A Finely Restored 1940 Dodge Convertible Coupe

There are some great vintage collector quality Dodge automobiles around and the restored 1940 Dodge Convertible featured in this article is one of them. Finely restored Dodge models with plenty of originality command high prices today.

1940 dodge convertible

1940 Dodge Deluxe Convertible

There was no Dodge Convertible produced in 1939 so the 40 Convertible made a comeback that year.

Because of the war that was to come in a few years, the body shell of the 1940 Dodge would be carried through toward the end of the 1940′s. Chrysler actually had an assembly plant in Antwerp Belgium that had to close in 1940 due to the war in Europe.

The 1940 Dodge Coupe Design

Design credit for this model goes to coachbuilder Raymond H. Dietrich. While Dietrich had a good reputation for unique styles Chrysler kept his designs within conservative guidelines. Raymond Dietrich founded coachbuilder Dietrich Inc. in 1925 and went on to design some of the most eye catching auto designs ever put on paper. Prior to that he partnered with Tom Hibbard to form LeBaron Carrossiers, a New York City coachbuilder. It’s been said that the name was chosen because it sounded French and prestigious. LeBaron was acquired by the Detroit company Briggs in 1927.

Vintage collector automobiles with the designed by Dietrich touch include Packards, Pierce-Arrows, Lincolns and Franklins. All open air Packards after 1933 were designed by Dietrich. A side note is that Raymond Dietrich left Chrysler just before the 1940 Dodge models went into production.

1940 dodge

1940 Dodge Deluxe

As beautiful as this restored 1940 Dodge Coupe looks, it’s overall design is quite conservative. One of his fine touches was the wide horizontal grille with it’s thin horizontal bars.The car also had sealed-beam headlights and parking lights in the bezels. +———————————————–

At the start of the 1940′s the “fastback” look gained popularity. Chrysler was one of the first automakers to introduce an airflow design which they aptly named “Airflow” and put it into design from 1934 to 1937. While you would have thought the Chrysler Airflow design would catch on, it didn’t, but it did influence other designs during the 1940′s with this Dodge Convertible showing some of the elements. The Airflow design actually reappeared in the mid 1950′s with Virgil Exner’s new Forward Look designs.

In 1940 Dodge Coupes were built in four styles. The Business Coupe, the Business Coupe Special, the Special Club Coupe and the Deluxe model Convertible Coupe.

1940 dodge coupe

1940 Dodge Coupe dashboard

1940 Dodge Deluxe Specifications

This 1940 Dodge came with a 218 cubic inch in-line six cylinder engine delivering 87 horsepower. This engine differs from the straight eight that was offered by most manufacturers at the time and was more economical. In 1941 this 218 cubic inch engine would be reconfigured to deliver 91 horsepower. The prewar Chrysler engines had a good reputation for their durability and they still do.

Transmission was a three speed sliding gear manual.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Front suspension was independent coil springs and the rear semi-elliptic leaf springs.

The car’s wheelbase was 119.5 inches. Overall outside length was 203.0 inches.

interior 1940 dodge coupe

Interior and dash 1940 Dodge Coupe

The 1940 Dodge Deluxe Convertible Coupe weight came in at about 3,190 lbs and the new car price in 1940 was about $1,000. Running boards were offered as a $10 option.

Total 1940 Dodge Convertible Coupe production was 2,100 vehicles.Total Dodge production in 1940 was 195,500. Out of that figure 66,500 were Dodge Special Series and 129,000 were Dodge Deluxe Series models.

An interesting side note for anyone who has a vintage Chrysler product involves the Chrysler Historical Services offered by the Walter P. Chrysler Museum. Here you can request a build card, if available, and any other historical data they may have on your vehicle. For more information on this and the pricing see their website www.wpchryslermuseum.org

See the additional AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

The 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible Coupe

1946 Ford Convertible

1936 Chrysler Convertible Sedan

1941 Modified Pontiac Torpedo Model 25

1940 dodge coupe grille

1940 Dodge Coupe grille

1940 Dodge Deluxe Coupe Convertible Collector Car

With this fine design and the limited number of convertibles produced in 1940, the Dodge Deluxe Convertible is easily the most popular Dodge collector car from that year. The car’s total collector value will have a lot to do with originality. 1940 Dodges can be found but finding one with original stock equipment and in mint museum like condition might take a bit longer to locate.

As of this date, you’ll find asking prices for restored models in the $40,000 plus range. restored four door sedans of this Dodge model year with crate engines have asking prices in the low $30,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)


1931 Dodge Coupe

Here is a beautiful 1931 Dodge Coupe, a car that came out during the first years of the Great Depression. If you can locate one, a very popular collector’s automobile.

1931 Dodge Coupe

1931 Dodge Coupe

The 1930′s were tough on automakers and many of the smaller one’s didn’t survive. Dodge had a reputation for quality and with Chrysler as the owner had the popularity and resources to make it through the decade.

The story is that Al Capone bought a 1931 Dodge for one of his close employees but that one was a large four door sedan. The car was said to be bought for Capone’s book keeper by the name of Guzik. There must be something about 1931 Dodge’s. Another story tells about a sheriff who bought a 1931 Dodge Coupe who drove it to a gun battle with the infamous John Dillinger. The car survived the gun fight but Dillinger escaped.

In 1931 the old Dodge Brothers car company was owned by Chrysler and was made a division of that company. Both of the founding Dodge brothers who produced their first car in 1914 died in 1920. After the brothers passed away the company went through stock sales and mergers until Chrysler stepped in. The brothers had created a successful automobile company during the first few decades of the 1900′s and their cars were known for quality.

1931 Dodge redone dash

1931 Dodge redone dash

Chrysler placed the Dodge below their Chrysler vehicles in ranking but a step above their DeSoto brand.

Chrysler pushed the Dodge reliability in their advertisements for the 1931 Coupe. Their ads touted that the Dodge vehicles were built to last a long time. An interesting note is that Chrysler kept the “Dodge Brothers” name on the cars rather than simply referring to them as Dodge’s. This changed in 1931. Starting that year Chrysler only used the name Dodge on the vehicles. The word “Brothers” was dropped after 1930. Another change starting in 1931 was that Dodge no longer offered a roadster.

Interestingly, in the 1933 model year Dodge dropped in rank and was positioned between DeSoto and Plymouth.

Classic spoked wheels on the 1931 Dodge

Classic spoked wheels on the 1931 Dodge

1931 Dodge Styling

Dodge came out in 1931 with a bit of a sleeker look including a curved grille which gave the car a more modern look.The DG body series was created and became standard.

Dodge really had many innovations during the 1930′s and these included things like rust proof bodies, better valve heads and ignition systems. It obviously were these type of additions that helped the brand survive the tough decade.

The 1931 Dodge Coupe was also a favorite for hot rod modifications. You may see a few when you travel to various auto shows around the country.

1931 Dodge Coupe Specifications

The 1931 Dodge Coupe was built with an L-head, 189 cubic inch six cylinder engine. An eight cylinder power plant was also offered with the 1931 model. The Dodge Eight had a 240 cubic inch displacement.

The car’s brakes were four wheel hydraulic. This was at a time that Henry Ford was still keeping with mechanical drum brakes on all of his vehicles. Ford innovations were notoriously slow in coming. What innovations Ford Motor made during the 1930′s were generally at the urging of the young Edsel Ford.

1931 Dodge Coupe Six

1931 Dodge Coupe Six

1931 saw the first Dodge Overdrive transmission. The standard transmission was a three speed manual.

The 1931 Dodge Coupe Six had a wheelbase of 109.0 inches which would be lengthened to 114.0 inches in 1932.

Suspension on the 1931 Dodges were semi-ellipitic springs both front and rear.

Chrysler had a 1931 total production figure of 65,500 vehicles.

The car’s weight came in at about 2,600 lbs.

New car base price for the 1931 Dodge Coupe was about $800 for the six cylinder and about $1,000 for the eight. Prices were obviously kept in check by the country’s economic woes.

Two other good vintage cars to compare this 1931 Dodge to are on the links below…

1935 Rolls Royce Phantom II

The 1931 Morgan Aero Super Sports Three Wheeler

1930 Oldsmobile Deluxe

1930 Ford Model A Roadster

1931 Dodge curved back styling

1931 Dodge curved back styling

1931 Dodge Collectors Values

The 1931 Dodge, both Coupe and Sedan, are popular collector’s cars. Sales prices for eight cylinder models will of course be higher than the Sixes. A 131 Dodge not restored, if you can find a good one to restore, should be under $10,000 and likely lower depending on condition.

As of this writing, prices asked for pristine condition vehicles nay easily be in the $20,000 plus range. By the same token I’ve seen them also at $20,000 flat and some approaching $50,000. There has also been a 1934 Dodge Coupe with a $34,000 asking price. The average price value of a 1931 Dodge Coupe, depending on degree of restoration looks to be in the mid to high $20,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)