When Mr. Wiley ordered his Convertible Phaeton from Illinois’ Bauer Buick in the fall of 1940, he selected a newly released, short-run “Spring Color” hue, his chosen warm, terracotta-like Sienna Rust body paint a striking contrast to the rich green leather inside. The open-top four-door Super was built in Flint in February 1941 and delivered through the suburban Chicago dealership in late March or early April. Over the next 80 years, it would have four additional long-term owners, two of whom preserved it for the latest, who then returned it to its prewar glory.
“I found this car in 2004, in Wisconsin,” Michael Stemen remembers. “The ad said, ‘Very original; one of 467; runs, drives; last of the four-door Buick convertible sedans.’” The avowed marque enthusiast, then living in New York’s Catskill Mountain region, called upon an Illinois-based friend in the Buick community to inspect the Model 51-C on his behalf; upon learning of its high level of originality, Michael negotiated the purchase and set the Phaeton on the road to restoration.
General Motors had discontinued Cadillac’s junior La Salle division for 1941, leaving Buick room to expand its territory both within the GM hierarchy and in the marketplace. The Super line hit a sweet spot for affluent middle-class buyers, representing a distinct step up from the wide range of Series 40 Special models. The lowest-production Series 50 body style was this Convertible Phaeton, whose $1,555 list price —just $6 less than that year’s average yearly salary—represented around $30,415 in today’s money.
Mr. Wiley’s six-passenger convertible was one of two open four-doors the automaker offered that year, the second being the $1,775 Series 70 Roadmaster that rode on a 126-inch wheelbase, 5 inches longer than that underpinning his Super. These Convertible Phaetons represented the final appearance of a type that dated back to Buick’s touring cars of the early 1910s. While the body style moved upmarket through ensuing decades, the Phaetons built for 1941 still used manually operated folding Haartz cloth roofs, rather than the vacuum-actuated tops enclosing both Series’ flagship two-door Convertible Coupes. Our feature car’s first owner selected a complementary tan top, the color of which was echoed in the optional cream-pinstriped, Prairie Tan painted road wheels.
Restoration expenses once again far outstrip the value of the finished product
If there’s anything that owning a “project vehicle” has taught anyone, it’s that restoration work almost always ends up being much-more expensive than originally anticipated. And while it’s rewarding to be part of an extreme makeover, sometimes it means taking a loss when it comes time to part ways and offer that vehicle up to the collector marketplace.
Many classified listings these days include some variation of the phrase, “You can’t build it for what I’m asking.” And that statement rings painfully true in many cases
A private seller on ClassicCars.com in Longview, Texas, is offering an 80-year-old custom Ford at a fraction of the investment that it took to restore. The Pick of the Day is a red 1941 Ford Super Deluxe two-door coupe complete with receipts totaling $100,000 and a selling price that is significantly lower.
“The price to build was right at $100k,” the listing states. “Invoices are available which will list all of the individual components plus the shop labor hours.”
The rebuilt Jasper flathead engine alone, now having accrued only a few hundred miles since installation, reflected an expenditure in excess of $10,000, according to the ad.
Today’s AutoHunter Spotlight is on a 1941 Deluxe Club convertible that’s undergone a body-off restoration and is equipped with a 221cid Ford Flathead V8 paired with a 3-speed column-shifted manual transmission.
This first model year example of the Super Deluxe series was resprayed in black and given a replacement power-operated cloth top accented with red piping. The three-piece front grille with vertical slants was only found on these 1941 models.
Other eye-catching exterior features include a two-piece windshield, fender-mounted turn signals and optional bumper guards.
The interior, dressed in red leather with a contrasting black dash, houses a pull-out ashtray, lockable glove department and a black steering wheel with a Super Deluxe chrome center button.
Odometer shows approximately 44,984 miles, although total chassis mileage is unknown.
There aren’t many cooler parade vehicles on this planet than vintage fire trucks. Everybody loves to see an old Ford fire truck cruising along at slow speeds, showing off its impressive equipment and timeless charm for kids of all ages to soak in. Perhaps with a little bit of candy, of course. But this 1941 Ford fire truck that’s up for sale at Marshall Goldman is apparently good at more than just making people smile at parades.
That’s because instead of filling the bed with a bunch of fire-fighting equipment, this vintage Ford has been transformed into the coolest motorcycle hauler we’ve come across in some time. Right now, the truck is carrying around a mock-up of a vintage Indian two-wheeler, but we’d certainly replace it with the real thing if it was our truck.
August 1941. “Conservation. Scrap iron and steel. An automobile graveyard outside Baltimore. Scrapped cars are collected in such yards in every state. Usable parts are stripped from the chassis and the remainder of the car is sent to scrap iron dealers for processing and shipment to steel mills.” Acetate negative by “Danish,” Office for Emergency Management.
Somehow, despite the constant churn of Florida real estate, the decades-long dilapidation, and the drug-use problem that plagued the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida, the facility remains in pretty much the same configuration today as it did when it was built in 1941. That includes the Ebony Club, a rooftop bar where Bill France laid out his plans for NASCAR, which makes the hotel’s upcoming auction more than just another real-estate transaction.
Coachbuilt cars are typically associated with marques like Duesenberg, Packard, and Rolls-Royce, but California shop Coachcraft worked with more attainable brands, too. This Coachcraft-built 1941 Mercury Sedanca de Ville custom, created for banking heir Peter Stengel, features a one-of-a-kind body and a multi-function top that transformed the car from coupe, to Victoria, to roadster. Part of RM Sotheby’s Petersen Museum auction, the unique Merc will cross the block in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, December 8.
Interesting article on Americas first Urban Freeway, the Davison in Detroit.
Construction of the five and a half mile freeway began in 1941 and was completed by November 1942. The freeway became the first one of its kind – an urban freeway meant to connect one part of a metro area with another with as little interruption as possible