This milestone was the elimination of awkwardness. Body components were now largely integrated and overall shapes were rounded as a gesture (as well as a little reality) toward aerodynamic efficiency -- "streamlining" was the catchword of the day. But the key 1941 distinction was that shapes and details, including ornamentation, were in synch. Some brands attained this before 1941, and by that year almost all brands had followed into line.
This post features what I'm calling a "typical" 1941 brand: Chrysler Corporation's Dodge. Why Dodge? For one thing it was a lower-middle market level brand -- not an inexpensive entry-level car, nor a high-priced fancy one, inaccessible to an average car buyer. It was not a product of a minor firm that might have lacked product development funds, especially as the Great Depression was finally ending: it was essentially state-of-the-art from an engineering standpoint. It was not a Ford product, Fords being industry engineering laggards in many respects. Nor was it a General Motors brand, GM being the style leader. So Dodges represent a kind of happy medium. Chrysler Corporation was engineering-dominated and prosperous. Dodge styling was in line with current fashions.
Below are photos of '41 Dodges up for sale. The black six-window car is a Dodge Custom Town Sedan that was offered for auction by Mecum. The two-tone four-window Dodge Luxury Liner 4-door sedan was offered for sale by Specialty Sales. Click on the images to enlarge.
Dodge Luxury Liner. Its rear doors are hinged on the B-pillars, a safer arrangement. This model has a fancier interior than that of the Custom Town Sedan. The running board is partly sheathed.