Wicked 1940 Ford Pickup is Flawlessly Modified from Top to Bottom
Design inspiration from Porsche and an engine from a Camaro lead to an award-winning antique Ford pickup.
The video above comes to us from the AutotopiaLA YouTube channel and it features a close-up look of the stunning 1940 Ford pickup shown here, known as 40 Shades of Grey. Channel host Shawn Davis speaks with Chris Churchman, who built this amazing antique truck for his wife over the course of eight months, before this GM-powered machine made its grand debut at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
While some people are bound to dislike the use of a GM engine and others will turn their noses up at the European design inspiration, there is no denying that this old school Ford is an amazing showpiece inside, outside, under the hood and under the wooden floor of the bed.
Under the hood of this classic 1940 Ford truck is a General Motors LS3, built by Wegner Motorsports in Wisconsin. While some Ford fans will scoff at the GM engine, Churchman explains that he went with the physically smaller engine that fits better than something like a 5.0-liter Coyote V8. Also, while he thought about running a worked LSA from a Camaro ZL1, he decided to go with the LS3 and a big aftermarket blower. With a Whipple supercharger, a set of custom-built headers and a Borla three-inch exhaust system, this Chevy Camaro SS engine makes around 935 horsepower while providing plenty of roar.
The power from that blown V8 is sent to the Moser rear end by means of a built 4L80E automatic transmission, featuring a push-button shifter and shift paddles mounted on the Billet Specialties steering wheel.
Schroder Speed and Custom built the boxed chassis, which carries a custom Accuair air-ride suspension system that allows Churchman to slam the antique Ford to the ground at a show while lifting it up to a comfortable ride height for cruising purposes. The build team routed the Borla exhaust as high as possible over the rear differential, allowing plenty of room to drop the truck without crushing the exhaust, but this setup also looks great with the floor of the bed flipped up.
In addition to the custom chassis and suspension bits, this 1940 Ford pickup has 12.9-inch Wilwood rotors at all four corners with matching 6-piston calipers at all four corners. Those huge brakes are tucked behind custom American Racing wheels measuring 19-by-8 up front and 20-by-12 out back, with 305-millimeter-wide tires handling the traction duties.
European Exterior Design
When Churchman was designing the exterior of his wife’s 1940 Ford pickup, he drew inspiration from the classic Porsche 356, with big, curvy fenders of the front and rear wheels and headlights that are nestled into the front end. He also went with Porsche Sport Classic Grey exterior paint with black trim everywhere, excluding all chrome bits from the build. Churchman’s wife sanded and stained the wood in the bed, while the aluminum rails between the slats are painted gloss black as well.
Out back, the Borla carbon fiber exhaust tips come out from under the tailgate side-by-side, similar to the design on the modern Porsche 911, while the fuel cell filler neck mounted in the middle of the tailgate is one of the coolest and most unique aspects of the truck.
Simple, High Tech Cabin
Finally, the interior of this sweet classic Ford truck features plush, orange leather on the seats and door panels, but the real “wow factor” comes from the center stack. Churchman has incorporated all of the vehicles features into a simple racing-style switch panel, a touchscreen and a push-button shifter. After picking Drive, the truck can then be shifter between forward gears with the shift paddles, which is kind of Porsche-esque in its design as well.
While we would have liked to see a built-and-blown 5.0 under the hood of this classic Ford pickup, this really is a remarkably well-customized antique truck that is easy to love, even with the LS engine.