The 1941 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe and Special DeLuxe were a sensation from the first day of their introduction, for many good reasons. In 1941, Chevrolet introduced a completely new body style. Concealed safety steps replaced the traditional running boards for the first time. These changes would continue through the postwar models up to 1948. They also improved the existing six-cylinder engine for additional horsepower.
The 1941 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe and Special DeLuxe lineup were very good looking, substantially bigger and more impressive than before. For the third time in as many years they were fully restyled by Harley Earl's Art and Color Section, now more than ever they resembled the costlier Buick. Wheelbase of the 1941 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe and Special DeLuxe was stretched to 116 inches, the same length as the 1929 Buick had been, which the new car ads carefully pointed out. The over all length was now 195 3/4 inches, an increase of 3 1/2 inches, and the weight was increased by roughly a hundred pounds.
Interior space was noticeably larger, providing three inches of additional hip room. Running boards were concealed into the body making these the first Chevrolets made without running boards. The headlamps were now incorporated into the front fenders for a sleeker look and the car name could be found on the rear sides of the front hood in chrome block letters.
The engine of the 1941 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe and Special DeLuxe was heavily revised. A newly designed cylinder head with a slightly higher (6.5:1) compression ratio raised horsepower from 85 to 90 in the 216.5 cubic-inch displacement six-cylinder engine. New pistons were fitted, while valves, rocker arms, and water pump were all reworked. That increased power was sent to the rear wheels through a three-speed synchromesh transmission.
Influenced by the nation's preoccupation with the war then raging in Europe, the revised 1941 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe and Special DeLuxe engine was called the "Victory Six." The United States had become, in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's words, "the arsenal of democracy," and Detroit churning out the materials of war, was busier than at any time since the onset of the Depression a dozen years earlier.
In response to the inflationary pressures that were building as military production picked up, prices of the Master DeLuxe and Special DeLuxe models were increased by anywhere from $29 to $61. The Master 85, meanwhile, had been phased out at the end of the 1940 season. Beginning in 1941 all new Chevrolets were equipped with independent front suspension.
Times were good. Americans were back to work, and even with higher prices the 1941 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe and Special DeLuxe were widely perceived as a bargain, and model year sales posted a substantial gain.
1941 Chevrolet Special DeLuxe Sport Sedan was the most popular four-door Chevrolet in 1941. The styling and body of the Special Deluxe was similar as the Master Deluxe in 1941. The least expensive body-style was the two-door business coupe which had seating for two and carried a $770 price tag. The most expensive of the Special Deluxe Series in 1941 was the four-door station wagon which had seating for eight and a sticker price that was just under a thousand dollars.
Slightly more than one million Chevrolet passenger cars were built as well as close to 650,000 trucks for 1941. Chevrolet owners could personalize their vehicles with numerous factory- installed accessories, and even more authorized items were available through dealerships. Chevrolet and GM options included short wave radios, accessory bumper guards, guide fog- lamps and 'washboard' corrugated front fender trim, which was offered only for 1941.
The top-of-the-line Super DeLuxe Series included Chevrolet's only open style for 1941. Listing for $995, this Convertible Coupe's standard equipment included a power top, lowered and raised by a vacuum operated system.
While this classic "pre-war" Chevy isn't designated a classic, it certainly turns heads today just as it did back in 1941 and the styling is just as stunning today as it was 69 years ago.