1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe – A 78 Year-Old Survivor!

When I see a 1941 anything, I always give thought to the fact that domestic auto production was about to end as a result of pending U.S. involvement in World War II. While Europe was already engulfed in war at this point, the U.S. wasn’t far behind and I imagine that senior management at America’s car companies were contemplating how things may work out for their respective companies in the short term. I also find it interesting to see how many of the post war models (’46 to ‘48) are essentially repackaged pre-war models. With all of this to ponder, let’s take a look at a 1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe, two-door coupe located in Seabeck, Washington and available here on eBay for a BIN price of $22,990. You’ll want to review the listing’s images in their entirety; many were shot in a portrait format so they didn’t translate as well as I would have liked to this platform.

This two-door sedan, which Chevrolet referred to officially as a “Five-Passenger Coupe” is the Special Deluxe model which had additional standard features such as chrome plated decorative reliefs, an in-dash clock, trunk light, carpet inserts, two spoke steering wheel with a “horn-blowing ring”, automatic dome light with driver door activation and many others including my favorite, an instrument panel “ash receiver” which I guess is a euphemism for an ash tray. As a matter of fact, there were two “ash receivers” in the back seat so you could smoke yourself into oblivion in this bow-tie with no worry of setting the “Bedford Cord” upholstery on fire.

Speaking of upholstery, the inside of this 46,000-mile Special Deluxe looks quite tidy considering its 78 years of existence. I was thrown off at first by the plaid blanket covering the front seat and assuming the worst (you’d be sitting on springs) but with the blanket removed we see a very clean and original looking seat and carpeting. Once again, the seller doesn’t give us too much information regarding the car’s overall condition or specific details for things like the interior or the body integrity but the visuals look good.

The seller claims that this Chevy has the original finish so that being the case it is testament to the quality of GM’s lacquer paint of the era along with the soundness of this car’s storage. It looks very sound and original. Ditto, the body panel fit and finish, everything aligns well and the body lines look very straight.

Under the hood, we find Chevrolet’s tried and true 216 CI in-line six-cylinder engine, good for 90 HP. This was a long-term engine for Chevrolet and it continued on into the 1950’s. No mention is made as to if or how it runs. The only transmission available in 1941 was a three-speed manual gearbox. The Powerglide automatic transmission was still nine years away.

Comparative Example – 1946 Chevrolet “Stylemaster” Five-Passenger Coupe

As I mentioned at the outset, I find it interesting to compare pre-war models to their post war successors and here’s an image of a 1946 Chevrolet Stylemaster Five-Passenger Coupe (Stylemaster replaced the Special Deluxe). While it is a little different in the grille and hood badging, there’s no doubting the similarities. Powertrain-wise, it’s the same.

I just returned from Daytona’s annual Thanksgiving “Turkey-Run” car extravaganza, and there’s a little bit of everything going on there. Muscle cars still dominate but there were a lot of pickup trucks, rat-rods and this vintage Chevrolet & Ford, mostly hot-rodded with modern drivetrains and suspensions. There were a few left as original but not many. So, here’s the dilemma, buy this beautiful survivor and maintain it as such or go to town and turn it into something more contemporary. I know what I’d do, what sayeth you?


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  1. dirtyharry

    Sweet old girl like this one, just wants to be left alone. Nothing more than she needs to stay on the road, please.

    Like 24
  2. normadesmond

    Sorry, that fabric on the seats is not 78 years old.

    Like 3
  3. JerryDeeWrench Member

    It’s not a 41 it’s a 46 and it is nice. Great find.

  4. JerryDeeWrench Member

    Oops wrong picture me go back to bed.

    Like 7
  5. ken tilly UK Member

    Leave it stock. Please!

    Like 8
  6. canadainmarkseh Member

    Fantastic old coupe leave it alone and just maintain. My Favorite year style wise is the 1937 version of this car, the head lights are still separate from the fenders and they look classy.

    Like 7
  7. Gator Member

    Love it. To change anything would be a travesty. Polish it and love it as it is!

    Like 4
  8. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    It would be a shame to hot rod this one, original 78 year-old cars are getting scarce. I’d leave it be; just make sure the mechanicals are all good, clean/detail it in and out and enjoy motoring 1940s-style. This would probably be a big hit at your local cruise night. I know I’d love to see a stock ’41 Chevy.

    Like 10
  9. Chris Londish Member

    A 235 Blueflame for reliability and highway ratio and power brakes a nice highway cruiser

    Like 3
  10. Gaspumpchas

    For sure guys, and go easy on the Babbitt pounder 216 and she will live a long time!!! Good luck to the new owner!

    Like 4
  11. Will Fox

    While I never profess to speaking “bow tie” fluently, this `41 is about as nice and solid as they come for its age! This one has had the benefit of the west coast and definitely a garage most, if not all its life too. Very nice.

    Like 5
  12. Del

    I think they made 2 coupes and a 2 door business sedan this year.

    Guess this is the 2 door sedan ?

    NADA says high retail is 16 grand for these.

    This is in great shape but he might hace to cime down a bit

    • robert asher

      I find it a little hard to believe it’s only worth 16 grand as far as the NADA goes-,but maybe so- the cheapest I’ve seen these go for was around 19,000 grand and as high as 35 and 40’s – l did see one for 10 grand once but it was totally took apart needed some things- anyway it’s a 😎 cool ride – if l didn’t already own one l would be checking this one out-

  13. pugsy

    Arrghhh…I’m getting soft. Even I wouldn’t want to cut this up…..quick, someone slap me……

    Like 2
    • Del


      Like 4
  14. pugsy

    Thanks. I needed that!

    Like 1
  15. Ken


    Damn…I hope it stays original.

    Like 3
  16. Tony T

    Splash oiling and vacuum shifting … what’s not to appreciate? Knuckle front suspension.

  17. Bob C.

    Chevrolet was ahead with this stovebolt six at this time. By 1962 it was quite passe. Still, they were bulletproof.

    Like 1
  18. TimM

    When I car is in such pristine condition it should not be resto-modded!!! This car is of historic significance and should be driven and shown as is!!!

    Like 2
  19. Kenn

    How come the license plate isn’t covered with a thumb??

    Like 1

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