AutoHunter Spotlight: 1940 Ford Opera Coupe

Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by ClassicCars.com, is this 1940 Ford Opera Coupe.

I am not usually a fan of pre-war American cars, but from the time I saw my first Business Coupe at an auction in California I have always had a soft spot for these interesting cars. This specific car is actually officially the more rare Opera Coupe, but it maintains the same stunning exterior styling reminiscent of the legendary Lincoln Zephyr. I have driven a few of them since seeing that first car, and the smaller size makes them one of the few pre-war American cars that seemed to be designed from a drivers perspective, especially on the modern roads of today. This is also the first time I can remember one of these cars being listed on AutoHunter.

I think these cars have that late 1930s-40s Sam Spade kind of style. I can see myself driving at night in the fog of San Francisco looking to solve crimes. From behind the wheel they are a sort of time machine back to the 30s and 40s with the art deco dash. These Fords are also pretty simple to service and maintain and have great parts availability, which all adds up to a fun and easy to own pre-war classic car.

The seller describes this 1940 Ford Opera Coupe as being powered by a 221cid flathead V8 backed by a three-speed manual transmission. Features include new 16-inch wheels, new whitewall tires, folding rear jump seats, a clock, and an alternator conversion. It is finished in plum purple paint over a beige tweed interior, and comes from the selling dealer with additional parts, an owner’s manual, a 1940 Ford guidebook, and a clear title.

The seller adds that this is a car that has been restored. During the restoration, the exterior of this Business Coupe (model code 01A-67B) was refinished in plum purple. Features include chrome bumpers, Deluxe headlight rings and grille, a manual cowl vent, dual rearview mirrors, a roof-mounted antenna, and a chrome fuel cap. The exterior looks quite presentable and would be a nice car to take to a local show.

The interior features a beige tweed front bench seat and Business Coupe folding rear jump seats surrounded by tan tweed door panels and trim. Features include manual windows and steering and a steering column-mounted manual transmission shifter. The seats, door cards and headliner look to all be in exceptional condition and, to my eye, in period correct materials.

Under the hood lies a correct 221cid flathead V8 that is backed by a three-speed manual transmission. Engine bay features include Edelbrock finned aluminum heads, chrome acorn-style head bolts, a chrome remote oil filter housing, a six-volt alternator conversion, and a chrome air cleaner housing. The selling dealer states that the fluids were serviced in 2023.

All in all this really looks like a nice example of a rare 1940 Ford Opera coupe. Sure you can see a few oil leaks under the car, but I find that this is pretty common for flathead V8 cars. I would personally not worry about these and simply have them attend to and factor that into my high bid.

The auction for this 1940 Ford Opera Coupe end on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 11:45 a.m. (PDT).

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery