Wicked 1940 Ford Pickup is Flawlessly Modified from Top to Bottom

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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.

40 Shades of GreyFord Truck

LS Power

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.

40 Shades of GreyFord Truck

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.

40 Shades of GreyFord Truck

Custom Chassis

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.

40 Shades of GreyFord Truck

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.

40 Shades of GreyFord Truck

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.

40 Shades of GreyFord Truck

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.

40 Shades of GreyFord 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.

40 Shades of GreyFord Truck

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.

40 Shades of GreyFord Truck

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"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

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