1940 Chrysler Windsor

Illustration for article titled 1940 Chrysler Windsor

Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. We saw our last 1940s Alameda vehicle four months ago, so it's time for another.

Illustration for article titled 1940 Chrysler Windsor
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We're going prewar with this Chrysler, which I found parked just around the corner from the '60 Bel Air sedan and the '73 Corvette. It looks to be in very good shape for a street-parked 70-year-old car.

Illustration for article titled 1940 Chrysler Windsor

The '40 Windsor came with a 108-horsepower Chrysler Flathead Six, which would be a laughable number nowadays… until you consider that this car's shipping weight was only 3,210 pounds. Back in 1940, car buyers had to put up with road noise, and they were forced to sweat when the weather got hot. You had no holders for your ridiculously undersized soda bottles, and the kids in back were forced to look out the window for entertainment- you know, at cows and stuff. If you wrecked- which was pretty easy to do, considering the sketchy brakes and low-tech tires of the era- you ate dashboard! But all those inconveniences made for a very lightweight vehicle for its size, and thus we have a big suicide-door sedan that weighs 315 pounds less than a 2010 Chrysler Sebring (and is approximately 315,000,000 times better looking).

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DISCUSSION

Well, beautiful car, but I'm thinking there was some badge engineering, even back in the day.

My parents inherited mygrandmother's 1939 Dodge 4 door, suicide doors and all. It was our first second car, and looked just like this wonderful Chrysler.

We lived in Avon Lake, Ohio, down the road from the Ford plant. At the time railroad access to the plant was an on grade crossing. "Dodgy" crapped out going over the hump, right on the tracks, my mom driving and all four siblings scattered through the cavernous interior.

She immediately realized the danger, got us all out of the car and we marched home, holding hands as we trudged down the road next to the traffic. She was not happy.

I never saw the car again, and alas, lost my opportunity to ask what happened to it. Thanks for bringing it all back, including the feel of that scratchy mohair interior.