1939 Ford Deluxe Tudor Sedan / Specs, Model History

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The automobile featured in this article is a fine looking 1939 Ford Deluxe Tudor Sedan. The 1939 Fords were introduced on November 4, 1938.  Ford’s designs of the 1930's are iconic to this day for their upscale styling, standard features and high collector interest among automobile enthusiasts.

1939 ford tudor sedan

1939 Ford Tudor Sedan

The 1939 Ford Design

There are automobile enthusiasts who contend that the 1939 Ford Deluxe was among the best looking models the Ford Motor Company ever built.

Design credit for the 1939 Fords go to legendary Ford designer Bob Gregorie along with certain styling touches by Edsel Ford.

Bob Gregorie was a yacht designer turned successful auto designer. Gregorie was named head of Ford's design department in 1935. When he retired from Ford in 1946 he returned to yacht designing. Gregorie had worked closely with Edsel Ford until the younger Ford died unexpectedly in 1943. Edsel Ford's passing eventually ushered in significant management changes at Ford Motor Company and it began Henry Ford's gradual withdrawal from the very company he founded.

1930's ford carsThe 39 Ford had a relatively long hood that included a low V shaped grille with vertical bars. Each bar has a different curve. Some maintained that the hood and grille looked somewhat like the bow of a boat. This design would last through the 1940 model year until longer and wider bodies came around in 1941.

Ford Deluxe and Standard Models

The 1939 Fords were once again divided into the Deluxe and the slightly cheaper Standard models. Whereas the new 1939 standard Fords looked very much like their previous year counterparts, Deluxe models received a more stylish front end as well as hydraulic brakes that were new for the whole line-up for the year. Model year 1939 would prove to be the last year for the floor shifted manual transmission until the popular Ford Thunderbird of 1955.

In 1939 The Ford Motor Company started using Lockheed type hydraulic brakes on their automobiles for the first time. Prior to 1939 Henry Ford believed that hydraulic brakes were essentially unsafe and was the last automaker to finally employ them. 

The 1939 Fords were once again divided into the Deluxe and the slightly cheaper Standard models.

1939 Ford Deluxe Two Door Sedan Specifications

Engines for the 1939 Ford Deluxe was a 221 cubic inch Flathead V-8.

Transmission was a floor mounted three speed manual.

Suspension was front and rear leaf springs.

Brakes were hydraulic drum.

Additional Auto Museum articles you may be interested in are found on the links below...

1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible Coupe

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1946 Ford Half Ton

References for this article included the Ford Motor Company Archives...American Automobile Advertising, 1930-1980 by author Heon Stevenson...The Allure of the Automobile: Driving in Style, 1930-1965 by authors Ronald T. Labaco and Ken Gross.

Fords best selling automobiles for 1939 was the Tudor and Fordor Sedans. 124,866 Standard and 144,333 Deluxe Sedans were built by Ford ranging in price from $680.00 to $745.00. Sedan options included bumper guards, radio, heater, clock, side view mirrors, deluxe hub caps and 16 inch white side wall tires.

1939 ford interior

39 Ford Deluxe dashboard

Fords largest engine was a 90 horsepower V8 with 221 cubic inch displacement, a bore of 3 1/16 inches, a stroke of stroke, cast iron block and three main bearings. Ninety horsepower engines were used on the Model 91A.

Fords smaller 60 horsepower engine had a displacement of 136 cubic inches, a bore of 2 3/5 inches and a stroke of 3 1/5 inches. They were used on the Ford Model 922A. Both engines were fitted with Stromberg carburetors. All 39 Fords used a sliding gear three speed transmission, single dry plate clutch, shaft drive, 3/4 inch floating gear axle.

Ford built 487,000 vehicles for the 1939 model year. Out of that total 144,300 were Two Door Sedans.

The 1939 Ford Deluxe Collector Car

These vintage Fords have been favored by auto enthusiasts for decades. The 1939 convertible coupe models are considered rare cars. A total of 10,422 of the models were built for 1939. This was during a year that Ford Motor had total production of 487,000 vehicles. The Ford Deluxe was built from 1937 through 1940.

1939 fordThe very rare 1939 Ford Woody Wagon in museum condition has been known to sell at auction for north of $200,000. Total Wagon production in 1939 was only 6,155 vehicles making this a very rare collectible. You may find like condition Deluxe Sedans in the $50,000 to $60,000 range with Deluxe Convertibles garnering somewhat more. In any event, all of the 1939 Ford models that are restored to pristine condition with a high degree original parts are considered high priced vintage collector cars.

(Article and photos copyright 2017 Auto Museum Online)

The 1937 Buick Special / Specs, Photos, More

Featured in this article is a great looking 1937 Buick Special. Production of the Buick Special ran from 1926-1958 and from 1961-1969. During it's years of production the Buick Special changed from a full size model to a compact model and then to a mid-size model.

1937 buick special

1937 Buick Special

The Buick Special was introduced in 1936 and was Buick’s full size entry level car. Some might say that the 1937 and 1938 Buick Specials were the best looking automobiles during those two years.

Big Innovations at Buick During the 1930's

Setting aside the fact that the 1930's are known for the Great Depression which placed millions of people out of work and caused car prices and production to decrease significantly, the were big changes on the design and mechanical departments. Prior to the 1930's, car design coach works were very angular. The 1930's saw an emphasis placed on streamlining and graceful curves.

Competition was obviously intense during the difficult 30's and innovation could help sell cars. The year 1933 was particularly disastrous and is often recognized as the worst of the Great Depression. As an example, Buick sold a bit over 250,000 vehicle in 1927. For the 1933 model year Buick sold just under 50,000 units. The Buick division was hurting but General Motors was determined to keep Buick afloat and the fact the Buick was a part of GM helped save the day.

1930's buick

New grille on the 37 Buick

The innovations brought into the market from Buick during the 1930's included the introduction of the famous 320 cubic inch, straight eight engine that was put into their big series cars. This occurred in 1936. This new designed engine would continue to be used through 1952. Also in 1936, Buick emploted hydraulic braking for the first time.

To mention a few more innovations brought out by Buick in the 1930's, these included a self shifting automatic transmission, aerobat carburetors, turbulator pistons and knee action independent front suspension.

The 1937 Buick Advantage

Buick promoted many advantages of their 1937 models. This included a powerful engine in it's OHV Straight Eight. Also, a Uni-Steel body by Fisher...Anolite pistons...a sealed chassis...hydraulic brakes...large trunk space...safety glass and more.

Buick also touted the fact that prices were some of the lowest in the automaker's history. The country of course was still caught up in the Great Depression which put some automakers into bankruptcy.

Styling Changes

There were styling changes for the 1937 Buick Special. Most notable was the change in grilles. The 36 Special sported a single grille and vertical bars. The 37 model had horizontal bars and a vertical divider bar down the middle.

Fenders were altered to have squared off ends and the height was lowered almost two inches along with the floor. As a result the space in the passenger compartment remained the same.

The 1937 Buick Special was available in eight different styles. These included a convertible phaeton, sport coupe, business coupe, convertible coupe, a two and four door touring sedan with an optional trunk

1937 Buick Special Specifications

The 37 Buick Special was built with a Overhead Valve 248 Cubic Inch Straight 8. The engine delivered 100 HP.

buick special late 1930'sThe gear box was a three speed manual floor shift.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Some of the options available on the 1937 Buick Special included a heater, dual side mounted tires, defroster, white side wall tires plus a grille guard. A buyer could also pay for a  dash installed radio with a built-in speaker.

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The 1955 Buick Special

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The 1937 Buick Special Collector Car and Values

The kind of innovations that Buick introduced during the latter half of the 1930's make these automobiles highly desirable among antique auto enthusiasts.

The years of 1936, 1937 and 1938 and the innovations from Buick during those times represent  the division’s return to being a real market leader. These were new designs and new engineering that were truly progressive. More innovation was seen in 1939 but those three years from 36 through 38 helped keep Buick popular for many years to come. As a result of the progress that Buick made during those years, the division in 1938 moved up to fourth place among American production cars with about 174,000 vehicles.

buick special historyThe 1936-38 Buicks are relatively rare. Values and asking prices for those for sale differ greatly due to overall condition and degree of originality and restoration. As of this date we see a 1937 Buick Special Model 49 with an asking price of $19,000. A 1937 Buick Special Restomod at $35,000 and a 1937 Buick Roadmaster at $27,500. All vehicles mentioned have been restored to varying degrees. Also a 37 Buick Coupe at $26,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

1935 Ford Deluxe Fordor Beauty / Photos, Specs

The automobile featured in this article may be the nicest looking 1935 Ford Deluxe Fordor Sedan you'll find anywhere. This automobile is a real head turner. The 1935 Fords were the Model 48's which replaced the Model 40A's.

1935 for fordor specs

1935 Ford Deluxe Fordor Sedan

The New 1935 Design

Ford Motor made changes to their 1935 V-8. (The V-8 from Ford was first produced in 1932 with the Model 18.) These included moving the engine eight inches forward, increasing the size of the passenger compartment, decreased hood length and making the grille even with the front fenders. The fenders themselves were much more rounded.

Moving the grille forward actually gave the vehicle a more modern look. The windshield was also more sharply sloped. Ford named this new makeover as the Center-Poise Ride.

Two trim lines were offered for 1935, the Standard and Deluxe. The Deluxe models had chrome accents and the Standards did not. Ford marketed their 1935 models with the phrase..."Greater Beauty, Greater Comfort, and Greater Safety.”

The original 1935 design was minimally changed each year beginning in 1936 until 1941 when an entirely new design was introduced. The new 1941 design was relatively short lived since all civilian car production ended in February 1942 due to the Second World War.

1935 ford fordor deluxe photos

More modern look than the 34 models

The entire list of 1935 Ford automobiles produced include...

  Deluxe Roadster
  Deluxe Phaeton
  Deluxe Coupe 5 Window
  Deluxe Tudor Sedan
  Deluxe Fordor Sedan
  Coupe 5 Window
  Coupe 3 Window
  Cabriolet
  Tudor Sedan
  Fordor Sedan
  Touring Sedan
  Convertible Sedan

1935 Was A Banner Year For Ford

The year 1935 was very special for Ford Motor in as much as they overtook Chevrolet in sales. It was the first time this happened since 1930. As mentioned above, the space inside the vehicle was increased by using a boxed side rail frame and increasing the distance from the firewall and the rear axle. The 1935 model's doors were larger, making access easier. The cars also offered a new roll-up window device.

1935 Ford Deluxe Sedan Specifications

This automobile is powered by a 221 cubic inch Flathead V-8 with aluminum heads. The engine delivers 85 horsepower which was the same upped HP that came out with the 1934 models. The four cylinder engine was finally discontinued in 1935 leaving the Flathead V-8 to power all 1935 Ford models.

An interesting side note regarding Ford's V-8's of the early 1930's involves the infamous bank robber Clyde Barrow of the Bonnie and Clyde duo. Supposedly, Clyde sent a letter in 1934 directly to Henry Ford in praise of the powerful new Ford V-8 which enabled him to outrun many police vehicles of the day. Ironically, the 1934 Ford V-8 ended up as the car riddled with a hundred bullets that ended the lives of Bonnie and Clyde.

Gearbox was a three speed manual.

Brakes were mechanical four wheel drum.

Suspension was a solid axle on a transverse leaf spring front and rear. This was an old suspension design that actually came from the old Model T's. Ford Motor Company would stick with this type suspension for years afterward.

Ford Fordor interior photo

35 Ford Model 48 dashboard

Dimensions for the 1935 Ford Deluxe Fordor included a wheelbase of 112.0 inches and an average weight is about 2,600 lbs.

The 1935 model year of course was in the middle of the Great Depression and automakers were scrambling to sell cars. The Ford Fordor Deluxe featured in this article had a new car price of about $640. The Standard model was priced at about $575.

The new 1935 design was very attractive and the price was right. Ford sales were excellent pushing the automaker ahead of Chevrolet for the 1935 model year. In fact 1935 Ford sales was almost twice what 1934 was. Total Ford 1935 production was 820,000 units. Total 1935 Model 48 production was 787,000. Out of that amount, 105,150 were Deluxe Sedan models.

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1939 Ford Half Ton / Photos, All Details

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1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe / Specs, Photos, Model Details

ford fordor deluxe sedan

Newly designed rear with sloping spare wheel and integrated trunk

The 1935 Ford Collector Car Values

Most will agree that the 1935 Ford is a very popular collector car. Current values are different depending on model but the higher priced would most likely be the Phaeton, Convertible, Woody Wagon and Three Window Deluxe Coupe.

Degree and age of restoration along with originality will of course influence value. The range of retail prices for these 1935 models are from perhaps $7,000 to $28,000. You're likely to find convertible models significantly higher than this range. Any vehicle fully restored will obviously garner higher values.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)