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Family Heirloom: 1940 Chevy Special Deluxe


This 1940 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Coupe has been in the same family since new. The original owner passed it on to her nephew, who then passed it on to his son. It hasn’t been driven since 1970, when it was parked in the family barn. The son has decided to let go of this family heirloom and has listed it here on eBay.


Overall, this Business Coupe is in nice shape. Sadly, the straight six is seized and will need to be pulled and rebuilt. The seller claims the car is all original, which would be truly impressive if that’s the case. It’s sad that this heirloom isn’t staying in the family, but hopefully the next owner will have the know-how to get it running again.


  1. scot

    ~ always like a generational ownership tale. plus it’s only miles down the road in the center of the Missouri Rhineland. Augusta and Hermann have a wonderful Octoberfest at the wineries.

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  2. Bob Hayton

    Probably not many business coupes left. I had a 41 and 48 many years ago. I have the 47 Fleetmaster convertible I bought in 1963 out in the garage, street rodding it now with a 96 LT 1 with 17,200 miles.

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  3. Dolphin Member

    Good presentation despite being short, with very good photos, although some underside shots would have helped, especially RE: the minimal rust question.

    Love the Art Deco dash….you just don’t get that in cars nowadays.

    With a seized engine like this car’s, my father taught me a simple trick:
    1) remove the head
    2) get a short length of 2 X 4 and a hammer
    3) place one end of the 2 X 4 on a piston that’s at mid-stroke
    4) hit the other end of the 2 X 4 hard with the hammer
    5) if things don’t move, get a bigger hammer

    He didn’t actually say #5….I made that up.

    This works if the situation isn’t too bad, and if the car isn’t too valuable. Don’t try this on your $3 million barn find Ferrari 250 SWB, kids. He did use it successfully on the ’63 MGB that my brother bought with a seized engine, and it ran great afterwards.

    With this car, if the 2 X4 +hammer fix doesn’t work with oil in the cylinders for 6 years, I’m afraid the engine will need to be torn down the regular way, altho you will still need something like a 2 X 4 and hammer to get those pistons out one way or another.

    The pre-WW2 businessman’s coupe configuration did away with the back seat and had a parcel/sample shelf back there for the traveling businessman to carry his wares, altho with the seller’s great aunt having bought this one maybe we need to call it a businesswomen’s coupe. This one is an unusually nice survivor since a lot of these were used up and didn’t last much past WW2, by which time they looked pretty old fashioned, and the up-to-date salesman would want something more modern.

    Best of luck to the seller & buyer. Nice to see this one preserved.

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  4. paul

    Great story, I hope it falls in the hands of someone who DOESN’T rod it.

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  5. rancho bella

    I always gravitate to original vehicles. There is just something about them…………

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  6. Your Name

    This one really makes me miss my 1950 Chev Business Coupe.

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  7. FRED


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    • Rob T.

      I have to say that I like “fast”cars as much as anyone. (Having owned in the past at 1 time or another, a ’70 Monte Carlo SS, a ’69 Vette, a ’64 GTO, etc.) But, with car like this, being that there are so few original examples left, it seems to me to just leave well enough alone and cherish it for what it is. Enough with what someone thinks is better than what the engineers did! If you want modern features, then buy a newer vehicle. Is that asking so much?

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  8. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’m not afraid of stuck engines. I’ve unstuck a lot of them and a couple of them ran without any teardown. I’ve had a couple of old tractors that I had to use the tried and true Lincoln grease gun method but I got the pistons out.

    This car could come to my place if it was closer. If I had this one I could say that I owned an original Chev from both ends of the 40s.

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    • scot

      ~ naw, FRED, i agree- don’t rod it but i wouldn’t go further than a full-oiler Stovebolt. vintage parts especially speed equipment become more valuable as each example is converted from “discovered inventory” to ‘ambitious project’.
      . add to T-minus 6 and a half days = ?

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      • scot

        sorry Geomechs. was trying to ask;
        .’ I’ve had a couple of old tractors that I had to use the tried and true Lincoln grease gun method but I got the pistons out ‘ …..?
        . not familiar with the term. i have seen cars yanked to life after a heavy dose of diesel.

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      • geomechs geomechs Member

        The grease gun method involves making an adapter to fit in the spark plug hole. Use a piece of 3/4 inch rod (you’ll have to use 1 inch for 22 mm plugs), mill and thread one end to the size of the spark plug, bore a hole down the center of the adapter and tap a 1/8″ NPT into the other end. You got to make sure the valves are seated so you may have to remove the head and while you’re at it, clean the rusty chunks out of the cylinders. I might add that you’ll have to remove the pan and disconnect some rods. Lap the valves into the seats (if needed) then torque the head back into place (I even reused the old gasket for this part of the operation). Fill the cylinder up with old crankcase oil and thread the grease gun directly to the fitting and start pumping. A Lincoln gun (or equivilant) can push as much as 3000psi into that cylinder and it’s amazing how easily most pistons will move. Of course there’s a bit of a mess to clean up when you attempt to get that oil back out of the cylinder. I’ve unstuck 6.75 in. bores with cast iron pistons this way. Some object and take time but they will eventually give in. A car engine that’s been inside shouldn’t be a problem at all.

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      • paul

        Great info thanks, I am more of a body guy, so this is not something I have had any experience with.

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  9. Ted

    Im curious though,how did these cars thats built in this body style get the name Business Coupes? Id give “anything to have one no matter what year.

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    • paul

      The rear seat was removed saving $’s, also the trunk was elongated for room for what ever the businessman’s product was that he was selling….. Business coupe!

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  10. joe lonzello

    Nice Coupe ! I’d toss in st8t 6 from 65 Chevy Nova upgrade brakes & front end and drive that puppy.

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