Custom Car Chronicle
Early Custom Cars

41 Chevy 4 Door




Two snapshot of a really nicely done 1941 Chevy 4 door restyled in the mid 1940s.

I think it was around 2010 when I bought a few snapshots with some mild early customs restyled California cars at an eBay auction. One of them was a bit fuzzy side view of a nicely done 1941 Chevy four door sedan. This photo was the only one that had a name written on it. Jay Foreman was written in blue on the bottom of the photo border. I assume that Jay is the guy in the photo, and most likely the owner of that nice early/mid 1940’s restyled Chevy. No other info was given with the photos when I bought them, so I do not know where in California this photo was taken, not when. But judging the things I can see in the photo I assume that the photo was taken in the early to mid 1940’s. Black Wall Tires with single bar flippers most likely mean somewhere between 1942 and 46. The position of the Appleton Spotlight with the glass towards the back was something that was done more in Northern California than in the South.


ccc-1941-chevy-4-door-40s-photo-05Jay Foreman proudly standing with his cool Chevy.

A couple of years later I found another photo of the same car at another eBay auction. This time from a different seller, and when the snapshot came in the mail, I knew for sure that it was the same car, taken in the same location. What are the odds. This second photo shows the Chevy from the front 3/4 and Jay was not in the picture this time. This photo shows how nice the car really is. It also shows that the car was fitted with two Appleton Spotlights, and not one as could have very well be the case judging the side view snapshot.

The more I studied the photo the more I liked the car. And even though it is mildly restyled, there still had to be done a substantial amount of work to get it to look this good. The hood and side trim were removed, all four door handles were shaved, holes filled and everything smoothed. The front of the hood was smoothed and the hood ornament was removed. The car was lowered a bit and most likely an early 1940’s Cadillac fender skirt was modified to for the Chevy fenders. The car was dressed up with a set of single bar flipper hubcaps with beauty rings, front and rear, Dual Spotlights and Dual antennas mounted on the cowl and bend to flow better with the windshield of the car. The car was painted in a light color. The first snapshot with the guy in the photo shows that he must have been really proud of the car. And I sure can understand why. It looks really good.

ccc-1941-chevy-4-door-40s-photo-01The second photo of the Chevy is actually a really nice photo showing the car from the front 3/4. it really shows how super nice this car is. Smoothed hood and shaved doors really make this car look very cool.

ccc-1941-chevy-4-door-40s-photo-02Close up of the front shows the cowl mounted and bend antenna, the pointed forward Appleton Spotlights, the ripple disk flipper hubcaps and beauty ring and the smoothed hood side, and accessory bumper ends.

ccc-1941-chevy-4-door-40s-photo-03Close up of the rear shows the smooth doors, and the Cadillac fender skirts.

I think these photos are really interesting, since they show that in the early/mid 1940’s people were customizing four door cars, and they even went as far as removing the door handles for that ultimate smooth look. A technique that was much more common to do in the later parts of the 1940’s and early 1950’s, especially on four doors. I would love to find out more about this car, and the owner. Hopefully somebody will recognize Jay Forman’s name, or perhaps the location

Both photos are 5.25 x 3.5 Inch (130 x 90 mm)

ccc-1941-chevy-4-door-40s-illustrationA Stock 1941 Chevy four door from an 1941 advertising print.




Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

2 thoughts on “41 Chevy 4 Door

  • Four door cars need some love too.:)
    As I search for another custom project that is more of a driver then my last one, cars like this 41 Chevy are starting to have more appeal everyday.
    I really like the fact the they shaved all 4 door handles plus it looks like it may be sitting fairly close to stock height based on the amount of wheel and hub cap showing in the rear.
    It would be interesting to know how much of the work the owner did themselves.

  • Good story and Jay’s car is one of those that at first glance you don’t notice all the modifications. The more you look the more the subtle changes become apparent.

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