Commemorating the 61st Detroit Autorama was the perfect opportunity for STREET RODDER Editorial Director and Editor Brian Brennan to present the Best Ford in a Ford honors to Syd Ross for his traditionally styled '40 Ford coupe. To achieve the look of a perfect mid-'50s-era hot rod the coupe was given a perfect stance combined with jet black gloss, and a classic big 'n' little tire and wheel combination. This made it a perfect candidate for Ford Racing's recognition of street rodders who install a late-model Ford engine in a Ford hot rod.
Under the hood a 302ci Ford Cobra Jet crate V-8 was set in place linked to a T5 five-speed manual transmission. To add even more gusto an Edelbrock Performer intake coated with Endurashine was bolted in place and topped with a matching 600-cfm carb crowned by a timeless air cleaner. Additional hop-up items include an MSD ignition, Sanderson headers to dump the spent gases, and a Billet Specialties front runner serpentine belt system to keep everything in order. It gets the final dazzle from a pair of finned aluminum Cobra valve covers with red inlaid vibe.
For laying down the power a stock chassis was outfitted with a 9-inch Ford rear along with Chassis Engineering parallel leaf springs out back. Wanting to give the coupe razor-sharp handling a Heidts IFS was installed complete with 2-inch drop spindles, and coilover shocks to soak up the bumps. To complete the stance a set of steelies capped with Diamond Back wide whites gets the job done. With a mirror-straight glistening black body already complete, the coupe was brought to The Hot Rod Garage in Denton, Maryland, to install a fresh interior using yards of durable honey-toned vinyl with complementing headliner and carpets. A Flaming River column topped with a Juliano's '39 Ford steering wheel helps navigate the course while cool breezes are compliments of Vintage Air, and all vitals are monitored by Classic Instruments dials. Congratulations to Syd who will receive a limited-edition jacket as the award winner.