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Spirit of motion grille


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  • 4 weeks later...

I've heard the 1940 was slightly redesigned slightly. But I have not seen a 40 in person to compare. 

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  • 7 months later...

The 1940 grille had chrome strips mounted on the outer edges of all the grille bars.   Also, the 1938 models had the series "Supercharger" stamped into the forward section of the chrome bar, in red.  The 1939 models had "Supercharger" script on the side, rear end of the hood.


If you look at the 1938- 39 models the grille bars slope inward as you go from top to bottom, leaving a gap between the bottom chrome edge and the grille bars above.  The 1940 bars come almost straight down to the bottom - there is no gap between the bars and the bottom grille panel.


The attached photo of the white 1938 model (running boards, bumper guards shaped similar to a knight's head) and the 1940 sedan you can see the differences if look at the front bottom of the grille.


1938 Graham USA Supercharger 4dr Sedan 801.jpg

1939 Graham USA  Supercharger 97 4dr Sedan 602.jpg

1940 Graham USA 107 Supercharger 4dr Sedan 101.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the detailed description of the differences between each model year.  Now, there were two versions of the two door sedans, one the Combination coupe with the shorter top, the other has a longer greenhouse and shorter trunk.  Can anyone elaborate on these?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great pictures for the comparison. Thanks!

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The 1938 models were supposed to be in a 4 door Sedan, 2 door Combination Coupe. and 2 door Business Coupe.  The Combination Coupe was to have a fold up seat in the area behind the driver while the Business Coupe had a flat floor for parcels, etc. 


The company had just the 4 door sedan at introduction time and planned on introducing the two door models early in 1938.  They were hoping for good sales in the fall of 1937 and that would give them enough cash to tool and introduce the business and combination coupes.  But the public was not enamoured with the Spirit of Motion and thus no money for the coupes. 


Instead, the company came up a new Combination Coupe for 1939, more along the lines of what auto manufacturers called a Club Coupe.  The passenger compartment was shorter front to rear than the 4 door sedan with the rear seat closer to front seat.  The roof was thus shorter than the sedan.  The Graham brothers came up with the money (basically loans)  to tool the new coupe and had it ready for the 1939 model year.   


The two door sedan used designed to use the Combination Coupe's doors and the 4dr Sedan roof line.  The side panel was modified to fill the space from the front door to the roof.  I have never actually seen a 2 door sedan, although one illustration, so I am not sure if it actually reached production.  The model was listed on the factory prices lists for the 1939 and 1940 model years.


Production of 1940 models did not begin until after the New Year and again listed 2 door sedan, 4 door sedan and 2 door Combination Coupe.  Production of the Spirit of Motion came to an end in Spring, 1940.  Graham tried again with the Hollywood, based on the Cord 810-812.  But that was a dead end move.












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4 hours ago, Chrycoman said:


A larger version of the Combination Coupe / Business Coupe. 











I bought a drawing of the business coupe from Walter Miller 20 years ago and I have it hanging up somewhere.  I'll see if I can find it and take a picture.   Always thought that would have been a pretty cool car if they had built any.


It seemed like Graham was always 6 months behind on their production schedule.   The the 40 Hollywoods were all built in the spring of 40 and the 41s where built in the summer after a 2 week shutdown of the plant.   If I remember correctly,  the total production run for both years happened within a 6 month window?



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Back in the 1920's it was common for car companies to have two model years.    One was generally the Engineering Department - start December/January - and the other Marketing people - start July/August.    (No overlap)


In the case of Graham-Paige the new models of cars went into production around December/January and were labelled as Second Series.   Thus a car introduced in January, 1932 was considered a second series 1932 model.   Come summer, and the new models went into production around July, and were labelled as first series.  For a car introduced in July, 1931, the car was classified as a first series 1932, while July, 1932 was a first series 1933.   


For serial numbers, the "second series" began at x,xxx,001.  Final "First series" serial numbers were recorded as the last number used for that series and the next  number was the first number for the next series.  


For example -

1931 Second Series  Model 53  (Jan 1931) - 1500001 to 1511600

1932 First Series Model 53  (Aug 1932) - 1511601 to 1511776


Actually, FDR's government was pushing for the auto industry  to adopt the idea of new cars being introduced in the fall.  And have one model year per annum.  Chrysler Corp. adopted the August/Sep beginning for the model year with their 1933 models.   Graham adopted the single model year idea (beginning in the fall) with their 1936 models. 




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  • 3 months later...

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