1942 Chevrolet Blackout


Chevrolet offered three models in 1942: the Master Deluxe, the Special Deluxe, and the Fleetline. 

Changes from the 1941 models were minor including the new “fadeaway” front fender, the so-called American Eagle grille, a larger and longer hood, and incorporating the parking lights at the edge on each side of the grille. The 1942 models were built in scarce numbers; only 258,795 of all models built due to the halt of American auto production when resources were directed to the war effort. The Blackout models, called so because they had no chrome or stainless steel trim, were even scarcer, it is estimated less than 2350 built. The 1942 Chevrolets were equipped with a 216 cid engine which produced 90 hp. They were priced from $799.

Chevrolet had been restyled for 1941. For 1942, fenders extended into the doors, and there was a new grille plus revised chrome trim. There were two series: Master Deluxe and Special Deluxe. The Special Deluxe added the Fleetline sub-series: a four-door notchback Sportmaster sedan, plus the two-door fastback Aerosedan. All 1942 Chevrolets had the same engine, a 216 cid 90 hp “stovebolt” inline six, and the same transmission, a three-speed column-shifted manual. During the short 1942 model year, Chevrolet sold 22,187 Special Deluxe Coupes.

These cars were introduced in September 1941. By then, the auto industry was increasingly involved in defense work. Some of Chevrolet’s color choices reflected the mood of the time: Volunteer Green, Ensign Blue, Torpedo Gray, and Martial Maroon. After Pearl Harbor, the industry began complete conversion to war production. On December 14, the government decreed that to conserve scarce metals, all cars built after January 1, 1942 could not use any brightwork apart from chrome-plated bumpers. All cars, including this one, were known as "blackouts". The grille, medallions, hubcaps, all window and body trim, were painted metal instead of chrome. Blackouts of any make are rare; they were only made during January 1942.

On January 1, 1942, the Office of Production Management (OPM) froze dealer inventories, halting all new car and truck sales pending a rationing program to be implemented in March. All passenger car production had ended by February 11. Nationwide, there remained 340,000 new 1942 cars in dealer inventories, including all the January 1942 blackouts. The war ended in 1945. Local ration boards authorized each new car sale at OPM-controlled prices. Used car prices nearly doubled. New tires were not available; recaps were rationed. Gas was rationed. The national speed limit was reduced to 35 mph.

During the war, Chevrolet and GMC made military trucks and ambulances, armored artillery and shells, airplane engines, and amphibious DUKW's. Chevrolet's car production resumed on October 3, 1945.


• Collectible Automobile, June 1996, Volume 13, Number 1
• Collectible Automobile, October 1987, Volume 4, Number 3
• Auto Editors of Consumer Guide, "Cars of the Fabulous 40's", pp 119 and 168
• Hemmings Classic Cars, July 2006, pp 44-48
• Auto Editors of Consumer Guide "Encyclopedia of American Cars", (2006 Edition) pp 143 and 197
• The New York Times, "Sales Basis May Change" Sept 7, 1941; "War Shifts Car Design" Dec 14 1941;
"Rationing Planned" Jan 2, 1942; "Auto Price Ceiling Set …" Feb 2, 1942; and "New Car Rationing
To Start March 2" Feb 22, 1942
• http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1942-chevrolet-master-deluxe-and-special-deluxe.htm
• http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1941-1942-chevrolet-fleetline.htm

Year: 1942
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Blackout
Style: 2 Door Coupe

Serial No: BA382423
Odometer: 57413
Engine Cyl: 6
Engine Size: 216.5 ci
Engine HP: 90
Trans: 3 Speed