Rides From the Readers: 1941 Pontiac Deluxe Torpedo

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Every week, Hagerty’s readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite submissions here. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to us at the above email.

Today’s car hails from the WWII period: a 1941 Pontiac Deluxe Torpedo two-door sedan. This particular body style rides on GM’s A-body platform—a necessary distinction, since in 1941 Pontiac used the nameplate for every model in its lineup rather than exclusively for the C-body, as before. As of the early ’40s, A-bodies, B-bodies, and C-bodies alike were Torpedoes—differentiated in brand nomenclature instead by their six- or eight-cylinder engines and various body styles.

This particular Torpedo is a family car. In 1969 it was a 16th birthday gift to Rick Schpok, its current owner, from his father. Schpok rebuilt the engine himself only a year later, and the Torpedo served as his trusty steed through both high school and college before retiring in a barn when Schpok finished school. Then, 22 years later, Schpok decided to give the car of his youth some serious TLC. He outsourced the body, paint, and upholstery work but stripped the car down to its frame and did all the engine, electrical, and various mechanical work himself. A bit of modernization was on the agenda, in the form of seat belts, turn signals, chrome wheels, and a three-inch lower stance to lend the whole thing a little attitude.

Though Schpok first drove the restored Torpedo in 2005, that was not the end of the saga; a cracked engine block triggered a 10-year search for a new unit. Then, jackpot—an Internet hit for a six-cylinder, 239-cubic-inch 1946 Pontiac L-head in Detroit. Schpok set out on a roadtrip and brought the engine back to Indiana, installed it, and the Torpedo was back in business. 

We love hearing stories of beloved cars getting resurrected. Share yours with us at tips@hagerty.com!

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