American Cars of the 1940's in Miniature
by Dave Weber, images by Doug Breithaupt

1948 Buick Roadmaster - Road Champs

1949 Buick Riviera - Racing Champions

1949 Cadillac Coupe de Ville - Racing Champions

1947 Chevrolet Fleetline - Revell

1940 Ford Coupe - Racing Champions

1940 Ford Woody - Hot Wheels

1949 Ford Woody - Kinsmart

1941 Continental - Racing Champions

1942 Continental - LJN

1949 Mercury Sedan - Johnny Lightning

1949 Mercury Woody - Johnny Lightning

1949 Mercury Coupe - Racing Champions

1942 Oldsmobile Custom - Johnny Lightning

1949 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupe - Valvoline

1948 Tucker - Summer

1940-41 Willys Pro-stock - Johnny Lightning

1941-46 Willys Jeep - Johnny Lightning

Although each decade in history is different; the decade of the 1940's is by far the most unusual in U.S. automobile history. This was the only period of time when automobile production stopped for a period of 3-4 years. No cars were manufactured after 1942 due to World War II. Production for civilians did not resume until 1946 .

During this period U.S. manufacturers did continue to design cars with new styling for introduction when the war would end. Substantial alterations in fender and roof lines were made in the late 1940's. There is no question the production of war machinery (including the Jeep) lead to a healthy post-war economy.

Although there were many interesting automobiles produced during the 1940's; it was only recently that the model/ toy industry began to produce miniature replicas of this decade in 1/64 scale. Now, these companies are beginning to provide the market with selected models of '40-'41 Willys , early Fords and '49 Mercury's . In this summary review I have attempted to list all known models. For clarity, I have categorized these models in alphabetical order by the car manufacturer and then listed them chronologically.

Roadmaster - Tootsietoy issued this model - believed to be a Buick before WWII
Special - By Vintage Casting (1940) slush casting . No additional information.

Roadmaster - This model was produced by Road Champs in 1985. This fastback model features opening doors. Roadmaster - This same model appears to have been copied very crudely by Summer about 10 or more years ago and was one of many toys included in a large play set.

Riviera - This was introduced by Racing Champions( RC) in 1997 in their Mint Edition series #113. This casting features a side opening hood with a detailed engine. RC also produced a modified version of this casting in their Hot Rod series #139 .The hood on this model opens from the front and there is a sun visor attached to the windshield.

4 Door Sedan - By MRC #01 (1970's) No additional information.

Coupe de Ville - This was produced by RC in the Mint Edition Series # 243 in 1999 and also has an opening engine hood.
Cadzilla- Hot Wheels produced the customized car in their limited edition Collectibles Boyd Coddington set in 1999.

Fleetline - Revell- Monogram has just issued this fastback model in their Lowriders series # 3352 . This is a very nice replication of the real car except the wheels should have been larger, but it is a Lowrider. Thankfully they did not omit any chrome detail.

Sedan & Coupe - By Renwal #'s 143 &144 . These models may be plastic. No additional information.

Coupe - RC introduced this model in their Hot Rod series in 1997 # 16, along with a Pickup truck . A Station Wagon in was issued in 1999 in the Field and Stream series #1.
Pickup Truck F-1 - Johnny Lightning issued this model in their Truckin' America series in 1998.
2 Door Sedan - Hot Wheels issued this fastback model # 3919 first as the 40's Ford 2 door in 1983 and later as the Fat Fendered '40. It is still available at present.
Station Wagon - HW issued the 40's Woody in 1980 under model # 1131. It has a chrome engine protruding through the hood. It has been produced many times since in assorted colors and model #'s.
Pickup Truck - HW produced this model in 2000 as a dragster and is presently available as a limited edition promotional for So Cal Timing Association.
Roadster - HW produced this car in the limited Collectibles Reggie's Cars in 1999 Coupe Street Rod - Ertl produced this custom model # 1927 in the early 80's. It features a sun roof.

Tail Dragger Coupe - HW issued this customized model as a First Edition in 2000. It appears to be a Ford, but this is not a consensus opinion among collectors.

Jeep- Maisto has been producing this model for quite a few years. Ford was commissioned by the US Military to produce these vehicles in cooperation with Willys.

Convertible- HW also produced this Collectible in the Reggie's Cars set- owned by former baseball player Reggie Jackson.

Station Wagon - this HW Collectible model first appeared in the 'A Day At The Races' set. It has been reissued at present as a Mercury, but the grille detail is definitely a Ford.

Custom Sedan and Custom Convertible - These were issued by Tootsietoy in their non-detailed style.
Woody ( Station Wagon) Issued recently by Kinsmart as a pullback toy. This model is slightly smaller, but the detail is remarkable.

Continental - RC introduced this model # 212 in their Mint Editions series in 1999. It has an opening engine hood and is an excellent model of the real car.

Continental- LJN Toys introduced this model which featured Spider Man about 1975. This model has no rear spare tire- probably to avoid licensing requirements since it could be argued that the car is not a Continental .
Continental- This model was also reportedly produced by Laramie and featured Captain America. No additional information is available.

Mercaholic Coupe - HW produced this radically customized model in their Newtons Low Boyz Collectibles set. Mattel identifies it as a 39 or 40 car.

Station Wagon Woody - See HW Ford

Sedan - Racing Champions produced this model in their Mint Edition series, offered through Sears in a gift set. A simple toy version was also offered in the Street Wheels series.
Station Wagon (Woody) This model being issued at this time by JL is the Mod Squad vehicle in the Hollywood on Wheels set.
Custom - HW produced this radically custom car in 1999. It was last included in the recent Collectible set ì Gone In 60 Seconds' to coordinate with the movie.
Sam Barris Custom - This model was issued by JL in the Show Rods set in 1999.

1942 -1947 (?)
Urritas Phaeton - This model was also issued in the JL Show Rods set. The Front end could pass for a 46-47 car, but the rear trunk portion has been greatly changed.

98 Holiday Coupe - This model was introduced by Valvoline in a promotional set in 1993.

4 Door Sedan - Barclay introduced model # 318. No Additional information.

Champion - Tootsietoy produced this model which is now recognized to be extremely rare.
Champion- Allied Plastic reportedly produced this model. No additional information.

Sedan - Summer produced this stylized model in 2000. It had very limited distribution and appears to have been only available on the West Coast of the US and Canada.
Triclops - This modernized model was introduced by HW in their Newtons Low Boyz set. It suggests what a modern Tucker might have looked like if the company had continued after 1948.

Street Rod - RC produced this Hot Rod in 1998

Pro-stock - JL first produced this dragster model in their Red Card series in 1999. Playing Mantis also issued models in their Thunder Jet series.
Gassers - Muscle Machines by Funline is presently producing very stylized models .

Gasser - HW introduced this model in their limited Collectibles series in 2000.
Customized Coupe - HW introduced this model as a First Edition in 2000.

1941 - 1946
Jeep - JL is presently offering WWII models in their Lightning Brigade and Pearl Harbor sets

Jeepster - Tootsietoy produced a stylized model of this hybrid car.

This completes my review. Those models listed with no additional information were gleaned from Weiland and Force Detroit in Miniature , 1982. Any additions or corrections are welcome.