The 1940’s was an era of great strife as WWII raged on all over Europe and other battle theaters. Ultimately when the winds of change began to blow, people started hoping for a new and much better life. Vehicle production was then handed a new lease of life. The outcome was the introduction of several ‘legendary’ cars at the close of the troublesome decade. This would eventually become the bedrock of automobile design and engineering in the subsequent decades and even today. Here then are the best 8 1940s cars we should still be driving today in every sense of the phrase.
1. Cadillac Series 62 1949
This Cadillac model can easily be considered to be a bonafide pioneer in the 1940’s automobile design. It categorically made its mark by been the very first car to sport tail fins at its rear end. This precedence went on to pave the road for an entire decade of impressive American automotive design. Cadillac itself hailed it as the ‘most beautiful and distinguished’ car in the world, and they were clearly not mistaken. The Cadillac Series 62 was powered by a 5.7L V8 engine which could produce 150hp. Its top speed was 100mph.
2. Buick RoadMaster 1949
This car goes down in history as one of the most exquisite of its kind to be ever released in the 1940’s. While what was under its hood could basically be described as mediocre, its exceptional design more than made up for this. Still, it boasted of a respectable 5.2L V8 engine that was able to produce 150hp worth of power. While its top speeds was rated at 84 mph. The RoadMaster’s most notable feature was its ‘dollar-grin’ grille.
3. Jaguar XK 120
The Jaguar XK 120 gained a solid reputation as the quickest production car to be ever released in this era on a global scale. It also integrated a very beautiful design which endeared it to many. This car was powered by a 3.4L S6 engine that could produce 160 hp. Even better, its maximum speed was in the 125mph range.
4. Morris Minor MM Convertible
This was the very first British-made car model to sell units beyond the 1 million zone. The convertible, in particular, quickly became the most in demand of all the available trims. This model came with an iconic split windscreen and independent front wheels suspension. It was also highly noted for its incredibly smooth handling while on the road. The Morris Minor MM was fitted with a 5.7L V4 engine that could produce a power of 227hp. Its top speed stood at 62mph.
5. Pontiac Chieftain
The Pontiac Chieftain was the very first model from the brand to ooze its new characteristic glamour and elegance. Some of the notable features it had to offer include heated seats (optional) along with ‘forward-pointing’ spotlights incorporated into its wing mirrors. Also, its bonnet sported a decorative Indian chief’s head which glowed in the dark. This car was powered by a 5.7L V8 engine that could produce 227 hp and it had top speeds of 81mph.
6. Tucker Torpedo
The Tucker Torpedo is certainly one the biggest ‘what if?’ stories in the whole automotive industry. Its maker Preston Tucker could only produce 51 units, before he was forced to close shop due to a wide variety of reasons. Over the passage of time, the Torpedo became one of the most in demand collector items. Indeed in 2012, one of these cars was auctioned off for a handsome sum of $2.63 million. Its most impressive feature was, without doubt, a directional 3rd headlight which could be activated as the driver navigated angles of above 10o. This feature soon came to be known as ‘Cyclops Eye’ and served the purpose of illuminating the Torpedo’s path around corners. This car had a 7.5L V8 engine that could produce 166hp worth of power. Its maximum speed stood at the 120mph mark.
Furthermore On Best 1940s Cars We Should Still Be Driving Today
7. Ferrari 166 Inter
This was the first road car Ferrari ever produced. It ultimately turned into the gold standard of engineering and style by which all subsequent models adhered to. The 166 Inter also proved to be very successful and was the first Ferrari model to sell well outside of Italy. It was powered by a 2L V12 engine that produced 90hp and had top speeds of 93mph.
8. Alpha Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport
The release of this car marked the end of Alpha Romeo’s hand-built models era. It was also the first post WWII project he undertook and proved to be highly successful. The 6C 2500 was fitted with a 2.4L V6 engine which could produce 105hp worth of power. Its maximum speed was in the 102mph range.