12 Replies to “1941 Dodge Business Coupe: Giving America The Business”

  1. AvatarNoID

    As someone who’s used multiple flavors of Challenger to deliver or receive auto parts*, as well as sampled them in rental fleets on business trips, I can say that it definitely carries on the spirit of the Business Coupe, though I doubt that’s intentional. Leg room for miles, a trunk large enough for a standard Catholic family (Latter Day Saints if you lay the seats down) and a perfect mix of giddy-up for city/rural driving and fuel economy for highway slogs, no matter which powertrain you choose. It even has AWD available for all-season mobility, which is crucial for some markets.

    There’s a thought…the Challenger is already available in some models with a rear seat delete, maybe there’s a case for bring back the Business Coupe. I can’t see them offering it with a passenger seat delete, but maybe a new flat-folding passenger seat would suffice. Market it primarily to fleets but do make it available to retail customers.

    *797 horsepower hooks up really well with 300 pounds in the trunk.

  2. AvatarNoID

    If the cut-away is accurate, it basically looks like a torque converter placed in front of a conventional manual transmission, very different from the “Hydra-Matic” TH350 and other true automatics, which used (and still use) planetary gearsets, bands, clutches, hydraulic pressure, and The Deep Magic of Narnia to function.

  3. Avatar-Nate

    What a lovely car in spite of the rust .

    The Coupes with the slide in pickup bed were called ‘Coupe Express’ and of course, the Japanese Mechanic I know was _given_ one (1941 Chevy Coupe Express) by his uncle ~ he hated it naturally .

    The MoPar Fluid Drive was indeed simply a torque converter in front of a nomal three speed tranny .

    I had this in my 1949 Dodge B1B 1/2 ton pickup truck, I bought it well used from Barlow’s Hudson .

    I hope someone saves this neat, historic and rare car .


  4. AvatarJohn C.

    It is interesting to think about road warriors making their rounds in cars like this. With the rudimentary oiling and cooling systems of the time, what was the drivetrain life, 40,000 miles? So a new car every 2 or 3 years.

    • Avatarstingray65

      A valve job and new rings would have been a pretty common “maintenance” item at 30 to 50,000 miles, but the simple engines of the time were easy to disassemble and rebuild so any backyard mechanic or gas station attendant could do it for relatively little time and money. Check out any old issue of Popular Mechanics and replacement piston ring makers were big advertisers.

      Until the 1950s the mechanical bits wore out much faster than the thick metal bodies rusted, but as the mechanical bits got more durable (thanks in part to better motor oils) that body metal got thinner so the reverse became much more frequent by the 1960s when it became common to see mechanically sound cars with swiss cheese bodies in the rust belt.

  5. Avatarstingray65

    I never understood this body style when a sedan delivery was also available with far more space and less awkward styling. Perhaps the salesmen of yesteryear were like the soccer moms of today in not wanting to be seen driving a “van” or “station wagon”, and instead preferred the image conveyed by a “sporty” coupe (yesteryear) or “rugged” SUV (today).

    One thing is for sure, however, the salesman who made rounds in this a machine was in no hurry as 87 gross horsepower and fluid drive would have made for one very slow vehicle – I’m guessing a 0-60 in about 30 seconds.

    • Avatardejal

      Name an alternative for something reasonable in price that was to be used as a tool for employment? 60 MPH, where? There was no interstate system to take advantage of the speed on a regular basis

      Chicago raised the in town speed limit from 35 to 45 in 1947.

      1950, Mass. raised the speed limit to 55 on divided highways and upto 45 on other roads. If there was no Mass. Pike I-90 today it would probably take 3 hours to go from Boston to the NY border. Most traffic would be on RT 2 or RT 20 with small town downtowns every 6 – 7 miles.

      • Avatarstingray65

        I believe that Wyoming, Montana, and Nevada (perhaps some others) did not have speed limits on the open road until the 1960s-70s, so there were a few places where a salesman might stretch the legs of his business coupe. As for the 0-60 run, Tom McCahill invented the metric testing cars for Mechanix Illustrated starting in the late 1940s.

    • AvatarCarmine

      These were salesmans cars, they really didn’t need something like a sedan delivery, which was more van like. These were usually used to carry large sample cases and the salesman’s luggage.

      Chevrolet still cataloged a basic business coupe until 1961, it was low production, in the 3 digits I think. The Corvair coupes could sort of had bee set up as business coupes too in a base 500 with the folding rear seat. The 1960 cars didn’t have the ducted heater so they had an even bigger rear well when the seat was folded down.

  6. Avatar-Nate

    You young whippersnappers ! =8-) .

    It was normal to rattle & wheeze across America at 45 ~ 50 MPH when this was a current car .

    60 MPH would spin the rods out of it or any Chevrolet back then .

    If you needed to go 55 +, you bought an over drive unit or a vehicle so equipped .



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