Art Lehner's 1939 Ford was featured as "The Fadeaway Ford" in the March 1959 issue of Rod & Custom magazine. Bodyman and bodyshop owner Art Lehner built this car in order to advertise his busines Art Chrome Body Shop. Art also wanted to give his son Bud Lehner something he could show off at auto shows. According to Custom Cars 1959 Annual the car was based on a 1939 Ford Tudor.
Art's Ford was chopped, channeled, Sectioned and fitted with Fadeaway Fenders. The Fadeaway Fenders were handmade by bending sheets of metal around an oxygen bottle. The front fenders were raised, reattached, and leaded to the body. The hood was then sectioned to match. 1940 Ford headlights was used up front. In the rear, hood scoops from a 1957 Chevrolet fitted with 1953 Chevrolet taillight lenses was used as taillights. Bumpers are 1949 Plymouth, and the grille bars are cut down 1950 Chrysler bars. The gently curved windshield on the car was taken from a 1953 Ford F-100.
The car was painted purple, with a bronze naugahyde interior by Gaylord. Gaylord also sewed pleated Naugahyde scuff pads in the carpeting. A 45-degree angled and padded plywood shelf was used as dashboard. The dashboard was the modified with a spread of Buick instruments and a 1956 Ford deep dish steering wheel. It took 6 years and more than 600 hours in Lehner's body shop in Hollydale, California to complete the build. The car was originally powered by a Mercury Flathead equipped with multiple carbs. In 1958 the flathead was replaced by a chrome-trimmed 1958 Chevrolet 348 V8 engine. The 348 was later swapped for a 283 CID Chevrolet V8 with Powerglide.
After Art sold the car, it was involved in an accident, being hit hard on the passanger side. In less than pristine condition the car ended up at Jim Brucker's Cars of the Stars museum in Buena Park, California. Sam Bergman bought the car from the museum and put the car in storage. In December of 1996 Sam sent the car to Bob Trousil for a full restoration. Bob spent four and a half years restoring the car back to its former glory. To heighten the car, Bob replace the dropped axle with a stock one. Before the car was completed, Sam Bergman passed away, but his sons Lance and Jay Bergman took over the project and completed their father's dream. The restored version of the car features a 1940 Ford dashboard and steering wheel. The original single bench has also been replaced by split lower seat cushions.
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