I wonder what people thought back in the early 1900's about 40" wheels.

From the American Underslung's Wiki page:

The American Underslung's chassis design and huge 40-inch (1,016 mm) wheels gave it a distinctive appearance and it was noticeably lower than other cars from the same era. The chassis was hung below the axles rather than set atop them, with the engine and transmission mass moved closer to the ground lowering the center of gravity and giving sports car appearance and handling. The design mounted the engine and body within the frame rails rather than on the top as with other cars of the era

They were just as much a status symbol back then as 30" rims are today I bet.