In 1939, Chevrolet outsold its rival Ford in a big way — but it wasn’t resting on its laurels; the following year, it gave its Master and Special models a complete redesign to ensure it remained on top of anything Dearborn had to offer.

The Master 85 was still the entry-level model, the Deluxe was the next step up but the upscale Special Deluxe was the one to have. The flagship, available in six body styles (including the two-door Sport saloon pictured) featured a chrome beltline trim, whitewall tyres, an “alligator” bonnet and a grille which resembled that of the higher-priced Buick. The wheelbase was stretched to 113in to afford passengers more legroom and it could be had in a choice of 14 colours. It was more sumptuously appointed than any previous Chevy and packed dual wipers, dual air horns, a 30-hour dashboard clock, and a deluxe steering wheel with horn ring. It retained GM’s 216.4 cubic inch “Stovebolt Six” mated to a three-speed manual and came with a Carter one-barrel carburetor to help it produce 85bhp.

In total, 431,200 Special Deluxe’s were built, and all found happy homes making it Chevy’s best-seller for 1940.

 

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