Fred Cain's 1940 Ford

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An early photo of Fred with his coupe at an indoor car show.
In 1953 Fred's coupe gained national recognition when it was featured in Honk! August 1953. The photos in the story were taken by Bill Harkins.
Photo by Bill Harkins, courtesy of Honk! Magazine.
Photo by Bill Harkins, courtesy of Honk! Magazine.
Photo by Bill Harkins, courtesy of Honk! Magazine.
Photo by Bill Harkins, courtesy of Honk! Magazine.
After the coupe had been featured it Honk! August 1953, Fred fit it with a Nash grille and a Hemi engine. Photo courtesy of Hot Rod Revival.
Fred with his coupe, racing Ralph Bannister's 1939 Ford, coupe. Notice how Fred has installed a hood and fender skirts on the car. Photo courtesy of Hot Rod Revival.
A photo of Fred's coupe from the book Cool Cars Square Roll Bars. The photo comes from the Paul FitzGerald collection.
A photo of the coupe taken around 2004-2005, while Charlie Hascall owned it and had it restored. Photo from the HAMB, courtesy of Houseofhotrods.
Photo from the HAMB, courtesy of Houseofhotrods.
Photo from the HAMB, courtesy of Houseofhotrods.
The Coupe as it appeared when it was offered for sale on eBay in October 2009.
A photo of the Fred Cain coup taken outside Austin Speed Shop during the 2010 Lonestar Round Up. Photo by Sondre Kvipt - Kustomrama.
The coupe as it sat when it was advertised for sale in eBay in October of 2013.

1940 Ford Coupe owned and restyled by Fred Cain of Wilmington, Massachusetts. Fred's early East Coast custom was chopped, channeled and shaved for most of it's chrome. The running boards were removed, and it was dressed up featuring ripple bumpers and custom hubcaps. The build was completed in 1948, and Fred raced the car the same year. According to Fred's own notes, he first drag-raced it on the Beverly Airport, starting at 5 AM until they were blown off by the first plane that landed.[1]

In 1953 the coupe was featured in Honk! August 1953. By then it was powered by a fully chromed big 3 5/16 by 4 Mercury engine. The engine was ported, relieved and equipped with big valves, an Iskanderian cam, Evans heads and a three-jug Cyclone manifold. Due to the powerful engine, Honk! Magazine defined the car as a "Custom-Rod". Fred never ran the car with a hood, as it added unnecessary weight. Inside, it was fit with a full rolled and pleated leather interior. The dash featured eight instruments, including a tachometer, speedometer, two heat gauges, oil pressure gauge, vacuum gauge, fuel indicator and an ammeter.[2] After the Honk! Magazine shoot, the coupe was fit with a Nash grille and a more powerful Hemi engine. Fred's dad owned a Chrysler Plymouth dealership.

The old custom resurfaced around 2001. It was discovered by HAMB member "Couverkid", who heard about it at a picnic in Yakima, Washington; "I heard a guy talking to a friend of mine about a chopped and channeled 40 Ford coupe in Ritzville, Washington. I decided one day to try and track it down." He started calling around. "I heard there was a guy in Ritzville that raced at Bonneville, so I got out my program found his name and called him." The guy at the other end of the line told him that he had a couple of 1940 Ford coupes that he wanted to sell off. "Couverkid" could get them both for $5,000. One of the cars was the Fred Cain coupe; "I bolted the sheetmetal back on it and set it in the back corner of my shop for a couple of years." The other one he built up. The guy "Couverkid" bought the coupes from was going to part the Fred Cain coupe out as it had good quarter panels, and the other body needed them. He had already cut the floors and the rear wheelwells out when "Couverkid" bought it. When "Couverkid" got the old custom, it featured full length fenders and running boards. The drip rails were on, and the center bar of the back window had been removed. The car was at one time painted competition Orange. When "Couverkid" came to pick it up the interior garnish mouldings were laying on the ground in the grass, outside the car.[3]

Charlie Hascall bought the coupe from "Couverkid" and brought it back to life. When Charlie bought the car, it was not known that it was the Fred Cain coupe. While Charlie owned it, the car was identified due to the very specific chop. Fred Cain was contacted, and he confirmed that it in fact was his old custom. Curtis West did the final prep and paint job on the coupe.

In October of 2009 the coupe was advertised for sale on eBay. At the time, someone had started a restoration of the car, and it was offered without an interior. The auction ended October 8. After receiving 28 bids the price reached $ 21,580 USD, but the reserve was not met.[4] Some days later a post on the Jalopy Journal could confirm that the car had been sold after the auction had ended. A buddy of Ryan Cochran had bought it. After buying it, the new owner completed the restoration, restoring the car back to how it appeared in Honk! August 1953.[3] The restoration was completed later on in 2009. The restored version featured a brand new paint job, and an interior that looked like the one Fred installed when it was first done. A new grille had been installed, along with new headlight trim, and a new 8-BA flathead engine. The engine featured polished Edelbrock heads and intake. New carbs, late model distributor machined to fit and a lot more technical components. The restored version was fit with a hood. In October of 2013 the restored version was advertised for sale on eBay again.[1] William Day of New Albany, Indiana saw the listing, and decided to bid on the car. He won the auction, and became the proud owner of the old Massachusetts custom. The coupe arrived in Southern Indiana in January of 2014. William lived about 5 or 6 miles away from Beverly Airport, where Fred raced the coupe in 1948. His uncle, George Brown, managed the airport and told William about the event. Unfortunately for William, his uncle never invited him to come and spectate. In 1952 William had his first encounter with a radically customized car. The car was Ralph Turnberg's chopped and channeeld 1939 Ford convertible. Fred Cain's coupe was completed four years prior to Ralph's convertible, and William is convinced that it served as an inspiration for Ralph to build his car.[5]

When William got the car, he scrambled a bit to have it entered at the Carl Casper show in February of 2014. In May he took ot to Beatersville, across the Ohio river in Louisville, where it received a top 10 pick and a plaque.

Magazine Features

Honk! August 1953
Rolls & Pleats Aug.-Sept.-Oct. 2010
Traditional Rod & Kulture Spring 2011



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