safety is sort of important as well.

He started to look at the parts he had gathered and realized he could build a car that would of been the “Bomb” on the racetracks of the early 60’s. The body was rough back in the 60’s and sitting for decades did not improve it at all and as much got thrown away as was kept. A better frame was found from a donor car and the original frame and floorboards hit the road.

New Floorboards were crafted by Curran and he was painstaking in creating the correct stock looking ribs and reinforcing . That was the easy part part…the whole bottom 14 inches or so had disappeared with the rust fairy and Curran fabricated a lot all of his own body parts with a great deal of help from Doug Rutherford Jr. “Junior”.

The rain gutters of the ‘40 are integral to the look and although recently lots have had them shaved he liked the look and “Junior” spend countless hours putting fresh metal above and below the rain gutter and welding the whole mess together. The Drivers side A pillar retained the structural rigidity of a wet napkin so a new piece was purchased and installed. The doors started to open and close better than they did even back in the 60’s after many hours of work.

The look of the 40 Ford is so pleasing to Curran his only improvements over Ford’s original design is the addition of a hidden Fuel cap with a Custom made fuel door made out of a donor ‘40 fender. Tunnelled Antennas on the passenger side fender finished off the metal work and the car went to the “do it yourself” sand blasters for cleaning.

A ’40 Ford 3” drop axle using triangulated  shaped wishbones and the original sway bar and transverse leaf spring were used up front along with a 1964 Chevelle steering box connected to the 1959 Olds “Deep Vee” shaped Steering wheel and Steering column shortened 4”. For a cool effect an aluminum connecting rod is used to support the steering column.

The original pedals are used but the clutch pedal is extended and a Hydraulic clutch is used. The 327 Chevy motor was not completed in time for this summer and after waiting 35 years impatient to drive the car a small block was stuffed in for the summer.  One of the trick pieces under hood is the Rad overflow tank is fabbed from a matching valve cover.

Fenderwell headers were fabricated by Curran and drop down to a collector with a dump plate that can be removed for the wide open sound guaranteed to get tickets. When not attracting red and blue lights the exhaust gasses head back through mufflers to a manifold which disperse the gas through 8 exhaust tips. This look is to mimic the scavenger pipes of the 60’s that ran a separate pipe for each cylinder.

The Transmission is a Borg Warner Super T10 bought used off of a friend and uses a 2 piece cast stell scatter shield. A WW1 bayonet is used as a shifter and it came off of an Olds hydramatic in an old Hot rod in wrecking yard in Ontario 1974.

Finishing off the back end with a Ford 9” posi rearend out of a 1965 Ford Pickup complete with the 65 Brakes. The front brakes are 56 ford pickup brakes that are direct bolt on. Rear dodge pickup springs are mounted parallel and 50 inch ladder bars keeping  the axle in place are hand fabbed by Curran.

Always liking the Orange coloured used on 1965 Mustangs…even though it is clearly called Poppy Red…Curran wavered between the orange and Chocolate Brown for quite some time. Doug Rutherford Jr. laid down the paint and keeping with the whole 60’s thing he painted it in a barn.

The bright stuff is all stock and lot’s of searching through his pile of “one of these days” parts got Curran all sorts of cool stuff  for the build. After building a single hoop rollbar with two 2 supporting bars to the rear he strapped on an old Pyrene Fire Extinguisher that is stamped with the Canadian Pacific Railroad logo. Curran found it at a garage sale in Surrey about 10 years ago and onto the “one of these days” pile it went.

The seat is a stock ‘40 unit with plain black naughahide as are the door panels done by Neighbourhood Upholstery in Langley. A typical Spartan look suitable for a race car. The window cranks and door handles are stock and have a very “Art Deco” look to them. The “No Drafts” are frameless with the back seating into a metal bit of trim on the front part of the side windows.


Other old goodies include the Sticker from Bonneville he acquired decades ago and made a replica for it for the windshield. His Helmet that he raced with, in the 60’s complete with “Doug” hand painted by Curran over the factory Blue Metal Flake paint job and still has the Snell approved sticker on the inside. 

The ignition key is attached to a spare dash knob so it looks in place when inserted and the in-dash speaker grille flips down to reveal a hidden stereo system. The outside mirrors are held in place with Mag Wheel lug nuts and a heavy duty castor under the front nose piece allows for speedbumps to be smoothed out.

To further the badass racecar look plain black 65 Ford Pickup wheels are used with the rear widened to  inches. Hurst Cheater Slicks with some self cut grooves make them more streetable while a chrome spider kit with spider rings give it just the right amount of bling.

Mostly finished by May of 2013 except for the period correct motor the car has only been driven about 300 miles and while he never got to drive it to high school he will be able to brag about it at the Canadian Street Rodding Hall of Fame. This fall Curran will travel to Waterdown Ontario to be inducted into the Canadian Hot Rodding Hall of Fame.  An Honour like this does not come along every day but when you have built as many cool rides as Curran it seems fitting.