1939 FORD ‘BOOTLEGGER’

BUILT BY HUMPY WHEELER/MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL AND
AMERICAN MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME/THE MOST FAMOUS NASCAR
PROMOTER IN RACING/AUTHOR OF ‘GROWING
NASCAR’/CONTROVERSIAL AND VERY EXCITING SPEAKER/AUTOMOBILE
EXPERT BOTH IN CONSTRUCTION AND RACING/THIS FAMOUS ALL STEEL
STOCK BODY 1939 FORD STANDARD COUPE IS CONSTRUCTED TO THE
HIGHEST STANDARDS/ALL MODERN RUNNING ASPECTS/FROM THE ‘LT1’
GM ENGINE TO THE COMPLETE POWERTRAIN/FULL GLOVE LEATHER
INTERIOR/LAST ‘BANJO’ STEERING WHEEL/BEEDE CLASSIC GAUGES/THE
BUILD HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF GM, NASCAR,
‘FAT MAN’ CHASSIS AND TOP SUPPLIERS IN THE MARKET TODAY WITH
ALL UPRATED RUNNING GEAR/FULL BRAKING SYSTEM/ SPECTACULAR
ORIGINAL COLOR IN THE RARE ‘JEFFERSON BLUE’ PAINT PRESENTING
JUST AMAZING LUSTER/FULL FACTORY TRIM COMPLETED

MORE PHOTOS

1939 Ford Famous Resto Rod build by the Legendary NASCAR promoter Humpy Wheeler who discovered in researching his very successful book “Bringing Up NASCAR”…he became friends with the last of the fabled Wilkes County, North Carolina moonshiners, one revelation was their favorite hauler in the ‘50s was a 1939 Ford standard coupe because it was 100 pounds lighter than anything available and just seemed to handle better, he built this gorgeous Jefferson Blue as the finest 1939 Ford in existence… so Humpy, who had owned this rare car since 1999 now just completed the ‘modern’ expensive build finished for Summer 2017, working in conjunction with Street Rodder magazine, Discovery and History Channels for the initial publicity, then went to GM for the LS1 engine, electronics and transmission, NASCAR, Dennis Carpenter, Fat Man for the chassis updating and a number of other major racing companies, he came up with strong support team with engineering, parts and the money to accomplish said task…now with uprated suspension and low engine placement in this amazing build with the stock body and chrome trim yielding amazing handling, the story line from Humpy was…”to build a ‘39 Standard Coupe with the body on the outside that looked exactly stock and just like it did in 1950 before that midnight run…but with full updated components with said build to standards that are simply top notch with today’s best!”…

This is a rare car with only 8,000 standard coupes that were produced in 1939 BUT Between the bootleggers and NASCAR modified short track racers at least 2,500 were used up just in racing……then all but a few ended up in the scrap yard, thusly this was the car that made NASCAR famous…So Humpy Wheeler made his quest to locate a stock solid 1939 Ford Standard Coupe…the favorite of the early NASCAR modified circuit driven by Fireball Roberts, Junior Johnson, Banjo Matthews, Tim Flock…most of these cars had been destroyed in racing as they were so fast, some were left outside and others burnt up while being chased with their liquid gold ‘white lighting’ in the rear,

this car is the finest 1939 Ford in existence because it is almost impossible to restore one with such wonderful body parts, Humpy said…”in the old days when you wrecked a ‘39 Standard coupe you went to a junk yard and bought a whole car for $50. I have probably bought 15 of them and Ralph Earnhardt around 75 to race. I remember going to Wilkesboro for a 150 mile modified race around 1954 and they started 60 cars and all but 10 were 39 Ford Standards. Bootleggers wrecked often and they kept going but got new bodies also” .

Therefore, now finding ‘39 Ford standard one with proper parts anywhere is rare, “the Dennis Carpenter’s of the world helped in this task as it is an easy market with the 1940 Fords, Humpy looked for the chrome trim pieces for the grill and it took seven months with Dennis’ helping us”.
A nice one was found in a barn in pretty good condition, under the direction of Humpy Wheeler with Rudy Zeck, a California street rod builder who moved to the Charlotte area, this is built to perfection, the West Coast style, the body was stripped to bare metal and as it was found found really pristine condition, the build had everything replaced and brand new: glass, rubber seals, all hardware, new or related chrome, all steel is great, the bumpers redone,

NOTE: Working with GM and the racing NASCAR unit of Chevrolet, this newly modified LS1 very strong engine was engineered and the full electronics were installed  for top performance with any GM dealer able to maintain,  this this set very low and deep in the front chassis in the same style and design of the original builders with their Oldsmobile engines of the period, set up for optimum great handling, this new 6.2L LT1 engine is a significant redesign with design features shared with the very first small block upon its launch in 1955, now with advanced technologies, direct injection, variable valve timing support an advanced combustion system that helps the LS1 engine produce 460 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque…all the proper electronics are used in the installation, this is mated with a 700R 4-speed transmission and a 9 inch Ford rear end, this runs extremely fast with strong power, ‘Fat Man Fabrications’ provided engineering that was used in conjunction with the existing chassis to upgrade frame and suspension points for great handling at high speeds, then the full suspension was engineered to give the car a modern ride to couple the aggressive nature of this ‘Bootlegger’ beast, adding to the handing area is this has full disc brakes all around to give it great stopping power.

The full interior is just as an old bootlegger would have in the car with the except now this is finished and covered in a beautiful palomino Connolly leather, just like a quality glove,  leather door panels, everything else from the last of the famous Banjo steering wheel to the simulated wood dash and Beede period looking 12 volt gauges look stock, Speedometer, gauges are fuel, water temp, oil pressure and volt meter, a floor mounted straight stick lever is fabricated for the automatic transmission that simulates the old proper factory shifter,  has dual front shoulder mounted safety belts, beige carpets,

Has proper looking steel 15” wheels painted the Jefferson Blue,  these will clear the front disc brakes,  they have period Ford V8 hubcaps and trim rings mounted, the tires are B.F.Goodrich radial TA’s, the fronts are 205/65/15 and the rears are P235/75/15s,  has a modern Sony radio system installed,

Perhaps the best area is the immaculate Jefferson Blue factory color, a stock color that year from Ford that is just spectacular in the base coat/clear coat, in the period, most bootleg cars were black, this rare Jefferson Blue ’39 was found in Wilkes County, North Carolina in the proverbial barn in very solid condition, simply parked after running booze for some 16 years and was never caught… the quote from that owner to Humpy was…“Them revenooers was a looking fer a black one…not no blue” as if you could tell the difference at midnight on a dusty road at l00 mph”…again this is a rare find as with the bootleggers and the modified racers, these ’39 Standard Coupes are very hard to locate today, this famous car has been in several movies and tv documentaries. It was featured with Junior Johnson on his life story on the History Channel; the Discovery Channel several times just recently on the Velocity Special with Brian Johnson, the leader singer for AC/DC along with Junior Johnson driving the car.

There have been many magazine write-ups about the car including Autoweek, National Speed Sport News, NASCAR Hub, Street Rodder and just feature in March 2017 on the Discovery and History Channels…

THE FINAL BUILD AND PRESENTATION IS SET FOR MECUM INDY…FRIDAY THE 19th of MAY