It’s the ’40s and Chevrolet just ceased operations. Like so many others, it had turned its attention to supporting the ongoing war effort of World War II, so instead of manufacturing the popular “working class” value-priced cars of the day, it would spend the next few years building military equipment as well as ambulances and trucks.
These would be part of the “Arsenal of Democracy,” a slogan made popular by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, prior to the stoppage, Chevrolet had entered the decade with a whole new lineup of popular cars to choose from-and a prime example would be this 1940 Special DeLuxe, which is one of the best-preserved cars we’ve come across from this era.
No stranger to the world of antique vehicles, Edward Lopez has long been buying and selling rare, original accessories from the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s. He knows an exceptional find when he sees one, so when a private collector decided to sell this 1940 Special DeLuxe with only 66,000 original miles, Edward did not hesitate. Although it was one of the most original cars he had ever seen, it was a far cry from the highly upgraded “Special DeLuxe” cars he had previously run into. “When I bought it, the car was bone stock; all the cool accessories had been stripped,” Edward says. Yes, the original Mohair interior looked brand new. Although the wood grain found on the dash and window trim appeared in near-mint condition, the car was still not back to its former glory.
To begin his overhaul, the paint was freshened up and the exterior received much-needed upgrades, like skirts, visor, and window cooler. The matching-numbers 216, which has never been rebuilt, was given a once over, and an OE set of 16-inch steel wheels with shark teeth trim rings would then be mounted onto 600/16 wide white Coker Classic radials.
The “Special DeLuxe” was known for being the best equipped out of all the Chevrolet models. So Edward made it a priority to track down all those cool, hard-to-find accessories. The lengthy list would go on to include foglights, wingtip bumper ends, grille guard with badge, and flying lady hood ornament. “Tracking these N.O.S. accessories is not easy and they certainly are not a bargain,” Edward says.
But as they say in the Arizona Ranflaz Car Club: “Cool isn’t cheap and cheap isn’t cool.” And that quote there my friends, is one to adhere to when it comes to just about anything in life. Don’t believe me? Try buying your wife a cheap set of earrings and find out just how fast you wind up living in your car. But all jokes aside, this Special DeLuxe was built to impress and it’s a fine specimen of what hard work, craftsmanship, and dedication can afford.
1940 Chevrolet Special Deluxe
Original 1940 216 with 66,000 miles
original wool Mohair seats with original wood grain dash and window trim
Mark Love sprayed the Navy Blue
restored to original and then lowered 3 inches
OE 16-inch wheels with shark teeth trim rings mounted onto classic Coker radials