Taking A 1941 Chevy Business Coupe For A Spin

jean beside 1941 Chevrolet special deluxe Business Coupe - 1

After spending a couple of days visiting with Bob’s sister, Claire, and her husband, Martin, in Bowser, British Columbia, Martin suggested it was time to roll out his 1941 Chevy Business Coupe and take it for a spin.  I was thrilled as I have always had a love of vintage automobiles right from the time I was a little girl.

1941 Chevrolet special deluxe Business Coupe - front end

The 1941 Chevy is a vehicle that Martin and Claire have put much labour and love into restoring.  Today, it would cost hundreds of dollars just to replace the bumper and fenders on this car, but back in 1941, this Special Deluxe Business Coupe sold for the huge sticker price of $770.

jean inside 1941 Chevrolet special deluxe Business Coupe 1027B - 1

Now the reason they called this Chevy a business coupe is that it was built for use by traveling salesmen.  The car only has two doors and two front seats, behind which is a large space where the traveling businessman would have stored his wares.

Marv adores his 1937 Chev

The love of Chevy’s is nothing new in my own family, too.  Many decades ago, here in Ontario, my dad, Marvin, was the proud owner of a 1937 Chevy Master Deluxe two-door sedan.  Here, we see him showing his affection for his new car.

Marvin with his Chevy in the winter

Over the decades, my dad has owned a long line of different automobiles.  Today, at age 90, he still drives himself around town, and whenever he decides it’s time to buy a new car, there is always a twinkle in his eyes.

jean aboard 1941 Chevrolet special deluxe Business Coupe

Here, some 60-odd years later, it was my turn to have a glint in my eyes as Martin allowed me to sit at the wheel of his cherished Chevrolet.

1941 Chevrolet special deluxe Business Coupe - steering wheel

When it was Bob’s turn to try sitting behind the wheel, Martin threw out a question, “how do you start the car?”  Try as he might, Bob was unable to figure out the trick, much to Martin’s delight.  Get in touch with us if you know the secret!

1941 Chevrolet special deluxe Business Coupe - six-cylinder engine

As we learned, under the hood is a 216.5 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine that produces 90 horsepower.  And not surprising given what happened at Pearl Harbour on November 7, 1941, this engine was named the “Victory Six”.  On December 8, 1941, the United States entered World War II, and on February 2, 1942, all civilian passenger-car production was ordered to a halt.  On top of that, the bright blue colour was no longer used to paint wartime vehicles.

1941 Chevrolet special deluxe Business Coupe - radiator

After having a look at the meticulous restoration work done under the hood by Claire and Martin, it was time to take this beauty out for a spin around Deep Bay Harbour.  I could hardly wait to hear the roar of that V-6 engine in all its gutsy, rhythmic tones.

driving a 1941 Chevrolet special deluxe Business Coupe - vancouver island

As we passed neighbours and fellow motorists, a knowing cheerful greeting rose from their lips.  The Chevy was a reminder of simpler times, but maybe for some, it sparked a memory of wartime strife.  Either way, I was proud to be behind the…dashboard.  Martin was responsible for finessing the unfamiliar dials and controls as we careened down the lane.

1941 Chevrolet special deluxe Business Coupe - rear end

After a short turn about the local community, and then with the 1941 Chevy again stationed in the yard, I stood back and admired the sleek contours and aristocratic mien of the beautiful blue car.  How proud Martin’s father must have been when he saved this quality car from languishing forgotten in some old barn.  He did a service for the lovers of vintage automobiles.  It just took Claire and Martin’s skilled hands to bring it back to life.

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  • Our family car was a 39 Chev…same model as your dad’s. Dad won it in a contest at the GM Dealer in Weston by writing an essay “Why did I buy my car from a GM Dealer?” Oddly enough he had bought a used Ford! The car had to last a long time because of the war and we rebuilt the engine ourselves. In those days cars wore out more quickly and valves had to be ground and piston rings replaced every few years. Yes it was blue. But mom smashed it up one day driving through a stop sign and we had it repainted green. Our starter was on the floor…and the gear shift lever on the steering column…something that might also have confused Bob. This was the car in which I learned to drive.

    • Bill, thanks so much for sharing with us some of your personal story and experiences with a Chevrolet. My dad was one of those guys who was inclined to replace his automobile every three years with a brand new model and/or make…that is after my parents were well established and had enough disposable income to do so. Local dealerships loved to see him coming, although many other people from his generation, including several of my uncles, practiced the same routine. I remember well receiving a phone call just before Christmas one year; we had won a table-top hockey game from one of the Ford dealerships in town. Another time, mom and dad were the proud winners of a brand-spanking new barbeque. They were never the recipients of anything so grand as a new car. Your dad was very lucky! Because dad always replaced his cars so regularly, major maintenance issues were never a concern. Sometimes, the cars were barely broken in before being traded. What a different time and set of ideals.

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