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1940 Chevy Business Coupe Model Master 85 – Bob Malin

Not every car is Hot Rod material, but, some cars just scream to become one. The level of work it takes to make something into a Hot Rod can be extensive, to say the least, but, when finished, the joy is insurmountable!

This is the story of a guy, a Business Coupe and a desire to make a Hot Rod. Read on and enjoy!

Disclaimer: Customs N Classics does not charge for any articles. These are free and are derived from emails, chat messages and other forms of communication. The details are from the owner/trustee and are not physically verified. Should there be any issues with this story, please let us know, privately and we will do our best to correct any mistakes.
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Bob, what type of vehicle is this?

Car is a 1940 Chevy Business Coupe Model Master 85

Who is the first owner of the project?

Not sure of the original owner, but I purchased the car from a person in Brookfield, WI.

When did you purchase it and, if you are ok discussing it, for how much?

I purchased the car in 1996 for $5,000.00, to make a hot rod out of it myself

Why did you choose this vehicle?

I chose this vehicle because when I was 15, I knew a neighbor who had a 1940 Ford Coupe, black, 327, 4 speed with a Indian blanket interior. It was low, black and wicked. I wanted to build a similar car one day.

Give me some backstory, are you a mechanic, do you like to fabricate, are you really good at body work, etc. Some info about you.

I am an Industrial Designer and have been for 45 years. I graduated the University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT.

An Industrial designer is able to come up with concepts, engineer it, and make prototypes of: Consumer Products, Automobile Designs, Interior Design, Package Design, Exhibit Designs, Graphic Designs Literally anything that can be thought of and engineered, an Industrial Designer can do.

I’ve worked on cars since I was a teen. I have good mechanical and fabrication skills

Give us some information about the vehicle prior to starting it.

When I purchased the car, it had been restored 15 years earlier to stock and put into storage. It was driven a few times a year. It was in ok driving condition when I bought it.

What have you done to it so far?

Initially, I put duel Stromberg’s and split manifold with new radial on it. I drove a few years then started in on my transformation.

First I purchased a 292 truck motor, rebuilt it with all new 270 Wolverine Cam, 3×2 Offy Intake, New split manifold, T-5 Trans, a rebuilt 10 bolt. New IFS with 11” power discs, new drums in the back with Chassis engineering springs and shocks. All new fuel and brake lines, custom dash with classic gauges, Vintage Air/Heat/Defrost, new interior and trunk lining.

A few years later, I had a few knowledgeable guys and me, chop the top. It’s a custom chop where none of the center of the roof was cut to keep the roundness. 3.5” in the front and 4” from the back. The roof was moved forward and the rear window leaned forward to meet. This was not an easy chop and it took a while to get it right.

Where is it now, in the rebuild stage?

The car is completed now and has been since 2005.

Any special parts you have used?

There are a lot of custom touches that you see but don’t really know what I did. The wing vents can be slid out to have a full opening window. The wheels are one-off chrome smoothies with custom offsets. I did the flames. Special one off metallic pearl paint. Custom made dash, grill cover, etc.

I purchased the essential engine parts from Tom Langdon @ Stovebolt Engineco in Livona MI. He’s the best and used to work at GM 6 cylinder division.

I purchased misc parts from a lot of vendors. Chevs of the 40’s, Mid America Corvettes, Yogi’s parts and Speedway.

Any help you have gotten?

I did have a lot of help with the heavy stuff. I really do appreciate all the extra folks that helped me transform this stock Chevy into my dream ride. With careful planning and designing, everyone should build their dream car.

I had help with the Bonneville Chop on my car. 2 guys, Larry and Donnie from south Milwaukee, who chop Mercs, helped me with the cuts. I was there for welding, grinding and block sanding. They worked out of their garage.

I also use Doug Bennet in Milwaukee (Bennet Coachworks) for the help in installation of the drive train and wiring.

From Bob

My wife and I have taken many trips in the Coupe. From Ohio to Florida and to Long Island, NY. Car always ran great, got good mileage and lots of “Thumb’s up”. We have gone on weekend trips to Bed-n-breakfast places and always got “preferred” parking to keep an eye on it. I have driven it to all 100+ car events in the past. Kalamazoo, Back to the 50’s, Indy, Columbus, Louisville, Corn roast in Wi. As we were driving through the Amish Country, we stopped for lunch at a diner. We were the only vehicle in the parking lot among a half a dozen Horse Drawn carriages. They all commented on the car when we sat down for lunch and then came out to look at it when we left.

I have enjoyed my car for quite some time. It is for sale as I want to tackle a new project. The Boss (wife) says it needs to go to fund my new project. Someone out there will get a truly Kool ride!

If you are interested in buying this car, please contact Bob, via email, at

Enjoy the photos below.

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My name is Dennis. First, let me just say, I am a Christian, a husband, a father to 1 beautiful step-daughter and 3 strapping young boys and a step-grandfather (She calls me “Grumpy”) to a gorgeous step-granddaughter. These will always be my priorities, no matter what my interests are. That said, I strive to keep and maintain a family friendly atmosphere, so my boys and their friends can enjoy the site as much as I do. (Granddaughter isn’t old enough and daughter has other interests.)

See my home page for more about me.

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