Last year, two Michigan-based companies that produce parts for automotive restoration and customization hobbyists introduced new designs for those with 1940 Ford projects.

Now, the companies are working together on a special promotion for those who are restoring those vehicles.

It was about a year ago that Classic Instruments of Boyne City launched its 1940 Ford 6-in-1 gauge cluster, which immediately won a new-product award from ARMO, the Automotive Restoration Market Organization showcase held during the big spring Carlisle car show in Pennsylvania.

Late last fall, Tecumseh-based Ididit won a new-product award at the annual Specialty Equipment Marketing Association show in Las Vegas for its new ’40s-style steering column.

“We’ve been friends with Classic Industries for years,” said Iditit marketing manager Megan Lunsford. Both companies were represented at the SEMA Show and got talking after the awards breakfast about their new and award-winning products, products designed for the same vehicles.

“We both came out with products for ’40 Fords and thought we’d put them together,” she added.

So, if you’re working on a ’40 Ford project, and buy a gauge cluster from Classic Instruments and a steering column from Ididit, the companies will throw in a limited-edition ’40 Ford T-shirt.

“The ’40 Ford T-Shirt is a great tribute to a classic, featuring iconic styling,” she said. “We are proud to offer this exclusive offer with Classic Instruments, and we hope to see these shirts at car shows throughout the country.”

The ’40 Ford was the culmination of a 1937 redesign that produced the first Fords with headlights designed into the front fenders. The design was inspired by the groundbreaking Lincoln Zephyr, which was one of the first projects headed by Eugene T. “Bob” Gregorie after his emergence as the first leader of the newly founded Ford department.

Gregorie’s background was in boat design. He worked at coachbuilder Brewster and then at Franklin, Pierce-Arrow and briefly at GM, until he was laid off during the Great Depression. But Edsel Ford liked Gregorie’s work and hired him to design a racy roadster for the Ford scion’s personal use. Soon, Gregorie was a full-time Ford Motor Co. employee and head of its new design staff.

The 1937-40 Fords have become popular with hot-rodders and custom car builders as well as with those restoring cars, and thus the new products from the Michigan companies.

Classic Instruments’ ’40 Ford Original Style includes a speedometer, tachometer, and fuel, oil, temperature and voltage gauges, all housed in a polished stainless steel bezel and behind a glass lens. It is available in four finishes — Original, Hot Rod, White Hot and Nostalgia.

The cluster features a built-in dimmer, green halo turn signals and a red high-beam indicator. Suggested retail price is $975.

Ididit’s ’40 Style steering column has a brushed stainless-steel finish with brass knobs and shift indicator, self-canceling turn signals, four-way flashers, horn wiring and a 37/8-inch GM-style wiring plug. It accepts various aftermarket steering wheels and comes in 30- and 33-inch lengths. Suggested retail price is $895.

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Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at