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The 1940s were never really considered to be a luxurious time in American history. It was a time that involved Americans growing their own food, rationing out meals, and at times, even going so far as to have to sew their own clothes in order to make sure they made ends meet.
Saying that many Americans lived a Spartan lifestyle during this era isn't a stretch, but that doesn't mean that it was all bad. Though metal was pricey and mostly reserved for the war, there were some seriously nice cars that were created during this time too.
Today, we're going to tip our collective hats to the best classic cars of the 40s. Don't you wish you could drive one of these babies?
The 1948 Maserati A6
If you're a fan of supercars, then you already know that one of the best supercars of this era came from Maserati, the the form of the now-classic A6. This beautiful machine gave out around 65 horsepower, which was pretty impressive at the time.
Though modern standards probably wouldn't consider the A6 to be too powerful, the car's beautiful appearance remains impressive even today. Its design was a precursor to beautiful cars like the Shelby racecars of the 1960s—many of which became the most expensive vintage cars ever sold later on.
1945 MG TC Midget
Classic cars of the 40s, 50s, and 60s often had names that would make people raise an eyebrow—but even so, few would have as much of an eyebrow-raising effect as the MG TC Midget. Politically incorrect as the name may have been, the Midget was a truly lovable car.
It was MG's first release after the war, became known for its zippy speed and great handling, and also had some of the cutest designs out there. It's old school in the best way possible.
1946 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Freccia d’Oro
When it comes to classic cars of the 40s, the Alfa Romeo Freccia d'Oro is the stuff of legends. Along with having an impressively powerful engine for the time, the "Golden Arrow" as it was called had a body design that would make a Bentley blush.
Even regular folks who aren't gearheads might recognize this car. This car was so iconic, it was even featured in The Godfather.
1947 Maserati A6 1500 Pininfarina
If you take a look at some of the more modern sports cars zipping around today, chances are that you will notice a lot of similarities between them and the 70-year-old 1947 Maserati A6 1500 Pininfarina. To date, it's considered to be one of the prettiest cars ever made.
This particular A6 model is incredibly rare, with only 80 models ever made. As a result, it's one of the rarest 40s classic cars still in existence.
1941 Pontiac Streamliner
Pontiac was a car company that had a lot of history most people overlook. Before they made the best muscle cars of the 80s, they made some of the nicest classic cars of the 1940s.
The 1941 Pontiac Streamliner was an example of this. Oddly PT Cruiser-shaped, and slightly futuristic, the attraction to the Streamliner wasn't its streamlined design. Rather, it was the fact that it acted as a good family car with a sporty finish.
Oh, it also was the original low rider too. So, there's that.
1946 Triumph 1800 Roadster
Triumph is definitely one of the extinct car brands we'd love to see come back to life, and much of the reason behind that is due to the fact that they made the 1800 Roadster.
Along with a classic appearance that makes you think of Speedy the Dunebuggy, the 1800 Roadster came equipped with all the luxuries that you would expect to see in the 40s. Excellent handling and a fast (for the time) acceleration made it a wonderful car.
1946 Plymouth Deluxe
Plymouth was one of the other now-defunct car brands that made cars that would remain coveted today. The Plymouth Deluxe was considered to be a trailblazer in a number of ways. Its streamlined appearance, though, is what makes this a coveted collector car.
No matter how many years come and go, the 1946 Plymouth Deluxe remains one of the most visually appealing 40s classic cars out there.
1947 Allard K1
Allard isn't really a name that most people will associate with cars, simply because the company had such a tragically short run. The 1947 Allard K1 is often considered to be the company's crown jewel, with many people even calling it one of the first real supercars ever made.
Allards were strange, simply because the cars' owners had to be the ones to provide the engine for them. Most of the time, this led to Allards having Ford V8 engines inside of them.
Due to the fact that they are all unique in build, Allards regularly fetch $150,000 or more when auctioned.
1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta
Many of the best classic cars of the 40s had nice, long runs—or at least, had more than 100 cars that were made under their names. Not this one, though.
Only 25 models of the 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta was ever made. It's a legend that was actually driven by Enzo Ferrari himself, toured in top rallies, and was outfitted by Milan's best.
These beautiful machines look like they belong in today's streets. That being said, they now are worth $2 million a pop, if not considered to be totally priceless.
1949 Ford Club Coupe
Though a lot of the classic cars of the 40s have a very vintage vibe, the 1949 Ford Club Coupe was a bit of an exception to this rule. Mechanically speaking, it's safe to call the 1949 Ford Club Coupe the first real modern car.
The Club Coupe had everything from integrated fenders, a modern drive shaft, independent front suspension, and a forward mounted engine. It was billed as a sports car that also happened to double as a family car. People loved it back then, and we still love it now.