The 1940 Barn Dodge
Half a Century:
You have heard stories of barn finds before. Some sound incredible,
some unbelievable, but here's one that might top 'em all. It's the true
story of one 1940 Dodge Deluxe Sedan.
Back in 1940, life in the Country was
running at a different pace. You could leave your house unlocked, and,
of course, your car. Television and graffiti were words without
meaning. Pearl Harbor was an event of the future. It would take two
more years until the United States would enter World War II. Life was
hard but good.
At about this time VIN *
was built by proud American workers in Detroit, Michigan, one of 84,976
Dodge D-14 DeLuxe four-door sedans manufactured in 1940. A veterinarian
from Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, purchased the blue Dodge new at the local
Dodge dealer in Boise. He used it to respond to calls all through the
war years. His 1944 permit is still affixed to the windshield. Being a
very valuable asset during war times, the car was always parked in a
dedicated spot in the barn when not in use. In 1948, the good Doctor
passed away. The car was put on blocks and covered with bed sheets.
No, it was not going to be for sale. Who would have guessed at that
time that the Dodge would be asleep for more than 50 years.
Children became adults, parents, then
grandparents. The old Dodge was still slumbering in the barn. In the
late 1980s an attempt was made to awaken and sell the car. Finally,
early in 2003, the time had come. The bed sheets were taken off, the
car was lifted from the blocks, and the tires were filled up with air.
A new owner was found. He took the Dodge to southern California .
63 years old and with only
original miles showing on its odometer, this Dodge personifies
the term "reference car." More importantly, it represents a rare
opportunity to experience how it felt driving a new car in the 1940s.
It's time to start a little journey around this amazing Dodge.
The body, amazingly, is straight and
absolutely rust free, thanks to being stored in a dry, well ventilated
barn, away from the elements. The blue lacquer paint is original,
factory applied. Sure, it's worn thin on the tops of the fenders, shows
a myriad of nicks, imperfections, and touch ups from the past. There
are a few small dings here and there, but not an ounce of body filler
nor a single rust bubble. It's all heavy metal! Repainting this car,
ever, would be an unforgivable sin! Its patina is irreplaceable and
gives the Dodge its inherent value.
Another Dodge industry first for 1940 was
safety rims! The wheels still feature their factory triple pinstriping,
the heavily chromed hubcaps are beautifully preserved. Even the painted
red detailing is still intact! The bias ply tires of the dimension
6.00x16 look original as well. I don't think they make "Pennsylvania Rx
Supertest Cord S-3" rubber anymore.
Open the doors and be invited into a cabin
that's 100% factory original. Unmolested, unmodified, unrestored.
It has the special 1940s aroma and charm that cannot be duplicated.
It should never be restored, instead be enjoyed just the way it is.
The dashboard is a masterpiece of Art Deco
design. Fabulous painted metal creates the ambiance of lightly stained
wood. Nickel-plated accents duplicate the look of then-popular costume
jewelry. Every single part seems infused with the designer's idea to
create a harmonious environment; details such as the retracting ash
receiver lid are simultaneously good-looking and functional. There's
simply no comparison to present-day throwaway products, sprouting black
plastic appendages everywhere. Nevertheless, the Dodge was built with
entirely modern creature comforts. It features dual electric windshield
wipers, sealed beam headlights, floating power, hydraulic brakes,
telescopic shock absorbers, a column-shifted, synchronized transmission,
tinted glass, a chromed horn ring, and a host of other innovations.
What was found in the felt-lined, locking
glove box is nothing short of astonishing in its historical context:
instruction book in its original envelope.
"Sentinel" first aid kit, incl. A bottle of Mercurochrome.
promotional lead pencil "Compliments of DeRail Pool Hall, Glenn's
stub dated 8/16/1941, from the Glen Valley Rodeo.
metal box containing "Buss Auto Fuses".
Split Shot" box containing a tire valve and a fishing hook.
A pair of
A "Travel Idaho with CONOCO" road map.
Ample space for three on the comfy front bench, featuring "airfoam" seat
cushions. The original mohair still looks good, with unavoidable stains
and moth attacks at a minimum.
Through large, rear-hinged suicide doors, entry to the spacious
passenger compartment is easy, even when wearing a top hat. Luxuriously
equipped with arm and foot rests, woven grab handles, a beveled-glass
interior light, and (unused) ash tray, passengers will invariably
exclaim, "This feels like Driving Miss Daisy!"
Roomy trunk sports original jute mats. Original spare wheel and jacking
equipment are present, as well as some spares and a small tool tray.
Also included is a set of new GOODYEAR tires of the proper size and a
set of new inner tubes.
A beautiful classic car, ready to be of service!
"Let us MARFAK your car!" proclaims TEXACO's old service sticker on the
door jamb. The Dodge was just lubed and serviced, 2,000 miles ago, in