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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Everyone,

I am new to your forum, I found it by searching for some info on gassers. Looks like you have some great info and members on you site so I figured I would join and get you opinions on my project.

I am in the early stages of building a 40 Ford coupe street gasser. I am going with a speedway front end, x frame as well as their rear leaf spring set up. I plan driving the car on the street but want it still to have the gasser look.

My questions is what engine type do you think would best fit the car? I kinda want it to be somewhat period correct but don't want to spend a million dollars if possible.

I have SBC and BBC and a partial 354 hemi. I was considering using the hemi but not sure if it is worth spending the money to make it work. I am planning on using a 700 R4 trans as well.

I also found a 392 hemi with dual quads and a 727 trans running in a car complete with all accessories for $5k.

I know the SBC is the cheapest and easiest way to go but I wanted to get other thoughts on what they think would be my best bet.

Thanks for any input,

Steve
 

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First, welcome to the forum Steve.
My humble opinion, go with the hemi if you can afford it. Dare to be a bit different from the droves of people putting a sbc or bbc in anything with 4 wheels. Last but not least, post photos, lots of photos, we love photos on this forum; the more the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Sbauman2,

I have been leaning towards the Hemi as well. I originally bought the hemi for it but I have a ton of sbc stuff. Do you guys think I would be able to get my money out of it if I put the hemi in the car? I am not planning on selling the car in my lifetime but lets face it all cars are sold at some time. One thing I have learned in all my car building experiences is it is better to keep a budget to what the cars are typically going for. It seems like some things you do or put in a car increase its value but others do not. I have the money to put the hemi in the car but just want to make sure I am not wasting my time and money. I agree that it is different and that's why I was considering it, I don't see too many of them at the car shows around Las Vegas anymore. I do appreciate all opinions on the topic, I will work on some pics of the frame when I get some parts swapped around.

Thanks again,
Steve
 

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If it's an all steel 40 Ford in good shape with a hemi in it and if you don't sink a bunch of money into it you might be able to recover your monetary investment. I'm glad to hear your leaning towards the hemi. You've already got the dual quads which is always eye candy. A 40 Ford with an up in the air front end, a hemi, fender well headers (?) and the right wheels; you don't see many of those. I'm looking forward to watching this build.
I'm surprised that some of the other members haven't responded. This is the first 40 Ford build I've seen on this forum.
 

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Welcome to the forum Steve!
I can't say whether you'll get a good return on the investment whether you chose the hemi or the SBC. But I would most certainly think any car with an old hemi will get more value than the same car with a SBC. I chose a SBC and BBC for my two gassers, but it was based on low cost to purchase, and familiarity with Chevy engines. If I had a hemi it wouldn't have gone in my tiny Austin, but it would have gone in my '63 Falcon for sure!
Old coupes are probably one of the coolest formats a person could build a gasser on! Putting a hemi between the fenders wont be easy, and will require some engine setback to fit. Will probably require some substantial frame mods also to handle the weight and torque. But it will be well worth it when folks see that big Elephant sitting in the engine bay!
 

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1940 was one of the greatest Fords of all time. It would be tough to beat a Hemi between the fenders. Looking forward to this one too!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Guys for the welcome and the comments! Looks like I missed out on the 392 with dual quads deal for 5K.

I still have my 354 hemi. A few more details on my question. I bought the 354 long block all apart but all machine work and new parts supplied, minus cam, lifters, pushrods,timing chain, front cover and gaskets as well as some other misc parts. I paid $3500 for it and it was done with all good parts arp bolts in the rods new everything in the heads with larger valves, harden seats, gides, and, mild port and polish of ports and combustion chambers. I figure it will take about 2-3K to finish it with the trans adapter and depending on what intake 2-4's etc I go with. I know it will probably take a bit more to make it fit but those old hemi blocks are not too much bigger than a sbc. I have the money to complete it but just want to make sure I am not wasting my time and money.

Where my questions lie is I have a Mopar friend that has been wanting to buy the hemi, and I also have several sbc that I could use that would not cost me much money at all. I also know the sbc would fit easier due to the car apparently had a sbc in it before I got it. The engine mounts are still there and the trans tunnel has been modified to fit an auto trans with the sbc.

This is what make me be on the fence, I know I could put in the sbc with little to no mods and not have much money in it. If I go with the hemi I know it looks more period correct and is cool in my opinion but just not sure it is worth the money and work.

I appreciate all you opinions, It looks like most of you think the hemi is the right direction. It makes me feel better to know other car guys are on the same page. I will probably just commit to building my 354 hemi because at least I know what is in it and it will be brand new. I have done lots of work with muscle car stuff but I do appreciate the input on the gassers.

Once I get some progress on the frame I will post some pics.

Thanks again,
Steve
 

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Welcome to the board Steve....for what you are going to spend on the hemi you could build a complete small block with what you have and put a blower on it...just my 2 cents....
 

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Not trying to talk you into or out of any engine choice, but the hemi is 7" wider than a SBC! And weight is quite a bit more! At 735 lbs. vs. 555 lb. for a SBC. If it comes down to money, you can indeed build a SBC for much less, and probably sell your hemi to pay for a pretty nice SBC.
 

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Yeah, but it's still another Chevy in a Ford when there is another choice on the table. I was at the So Cal Speed Shop open house two years ago walking down the street looking at the cars. Was approaching a lowered 40 Ford pick up that had the rat rod look to it. Didn't look that interesting until I saw the engine compartment. The dude had put a cammer in it; probably the only motor cooler than a hemi.
If you're building the car on a budget hoping to make some money on the other end put the GM motor in it. If you're building it because you want to stand out from the crowd, well it doesn't get more stand out than a 40 Ford gasser with a hemi.
 

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it. If you're building it because you want to stand out from the crowd, well it doesn't get more stand out than a 40 Ford gasser with a hemi.
Well maybe that Cammer might stand out more! :) I've always wished I was rich and could own a hotrod with a big Ford Cammer! They just look so cool!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I do appreciate all the input. You guys all make some valid points. I know the Hemi is a more unique set up. I just don't know how hard it is going to be to make it fit and if it is worth all the work and money. After reading all the input I think I may just mock up a sbc and see how it fits, then make a home made trans adapter and mock it up with the hemi. If it looks like too much work I think I may just use the sbc. This way I don't spend money on the hemi if it may be too hard to make it work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Mike,

Sometimes having too many choices makes it hard to make a decision. Once I get the frame done I will post some pics of the mock up. I figure just see what will work without too many crazy mods.

Thanks again,
Steve
 

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My plan for the car I'm planning to build is to use a SBC. What will make it stand out is to spend money on a 671 and real "bug catcher". To me a gasser demands a prominent feature in the intake manifold area. There's so many cool and inexpensive options with a SBC.
 

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My plan for the car I'm planning to build is to use a SBC. What will make it stand out is to spend money on a 671 and real "bug catcher". To me a gasser demands a prominent feature in the intake manifold area. There's so many cool and inexpensive options with a SBC.
I think you hit on a very good point! Gassers we build today for the street need to make a statement. That can be anything from making them look like they were built 50 years ago, to having the perfect engine, tire and wheel combination, or paint job. Something that makes it stand out and scream gasser.
I see a lot of "gassers" that have potential, but miss the mark for one reason or another. Usually where they miss the mark isn't the engine, but something like wheels, stance, or how the tires sit on the car. Some I've seen say "gasser" from 100 ft. away! Others just need some tweaking of one or two small things to really be gasser material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi everyone,
I am working on some pics, I just want some that show some progress. I just got all the stock x frame out and am prepping the frame to install the speedway x kit. Once I have that in I can start to see how engine/trans combos will look/clear.

Alan makes a great point and that was one of the reasons I was considering a sbc. I can find a cool 2 4 set up or something much cheaper and I know it will fit. At this point I still think I am going to build my hemi even if I just use the factory intake to keep the cost down. This way I can see how it fits and if it's too much work I will just sell it. If it all works out I then can spend the money to make the intake system cool, I was thinking of the hot heads dual 4 set up that is like a mini tunnel ram.

Vall makes a great point, I too have seen many cars that miss the target on what the build was intended for. My goal for this project was to build a car that I can drive and looks cool. Of course I want to make it look as period correct as I can but I also don't want to spend a million dollars either. I have always had more fun with cars that I built that I used what I had or could find used to save money. I think part of the gasser coolness was how they re purposed things and modified parts from other cars to make it work. Granted I have lots of catalog suspension parts for the car but I still want to try and make it look different than most of the 40s Fords I see.
 

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Welcome to the forum Steve. 40 ford is cool. Hemi under the hood would be real cool. But you gotta do what your circumstance dictates. If you sell the hemi , like Vall said, the money good go a long way to build the small block. I really would have liked to see the 392 go under the hood . too bad it got away. definitely post pics of the project., Looking forward to seeing the work being done.
 
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