EXCLUSIVE: 1940 Dodge Business Coupe

As some of you likely know, I am helping to clear out a large collection of salvage and project vehicles from a private owner. You can read more about the collection here. As we move ahead with the process, I’ll be listing some of the more interesting cars individually, which will also help readers see more info about specific vehicles they may be interested in. Be sure to read the original post about the collection. This listing is for a 1940s Dodge Business Coupe that shows evidence of some period modifications but will still need restoration.

What Makes it Special? In general, cars of this era are getting harder to find in project form. Many have already been over-restored or resto-modded to death. This example shows signs of being someone’s project in the past, with personal touches like the spotlight on the driver’s door and some inscriptions on the dashboard. The seller acquired the vehicle as part of an estate clean-out and doesn’t know much about its history.

Body Condition: The body presents well enough but the paint is flaking off. There is evidence of rust in the sills inside the doors (see photo gallery for close-ups). Overall, you can drive this one as-is while the body is tackled in stages or pull it completely apart for a frame-off restoration. The doors and hood still open and close with ease.

Mechanical Condition: The Dodge’s motor does still turn freely but it is not running at the moment. It is not confirmed whether the engine or transmission is numbers-matching. The Dodge was acquired as a non-running project but it is believed that it was running shortly before the seller acquired it. You will need to have it towed from its current location.

This Dodge will require a fair amount of work to restore, but it just oozes period cool like only the big American coupes from this era can. They respond well to being hot-rodded or restored back to OEM condition. Somewhere in between is where I’d take it, with dog dish hubcaps and a lowered suspension while restoring the rest of it back to stock form. How would you restore it?

  • Price: $5,000 OBO
  • Location: Northwest Georgia
  • Mileage: TMU
  • Title Status: Bill of sale only

Contact The Seller

Do you have a low mileage survivor parked in your garage, shed or barn? Does it need a new home? Please consider listing it here on Barn Finds!

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  1. Classic Steel

    Gosh I guess a whole picture in the up close line ups is tough. It’s like up close pictures of a pin up girl and when one sees the whole picture starts wincing .🙃

    Five is a stretch again for a junkyard non title and no engine car.

    Hey if you one has 200 clunkers one can dream I guess…

    • Classic Steel

      Redact the no engine to probably frozen engine

      • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

        All someone has to do is make an offer, certainly have seen plenty of them in the range of $2K-$5K in condition similar to this one. Serious buyers tend to reach out, armchair quarterbacks do not. And what’s that about no engine? Did you even look at all of the pictures before commenting?

  2. Al

    Lots of close-up photos, but no pictures of the whole car.
    How come??

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Very tight site, cars packed in every direction and I’m literally at the site for a few hours once every 4-6 weeks. Could spend three hours digging it out or take several hundred pictures across the 5 acre site and let serious buyers contact me to inspect in person if desired. Seemed like a better use of my time.

      • Classic Steel

        Why not jack the car off the field you pick out of the bone yard and take it home to get pictures of the whole car and underneath to see if the frame is not busted ?
        A million lil pictures doesn’t get a high dollar offer.
        The buyers want to see more and yes it takes time but if hope for a thousand or more
        it’s time we’ll spent than to lure a person to a field with ticks and snakes to look.

        This might get you 850 for the no title field cars stacked and wedged.

        I am sure being junk cars steering and brakes are rare but a roll back or tractor
        can pull it out of the mud..

  3. leiniedude Member

    Well Jeff, you sure have great job security here at Barn Finds with over 10 acres of cars to sell. Just a thought, but maybe take a weed wacker and a light step ladder to gain some elevation for your photos. I am glad you do not have a deadline to meet. Best of luck!

    • Dick Johnson

      Y’alls aint lived until you have weed whacked into a wasp nest.

      • On and On Member

        I did. Stung 9 times. most were in the ass right through my jeans. Never forget that day.

      • Al

        I watched a nephew snag a wasp nest with a hedge clipper from the top of a 12 foot stepladder. As he and the ladder fell over, he didn’t release the trigger on the hedge clipper and the result was a lovely arch down to the ground.

  4. 70SuperSport

    Doesn’t this year/model have cool slanted B pillars from the factory? Show a picture of that will help.

  5. Gabe

    Not sure where the problem lies, but it seems that every car for sale from this collection is offered at inflated prices… sure , it’s nice to help out, it’s great to make a buck or two, but if the price is so high that it handicaps the potential buyer or is the difference between whether the car ends up at the scrapper or in the hand of the enthusiast, the answer should be clear. Let’s face it, from the comments written, it is clear that majority of subscribers want to save as many cars as possible, that many are of modest means and like me are aghast at the prices being asked for many mundane offerings. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to own this car, but incredibly high “buy in” prices just don’t make sense and ultimately ensure that it becomes fiscally impossible to justify purchase when one considers the monstrous costs of restoration . Ultimately the razzle dazzle and slight of hand theatrics of Barrett Jackson , Mecum and other auctions that have driven prices in the collector car field into the stratosphere will cause the bubble to burst, as it did with baseball cards, Hummels and antiques in general and it will end up like musical chairs when the music stops….. will you be left standing?

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      See Andrew’s comment below; not rocket science.

      I’m not getting paid and the seller has owned these cars for 25 years. No one’s losing sleep over meeting a “quota.”

  6. Tom

    Geez I wonder what the car looks like. Guess I can go on the web and look up that particular make and model. How hard is it to step back two paces and then take your shot? I would hate to have to rely on this guy to sell a car for me.

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Don’t worry, I’m booked solid

  7. Dick Johnson

    There are some areas on this planet that are anti-human. Thistle, multiflora rose, poison everything, really restrict movement by humans. Wasps, hornets and skeeters ad to the adventure.

    The engine color is wrong which either means a Sears rebuild or rattle can. Sears and Shieb sure kept a lot of families in transportation back then. My ’41 Dodge was the butt of all jokes. The Sears engine ran flawlessly for several owners after me. Whaddaya ‘spect for fifteen dollars?

  8. ccrvtt

    I googled “1949 Dodge coupe” for images and there are plenty of pictures. These are really well-proportioned cars that look good with a full resto or loaded with the p-word. There’s one picture where the car is lowered slightly with wide whites and big old sunvisor – absolutely perfect.

    While it would be nice to see better pictures you have to cut Jeff some slack given the conditions. I can’t believe that he’s being compensated nearly in line with the value he’s providing, so it’s got to be a labor of love.

    Nice feature. Keep ’em coming!

    • leiniedude Member

      I love this site. But a common thread here is a lack of good photos on the vehicles for sale. Weedstock. And the info provided here is poor. Not sure I can give Jeff any slack here. If the seller is really trying to sell, cut the weeds and pull them out. I am not blaming Jeff, this is a huge project! It might be time to get an auction house involved. ccrvtt, I do not care about Jeffs compensation, that is up to him. He is adding to the BF timeline after all. And most likely being paid for his posts. Interesting rigs, just the same.

      • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

        See Andrew’s comment below. You’ve posted the same “complaint” on every listing; Andrew nailed it. I’ve also expressed this sentiment but nobody wants to read anymore.

  9. ccrvtt

    Leinenkugel used to advertise itself as “the Coors of the East”. So I tried some.

    Absolutely no comparison to Coors, tasted like the water that sits in old, discarded tires.

    Part of the charm of BF is its folksy, amateurish style. If you’re looking for perfection (and REALLY overpriced cars) look to Hemmings or Gateway’s sites.

  10. Andrew

    Rough crowd. Just get a rollback…how many true pieces of crap would have to be moved to get to the semi desirable cars? As to the price, why not start high? Someone who genuinely wants this specific car will throw a number out there. Maybe the seller will take around 2,000. But if he says 2k, all the offers will be 850. So he throws 5 on it and maybe he will get a 1500/1700 offer.
    People complain when there is only a profile shot and no detail shots. Now they complain that there are only detail shots.

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Someone give Andrew a gold star. Don’t know why this is so hard to figure out.

      • Andrew

        Armchair quarterbacks. Take the best photos that you can in the amount of time you have and in the safest manner. If people can’t figure out that the listed price is the starting price, that’s their problem.

  11. 600tollman

    That would be an amazing finished project , that kind of design is worth the work , on the other side there is no need for those coments about the price , it’s easy if you find it expensive walk to the next one …

    • Alexander

      I think I see rivets or nails holding the “quarter” panel on, near the door opening in one of the photos. Which also reveals how awful the running boards are. Tin worms become large in overgrown lots like this!

  12. chad

    yeah, sounds like doin the best possible, considering all…get some exposure ta what’s there. Get the yard some nibbles (show us some stuff too), leave some links to see an orig/restored condition rig. What’s to complain abt? Perfection is good too, but this is not one where that’s gunna happen.

    I saw a couppla of interest, just too far away 4 my wallet. This is great 4 some1 w/in 150 mi or less.

    Just “exposure” a ‘fishin trip’…

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      Yup…most of our buyers have been folks with business in Florida / Atlanta who can make a road-trip and write off the travel expense. Works for me.

  13. Little Cars

    I really want to cut you some slack, Jeff. BUT! I’m not sure “numbers-matching” is important with this 1940 Mopar, if not actually technically accurate. As far as the convo goes regarding large starting prices and small photos….I have the wasp welts and skeeter bites to prove it’s tough to document the contents in an overgrown field and on a limited time schedule. I’m close enough to come for a visit. There is something about the $3-5000 range that makes my frugality kick in and I want the vehicle to start and run, if not yard drive on inflated tires onto a trailer.

  14. SquirrleyGig

    I will admit that upon first view of the photo’s I wondered about the lack of a full shot of the car. However, after reading the entire add & comments, I understand the circumstances.
    Besides, if you’re seriously interested you likely know what a 1940 Dodge BC looks like? If not & you’re curious, use your Google-ator to look one up.
    As for the complainers about the price, did you all notice the “OBO”?! I just figured it was (mostly) common knowledge that anyone trying to sell something of any “potential” value, regardless of the item or amount, you always start high of what you’re really willing to take & add OBO? I often go w/ “or best reasonable offer” & come out ahead of what I was truly willing to accept.
    Chin up Jeff! The armchair critics & clueless are obviously banded together in force on this one. I suspect they are mostly just envious that it is you scouring this temple of metal & not them.

  15. Pete in PA

    As Little Cars says, numbers matching is not accurate or appropriate for this era Mopar. Ma didn’t stamp the engine and transmission with the VIN until 1969!

    Now you *can* determine what the original engine number is for your older Mopar is by contacting Chrysler Historical, which I did for my 1936 Dodge Brothers sedan. You may get a photocopy of the microfilm production record and learn a bunch of stuff including that the engine is original to the car. But that engine number does not *match* the VIN. Not even close. Completely different format.

  16. Rex Rice

    I blew the engine in my ’40 Dodge minutes after buying it. I just wanted to see how fast it would go. Installed a junkyard engine & drove it for years.

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