1940 Chevrolet Master Deluxe

In 1940, Chevrolet released an expanded line. The Master 85 was joined by the Master Deluxe, with the Master Deluxe being the fancier, more expensive model. All 1940 models, while similar in style to the 1939s, had received enough of a facelift to give them a more modern, streamlined appearance”. The Master Deluxe would also be offered in a top-of-the-line convertible called the Special Deluxe series. Both the Master 85 and Master Deluxe lines were offered in a business coupe, two-door town sedan or four-door sport sedan. The 85 line also included a woodie wagon, and the Deluxe line, a Sport Coupe. The Master 85 retained the solid front axle, with the Deluxe series coming with “knee-action” independent front suspensions. The standard engine was the 216.5-CID in-line 6, which provided 85 horsepower. Perhaps the wording in a 1940 magazine advertisement summarizes the 1940 Chevrolet best: “The Crown of Beauty Belongs to Chevrolet with New Royal Clipper Styling. Chevrolet’s First again! Eye it . . . Try it . . . Buy it!”

With this consignment wrenching is an understatement. More like a total transformation and now we give you a fully custom rod version of the 1940 Chevy Master Deluxe. This rebuild has taken many styling cues from the street rod culture such as snappy named pastel paint, the absence of body chrome and an amazing drivetrain. Read on to learn what it takes to make a rod this mean and nasty!


Mostly true to its original design, we see straight steel panels, honed to their final curvaceous form, with fat fenders, running boards, a rounded roofline, and curved trunkline. The hood comes to a shiny point with the chromed horizontal lined “Groucho Marx” mustache style front grille clip and is framed on either side by large bullet style headlights that sit proudly on the front fenders along with smaller outboard marker lights. The original trim for the hood runs back toward the raked and Veed dual pane windshield and all of the chrome trim has been shaved or painted body color as well as the rear bumper. An orange and black stripe runs from front to back along the beltline of this exterior and expands to form a bowtie with speed lines trailing rearward at the front of the rear quarter panel. This stripe also stands as the delineation mark between the Vanilla Shake colored upper body and Sweet Georgia Peach that bathes the lower panels. A few chips, dings, and bubbles are noted in this finish, but one must look closely to see them. Polished deep dish custom wheels adorn each corner for that “just right” look.


Gray broadcloth in a smooth pattern covers most of the custom door panels which now have black billet for the window cranks and actuators. In the center is a dark gray vinyl padded arm rest and finishing the top of the door is silver paint over steel. Moving inside we are greeted with a pair of modern high back bucket seats in perforated light gray broadcloth tuck and roll inserts and smooth charcoal gray bolsters. This pattern continues to the rear seats which are a pair of low back buckets and our consignor notes that these seats are courtesy of a 1991 Dodge Daytona. A small console and Hurst shifter for the automatic transmission are noted and all of this is supported by gray carpeting with clean gray carpeted mats. Upfront looking to the dash for more inspiration is a tilt steering column, a gray wrapped bowtie logoed wheel, modified simplified custom dash with a mix of VDO and AutoMeter white face gauges and a Mooneyes tachometer. Also noted is an AM/FM/CD radio with a Streetrod badge attached to the factory chrome speaker grille. A clean gray broadcloth headliner hangs above and shows as new.


A recently rebuilt 1974 350ci V8 removed from a 1974 Monte Carlo rests in the closed side engine bay, very clean and spit shined with smatterings of polished aluminum for the valve covers and air cleaner assembly, both by Edelbrock. Feeding this healthy mill mill its dose of air and fossils is an Edelbrock 4bbl carburetor and the valves are actuated by an Edlebrock Performer camshaft. A TH350 transmission, which is a 3-speed automatic, is attached and a 10-bolt Positraction 3.08 geared rear axle from a 1974 Camaro puts the power to the pavement.


A nicely done frame, flooring and body hangers are finished in black with a smattering of minor surface rust but no structural issues are seen. A Mustang II independent coil spring front suspension is on along with power disc brakes and for the rear we see leaf springs and power drums. Lest I forget, this car has a dual exhaust system Flowmaster mufflers which snakes its way rearward and ends well in chromed tips.


Upon the fire up we were met with a nice throaty sound. Popping it into gear is effortless and we were off to the test track. This car has good acceleration, a nice ride, good brakes, and superior handling. All functions were working well during our test drive.

Overall a very nice rodded Master Deluxe, now even more deluxe than ever. Plenty of work to modernize the looks and the mechanical innards, but no fear of chipping the paint during spirited driving, and you can have a turnkey showstopper whether it be up main street or at an actual show.

Price: $35,500

More info: Listing has ended. Click to search on eBay for similar 1940 Chevrolet Master Deluxe (Affiliate link)

Seller's other items: classicautomall