Most folks think about the future at some time or other. As street rodders, we have ideas in our heads as to how to improve the car we are driving, or a million ways we would build a future project. As a child, did you ever draw photos of cars you had seen in the magazines at the drug store and imagine how you would like them to be? If you did, dig them out, and you may be surprised how cool some of them are.

Doug Beattie of Vancouver, Washington, has had this design in his head, needing to escape, for years. A tip from a friend found a donor ‘40 Ford coupe with good sheetmetal, giving him the basis to start his long held dream. Forty Fords are one of the iconic hot rods of all time, and their art deco design makes them a car you don’t usually mess with when it comes to changing that design.

Doug is no newbie in the car world, starting at age 14 with an Olds-powered ‘30 Ford Model A coupe. Being mechanically minded certainly didn’t hurt building his business, as well as a bunch of hot rods over the ensuing years. To get started, he went to see Donn Lowe, and his sidekick Eric Johnson, in Oregon City, Oregon. Lowe is a very well-known metal massager and grassroots customizer, hailing originally from the northeast. Forty Fords can be a real challenge if you start messing with the lines; like chopping the top, sectioning the body, then dropping what’s left down over the frame. One of the few guys who can pull it off is Lowe, and the proof is in the final photos. Doug added ‘40 Lincoln headlights and ‘54 Plymouth taillights, which seem to belong there, like Ford design had thought of it. The hood was pancaked to balance out the final overall look after completely redesigning and reshaping the entire body. Bumpers were custom-made from two ‘61 Corvairs for the front and a ‘47 Pontiac for the rear, and plated along with all the rest of the shiny stuff by Oregon Plating of Portland, Oregon.

Rolling stock is important to any righteous rodder, and this coupe has the best. Doug and Johnson started with the stock ‘40 frame, boxing it the entire length and adding a custom crossmember and removable panels for access to wiring and plumbing. After this came the Currie 9-inch with 3:00 limited-slip gears. To hold it down, custom polished stainless steel four-link, antiroll and Panhard bars were made. Polished coilover shocks and 11-inch drum brakes round out the rear suspension.

Moving on, the front is made up of a fully polished Heidts independent front suspension and polished coilovers. The front brakes are 11-inch Wilwood with a chromed Wilwood master cylinder and proportioning valve. Fabbed up to make all this work was a set of custom pedals. The steering is rack-and-pinion and is connected to a ‘40 Lincoln Continental column and restored steering wheel. Even the gas tank was made right there in the shop in stainless steel, holding a generous 16 gallons.