Classic car enthusiast bringing 1940 Ford to car show


Ed Alsman is a fount of knowledge about his sunflower yellow - also known as 1979 Corvette yellow - 1940 Ford two-door deluxe. He's had it a little over two years now and can rattle off its statistics.

"In 1940, 343,860 of these were built, of which 171,368 were two-door sedans," says Alsman, a member of the Bluegrass Cruisers car club. "Some were deluxe, some standard. The base price of the deluxe then was $742. The standard was $701."

Alsman will bring his classic wheels to the Pioneer Car Show Aug. 17 at Old Fort Harrod State Park.

His 1940 Ford is worth quite a bit more than $742 these days. It was in fairly good shape when he got it, he says. But since he's owned it, he's added spinners to the racing wheels, done extra work on the transmission and steering, and installed a four-speed Chevrolet V-8 engine. He put on four-wheel disc brakes, which Alsman says many classic car owners are putting on the "rods," or street rods, these days.


The front seat is original, but the automobile has been converted to electric, and uses heating and air conditioning. The 1940 dashboard was removed and a Wabbit was installed. "Wabbit" is a company that "makes specialized dashboards with fancy gauges," Alsman explains. The steering wheel is Chevy-tilt.

Part of the "deluxe" package is two windshield wipers, rather than one, and a different grill. Alsman says he prefers the deluxes' grills.

His yellow Ford isn't his first classic car. He owned a red 1930 Chevrolet three-window coupe before the Ford. Only about 9,211 of those three-window coupes were made, Alsman notes.

"There are very few of them," he adds. "But you see a lot of the five-window coupes."

Before the red Chevy, he owned a 1937 "grabber orange" Ford business couple.

"I loved that one," says his wife, Gladys, adding the red Chevy "rode rough." "It was quiet, with a seat that reclined. It cruised like a Cadillac."

Adds her husband, "I should have kept that car."

He's never owned a 1934 Plymouth coupe, but he really likes them. He also likes 1936 Lincolns and 1941 Lincoln Continental coupes.

"I always liked the Lincoln Continental coupe," he says. "And the '34 Plymouth couple dresses up nice. It's a neat-looking rod, I think."

Alsman says he's always been a "car nut." Adds his wife, "He talks cars and sleeps cars."

Alsman notes, "I've had a number of them through the years - too many to mention."

He doesn't do as many car shows as he used to, but he recently spent four days at the National Street Rod Association's Grand Nationals in Louisville.

"There were around 12,000 cars there. They had to be '48 or older for the Grand Nationals," Alsman says.

About the Bluegrass Cruisers

Alsman has been with the Danville car club since its inception in 1995. It's a non-profit organization that donates proceeds from car shows, after expenses, to charity. Money from the Pioneer Car Show, which will feature music and concessions, will go to Relay for Life cancer fund.

The 35-strong members of Bluegrass Cruisers come from Lancaster, Harrodsburg, Stanford and Danville, Alsman notes. The group holds its monthly meeting 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month at Shoney's. Its cruise-in is the first Saturday of each month through September at Wal-Mart SuperCenter.

Interested participants do not have to own a classic car to be in the club, which he calls an "open" club. "You can just be a car nut," he says with a grin. "We have all walks of life in the club, and we've had people with Corvettes, street rods and trucks. And we've had some with no cars."

Alsman credits sponsors from all over central Kentucky for the success of many of the club's fund-raisers. "If not for the sponsors, we couldn't do this."

On Oct. 4, Bluegrass Cruisers will participate in a Heart of Danville car show. Alsman says the event will be held on Main Street in Danville.

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