1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible Coupe

The 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible Coupe may be one of the prettiest cars that Ford ever produced. This car has the styling of Ford Motor Company's Bob Gregorie's design department along with a lot of influence from Edsel Ford. Edsel Ford's main challenge at the automaker was to convince the elder Henry Ford to approve innovations.

1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe

1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe

The Styling of the 1940 Ford

Bob Gregorie, formally Eugene T. Gregorie, was a designer who worked for Ford a couple of times. A high school dropout, Gregorie began his designing career as a yacht designer on the east coast, moved to General Motors in Detroit during the Great Depression, was recruited to Ford Motor by Edsel Ford and departed the company after Edsel Ford's unexpected death in 1943.

After being hired at Ford in 1932 Gregorie soon became head of Ford's design department in 1935 and worked closely with Edsel Ford. One of Gregorie's first assignments with Ford was to design a car for the European market which he did with Ford's Model Y.

1940 Ford Convertible Coupe

1940 Ford Convertible Coupe

The 1940 Ford had clean styling which was actually introduced in 1939 and was freshened up for the 1940 model year. Major changes were on the front end along with a new interior and dashboard. The car is noted for it's sleek roof curves and it's split angular windshield as well as it's fully integrated grille. The 1940 Ford was one of the first streamlined cars from Ford. It was also one of the first V-8 cars in it's price range.

Bob Gregorie was lured back to Ford in 1945 but left again for good a few years later. Interestingly enough, the yacht designer turned automobile designer ended up returning to boat designing after his years at Ford Motor.

A Popular Restoration Vehicle

Today, you may very well see several of the 1940 Ford Coupes at auto shows with a good number of them modified into hot rods. The hot rodding with the 1940 Ford Coupe took off after World War Two.

1940 Ford Convertible

1940 Ford Convertible

The 1940 Ford is one of the most collectable cars of the pre war era. The cars are so popular that Ford now has licensed complete reproduction bodies. These all steel reproduction Ford bodies are licensed by Ford Restoration Parts. Hot rodders can order these bodies with a modified firewall.

Since 1940 Fords in good enough condition to restore are not exactly easy to find the reproduction bodies are becoming quite popular among hobbyists. Ford unveiled their 1940 hot rod using a reproduction body at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas. As of this writing, the basic 1940 Ford body shell sells for around $12,000. Adding doors and deck lids might put another $4,000 on the price tag.

1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe Specifications

The eight cylinder 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe shown in this article was produced with an L-head 221 cubic inch 85 horsepower V-8 engine.

The transmission was a three speed manual. The transmission could be either floor mounted or column mounted. The brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums which were also on the 1939 Fords.

1940 Ford V-8 Coupe

1940 Ford V-8 Coupe

The car's wheelbase came in at 112.0 inches.

The 1940 Ford Coupe had a weight of just under 3,000 lbs.

The car seated two passengers and there was a small jump seat in the rear of the interior.

Total Ford Motor production for 1940 was 541,900 vehicles. Out of this total 23.700 were Convertible Coupes and 20,200 were Business Coupes. A total of six production Ford models were available for the 1940 model year.

Total production numbers for all models for 1940 for Ford was 542,000 and for Chevrolet 764,000.

Two additional Ford articles you may find interesting on the links below...

1946 Ford Convertible

1930 Ford Model A Roadster

The 1939 Ford Deluxe Convertible Coupe

 1941 Modified Pontiac Torpedo Model 25

1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible Coupe

1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible Coupe

1940 Ford Coupe Prices

As mentioned above, the 1940 Ford Coupe was and is a popular collector's car. An original restored 1940 Ford Coupe is going to have an asking price of perhaps $38,000 to $45,000 plus. A 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible Coupe may be in the $65,000 to $70,000 plus range depending on degree and quality of restoration. These are mint condition prices. Any 1940 partly restored Ford Coupe not in showroom condition will sell for less.

1940 Ford original Coupes are rare for really two reasons. There weren't those many built and so many of those that were produced were modified into hot rods. This is the major reason that a fully restored 1940 Ford Coupe or Convertible Coupe in mint condition and as an original passenger vehicle can attain high selling prices.

See our article on Antique and Classic Car Serial Numbers

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)

1955 Cadillac Coupe

It seems that pretty much everyone liked the 1955 Cadillac. The 1955 Cadillac was the car of choice for Elvis Presley, his being a pinked colored Fleetwood Series 60. The car had flash. It's styling was superb. It's finned design was favored by just about anyone who could afford one. In 1955 owning a Cadillac was considered a statement of success. This Cadillac delivering 280 horsepower was popular with lawyers, bankers and celebrities.

1955 Cadillac

1955 Cadillac

The models available during the 1955 model year included the Sedan, Hardtop Coupe, Convertible Coupe, El Dorado and the Coupe De Ville.

Eleven station wagons would also be built that year by coach builder Hess & Eisenhardt. This coach builder and customizer was owned starting in 1942 by one of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team co-owners George Strike.

The best seller of the 1955 Cadillacs was the Series 62 four door sedan. The highest priced Cadillacs of 1955 were the Fleetwood Sixty Special Sedans. At the time Cadillac touted it's 1955 models as being the best Cadillacs ever in what would be a very competitive year.

1955 Cadillac Styling

Those familiar with Cadillac styling know about Harley Earl who was with GM from 1927 to 1959. Probably his best known accomplishments occurred with Cadillac during the 1950's. Much of America's car culture is seen in the designs of the mid 1950's among most of the automakers.

Each division of General Motors had a styling studio under the supervision of Harley Earl. The 1955 Cadillac design arguably could be the finest display from Harley Earl and had it's beginnings at both the 1953 and 1954 traveling Motorama auto shows. Harley Earl helped create innovations with Cadillac styling that would change automotive styling forever.

1955 Cadillac front end

1955 Cadillac front end

Motorama was not held in 1951 and 1952 due to the Korean War. The "dream cars" from GM were given plenty of exposure beginning with the 1953 shows. One such car in 1953 was the fiberglass Chevy Corvette which was a huge hit and went into production not long after.

The dream car concept was important for future styling because the public's acceptance could be gauged and positive feedback could be implemented in designs.

Lots of Options Available

Air conditioning, four way power seats, power windows and power brakes were some of the options available in 1955.

1955 Cadillac Coupe

1955 Cadillac Coupe

1955 Cadillac Specifications

The power plant was a 331 cubic inch V-8 with Overhead Valves in a cast iron block delivering 250 horsepower. This engine according to Cadillac would give you about 12.9 MPG. An optional engine available was a 270 horsepower El Dorado model. The 270 horsepower engine featured a dual four barrel carburetor.

Transmission on the 1955 Cadillac was a four speed automatic. This was the Hydramatic that was on all Cadillacs in 1955.

Suspension in 1955 were leaf springs

The vehicle wheelbase was 129.0 inches, two inches longer than the 1954 model, and the overall length came in at 216.3 inches. This obviously was a good size automobile. The 1955 Cadillac was bigger than any of the previous models.

Average vehicle weight was about 4,500 lbs and the fuel tank carried 21.6 U.S. gallons.

1955 Cadillac dashboard

1955 Cadillac dashboard

Cadillac produced a total of 140,700 vehicles in 1955 and this represented a record. This production total might not seem too surprising considering that Cadillac had been winning the post war styling contest against rival Packard for years. The tail fins were just one styling advantage Cadillac had over Packard even though Packard did come out in 1955 with a new look. Packard produced 55,200 vehicles in 1955.

A few more Cadillacs you may enjoy viewing are on the links below...

1941 Cadillac Series 62

1931 Cadillac V-16

1959 Mercedes 220S Sedan

1955 Cadillac Collector Car Values

It almost goes without saying that the 1955 Cadillacs are popular collector cars such as the Coupe shown in this article. If you can locate the right model to restore you shouldn't have a difficult time finding parts.

The most sought after Cadillac of this year would be the El Dorado Brougham or Biarritz. This model wasn't even shown to the public until January 1955 and at that to a select audience. In fact the general public wasn't allowed to see the car at the Waldorf Astoria in New York until the next day after the premiere showing. This truly was a show car.

You might find a mint condition show quality El Dorado Biarritz with an asking price of north of $100,000. A mint condition El Dorado may be in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. We've seen 1955 Coupe De Villes at $34,000 and $35,000 asking prices.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)

 

 

1952 Chrysler Custom Imperial

The Chrysler Imperial, the top of the line vehicle for this automaker, was a car built and engineered excellently but it's design was considered a bit drab. This was a luxury automobile built for the owner/ driver, not as a limousine.

1952 Chrysler Custom Imperial

1952 Chrysler Custom Imperial

The 1952 Chrysler Custom Imperial featured in this article is a part of a Chrysler model that first arrived on the scene in 1926. The 1952 Imperial is among the sixth generation of the model.

When the Imperial debuted it was a Chrysler model as opposed to a separate make. The cars were produced by Chrysler from 1926 to 1954. In 1955 Chrysler decided to make Imperial a separate division. When this occurred the Imperial would not come with the Chrysler name. Very similar to what Ford Motor did with Lincoln.

As with so many of the American automakers, new post war designs came out in 1949. A few had new designs a year earlier in 1948.

The 1952 Chrysler Imperial is just about exactly the same as the 1951 models. To find the difference you'd have to refer to the car's serial numbers. Another interesting fact is that the only rag top Imperials were produced in 1951. The 1952 models dropped the convertible styling. Another fact is that all of the early 1950's Imperials were designed very similar to the Chrysler New Yorker. There were differences however in side trim, wheelbase and tail lights.

1952 Imperial

1952 Imperial

The Chrysler Imperial's competitors are pretty much what you'd expect...Cadillac, Lincoln and Packard. When Walter Chrysler first decided to manufacture the Imperial in the 1920's his aim at that time was to compete against Cadillac.

Chrysler's 1952 Imperial was a car for the rich and famous of the time. Chrysler even advertised it's 1952 Imperial as the car chosen by those who can afford any car in the world regardless of price. The automaker also touted the Imperial as being the finest car ever produced in America.

Chrysler Imperial Engineering

The Chrysler Imperial was known as an excellently engineered vehicle. The 1951 Imperial came out with the first 331 cubic inch Hemi-head V-8 engine. This new engine caught Cadillac off guard and was thought to have started the great horsepower race of the 1950's. Mass producing this powerful engine was costly and after the 1958 model year Chrysler's Imperial came with a 413 cubic inch wedge V-8.

Power steering was standard with the 1952 Imperial.

Chrysler Imperial Designing

As mentioned above, the Chrysler Imperials were thought drab in style although the engineering was top of the line all the way. Things changed in 1953 when Chrysler had designer Virgil Exner add some shapely changes to the Imperial's look.

1952 Chrysler Imperial dashboard

1952 Chrysler Imperial dashboard

Exner was one of the top car designers of the 1950's having been hired away from Studebaker by Chrysler in 1949. Virgil Exner would go on to add some fine designing touches to the Chrysler line of cars referred to as the Forward Look. In essence, Exner led the team that gave the entire Chrysler line of the mid to late 1950's a more modern edge in styling. If you look at a Chrysler tail fin of the latter 1950's you've seen the work of Virgil Exner. Some even credit him with starting the tail fin rage of that decade.

Prior to Exner's years with Studebaker and Chrysler he worked for GM and was in charge of Pontiac styling before he was thirty years old. If you look for automobile designers who left a legacy, Virgil Exner will be near the top of your list.

1952 Chrysler Imperial

1952 Chrysler Imperial

1952 Chrysler Imperial Specifications

The engine as mentioned above was a 331 cubic inch Hemi-head V-8 engine delivering 180 horsepower.

Transmission was an automatic four speed.

The 1952 Chrysler Imperial was built with a long 131.5 inch wheelbase. The car's overall length was 212.62 inches and it's width was 75.75 inches. This was a big car.

The 1952 Imperial's weight was a hefty 4,500 lbs.

A few cars you may want to compare the Chrysler Imperial with are on the links below...

1939 Chrysler Parade Phaeton

1949 Mercury

Those interested in Chrysler Imperial advertising from 1950 to 1975 might want to search for the CD Chrysler Imperial Ads 1950-1975 by Harry W. llaria. This is a nostalgic tour which tells you quite a lot about the features offered in the luxurious Chrysler Imperial.

 

Lots of chrome on the 1952 Imperial grille

Lots of chrome on the 1952 Imperial front end

Chrysler Imperials as Collector Cars

The 1952 Chrysler Custom Imperial is a popular collector's car as is any Imperial from the 1950's. If you happen to run across one of those rare convertibles from the 1951 model year then you may have hit the jackpot. it's was reported that only 650 of those convertibles were sold.

You might be able to pick up an non restored early 1950's Chrysler Imperial below $10,000. You may also find immaculately restored early 1950's Imperials with asking prices around $60,000.

Some classic cars have a hard time being valued at what it costs to restore them. The 1952 Chrysler Imperial including all of the early 50's Imperials might just garner what you've put in it and more. Mint condition early 50's Imperials should sell well and at a good price.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)