Classic cars from the 1940s have become collectible in the last 20 years, with many of them approaching historic levels of value.
They were also some of the most stylish and fun-to-drive cars that ever rolled off an assembly line, making them truly timeless classics of the automotive world.
Here are ten classic cars from the 1940s that you need to know about if you want to build your own collection or simply add one to your personal garage.
1940 Cadillac Series 62
By far one of our favorite cars on any list of classic or timeless cars is (arguably) the 1940 Cadillac Series 62. This was Cadillac’s first car with a V-16 engine, powered by 320 horsepower and capable of cruising at over 100 miles per hour.
Though it might not have been as flashy as other models at its time, many people called it one of America’s most beautiful cars at that time, you can see why in every curve.
It also came in second place for the Motor Trend Car of The Year Awards that year, not bad for being one of America’s most elegant but still iconic cars during World War II! American classic cars if there ever was one!
Read also: Pictures of Cars From The 1940s
1940 Mercury Convertible
The 1940 Mercury Convertible is definitely one of those cars that is just as comfortable on a showroom floor as it is tooling around town.
As a premier convertible car with style, speed, and class to spare, it’s no wonder why any driver would want to make such a purchase!
The Mercury Convertible was powered by a 250 cubic inch Straight 8 engine with a two-barrel carburetor, which was more than capable of handling whatever driving task you gave it.
If you’re looking for a classic muscle car look no further than your local dealership!
1940 Mercedes Benz
The 1940 Mercedes Benz represented a significant turning point for car design with its long, sleek, low-to-the-ground shape that contrasted greatly with cars in the 1940s.
Even though it was in production for only one year, it set new standards for automotive design and would eventually evolve into modern-day sedans like those made by BMW.
The 1940 Mercedes Benz also helped shift American consumers’ idea of what a sports car looked like to more closely resemble the modern models we know today.
Before 1940, most people’s exposure to sports cars came through American films which showed them being driven around by affluent Hollywood stars.
1940 Lincoln Continental
The 1940 Lincoln Continental was a different kind of 1940s American cars. It was stylish, luxurious, and powerful.
The Continental sold for $2,210 ($36,000 in 2017), making it about as expensive as a house (the median US home value in 1940 was $1,850).
It also didn’t hurt that it looked like nothing else on the road. Today’s cars are bigger but still very boxy, when you see one parked on your street you can easily recognize it as a 2016 or 2017 model.
But not so with a 1940 Lincoln Continental. It looks modern while also possessing classic elements.
The 1940 Ferrari (Type 125) was a Formula One racing car designed by Vittorio Jano for use by Scuderia Ferrari. A single car was built, and it is not known if there were any plans to build more examples.
The driver of that vehicle is unknown, although L’Automobile identified Alberto Ascari as its test driver.
It made only one recorded appearance, driving in the 1949 French Grand Prix at Le Mans where Luigi Villoresi started 11th on an 81⁄2-mile triangular circuit race around Le Mans.
1940 Ford Coupe
The 1940 Ford Coupe is a classic car that has stood the test of time. This unique vintage car is special because of its sleekness and style.
When it was first produced, you could only purchase it in black or dark blue. As it aged, however, more colors were introduced to keep up with trends at that time period.
If you were lucky enough to find one today (or have a replica made), chances are it will be in one of these original colors!
1940 Mercury Coupe
The 1940 Mercury coupe featured a longer wheelbase than other Mercurys that year, which gave it a smooth ride.
The car included interior amenities such as windshield washers, power windows, an electric clock, seat warmers, and more.
The design was also improved over previous years’ models with chrome-plated stainless steel mufflers and louvers on each side of the hood.
Due to new government regulations regarding chrome bumpers in 1940, Mercury cut back its use of chrome bumpers for that year but did not eliminate them entirely.
A V8 engine could power Mercury through 60 miles per hour in just 23 seconds back then — impressive speed for any vehicle made 70 years ago!
1940 Pontiac Coupe
The 1940 Pontiac Coupe is a beautiful car. The coupe has two doors, with back seats for passengers. This classic car includes rear view mirrors and running boards.
The 1940 Pontiac Coupe’s engine produces 90 horsepower; it weighs 2,760 pounds. Other features include driver airbags, tinted windows, hydraulic brakes, power locks, power steering, and leather seats.
Passengers can listen to music using Sirius satellite radio or an AM/FM radio. To use these features, you’ll need to install a CD player or an MP3 device.
The 1940 Fiat Topolino, was an Italian automobile manufactured by Fiat. Introduced at the 1940 Paris Motor Show, it was also known as Millecento, or in English as thousand centimeters.
It is considered a pioneer among small cars and gave rise to later models like the 500, 126, and 600. As their names suggest, they were initially very small but became more spacious towards their late phase of production.
For example, cars from the 1940s versions had interior space comparable to large sedans of that era, but with much smaller exterior dimensions than what you’d expect.
There are plenty of classic cars from America, but none so iconic as Chevrolet’s first V8-powered production car.
In its earliest versions, it had a manual transmission – which was originally designed to provide a safer alternative to automatic transmissions, even though many drivers preferred them.
Later, cars would include power steering, air conditioning, and all sorts of other perks that would make life on the road more enjoyable.
It’s never been a bad choice as far as classic cars from the 40s! 40 years after its release date, it was already being used in high-speed races like NASCAR; don’t be surprised if you see one in near future.
1940s classic cars will always be regarded as classic in style. They look good today because they were built to last, not just to make a fashion statement.
While technology has come a long way since then, there’s something to be said for buying or building an older model.
Not only do they tend to have fewer problems than new cars, but they’re also often more affordable and easier on your wallet overall.
The truth is that new cars aren’t always better than older models – we hope you enjoyed our list of 10 classic cars from the 1940s! What are some of your favorite classic vehicles? Share with us in a comment below!