1939 Ford Half Ton / Photos, All Details

The vehicle featured in this article is a fine looking restored 1939 Ford Half Ton Pickup.

The 1939 model year was a big one for the Ford Motor Company since it was the first year for the new Mercury nameplate which was a project pushed by Edsel Ford.

1939 ford half ton pickup

1939 Ford Half Ton

1939 was also an important year for Ford pickup trucks in as much as they sported the new design which was introduced in 1938. That same design was carried over to 1939.

This new design and styling that came out in 1938 really pushed the Ford Pickups into a more modern era. Ford Motor Company during the 30's was not known to make rapid changes and upgrades and the 38 truck line represented a major step in that direction since the last basic redesign was in 1935. 1938 was also the first year that Ford offered their cab-over (COE) trucks.

The 1938-39 Design

When you discuss the 39 Ford Pickup you need to look back one year to see the 1938 model with it's totally new cab. These trucks didn't look like anything that came before them. The front end had an oval barrel shaped grille. Some thought the new front end looked British. The new front end featured the industry's first front opening hood.

The cabs were larger as were the cargo beds that had not been changed since 1931. The dashboard was modernized and had recessed controls for safety.  A major change in 1939 however was the addition of hydraulic brakes. This was something Ford had been dragging it's feet on for a long time. GM passed Ford by in this category and Plymouth actually offered hydraulic brakes back in 1928. What did not change to any great extent was the chassis which had a lot to do with Henry Ford thinking that anything more than a marginal change was unnecessary.

Optional equipment included a sliding rear window...a gas cap that locked...radio...dual windshield wipers and chrome bumpers.

This new truck design however lasted only two years for the 38 and 39 model years. Design changed for the 1940 model year where the half tons had a front end that more resembled the car line. The 1940 Ford Pickups also had improved mechanicals along with wider cabs.

1939 Ford Half Ton Specifications

Engine for this model is a 221 cubic inch V-8 L-Head delivering 85 horsepower.

Transmission is a three speed manual.

Hydraulic drum brakes were offered for the first time replacing Ford's mechanical braking system.

1939 ford pickup photos

New grille first introduced for the 1938 model year

Dimensions for the 39 Ford Half Ton included a 112.0 inch wheelbase...weight averaged about 2,700 lbs.

Cargo bed was 77.7 inches in length and 46.0 inches wide.

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The 1935 Ford Half Ton

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1938 Ford Half Ton

late 1930's ford pickups

Design for the 1938 and 39 model years

1939 Ford Half Ton Pickup Collector Trucks

There aren't many trucks out there from this era left to choose from. With that being said there are some fully restored beautiful looking models that don't come cheaply. As of this writing we've seen one show quality restoration offered at $67,000.

If you're fortunate enough to find a 38 or 39 Ford Pickup for a restoration project it appears there are ample sources for parts.

As of this date average sale prices for the 1939 Ford Half Tons range in the $12,000 to $30,000 range depending on condition and degree and date of restoration. This is of course for running vehicles. There may be offerings higher than that as mentioned above.

(Article and photos copyright 2016 Auto Museum Online)

1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe / Specs, Photos, Model Details

Plymouth was created to be a more affordable line of automobiles for Chrysler. Plymouth would compete directly against Ford and Chevrolet. Affordability was a good thing during the Great Depression years and is exemplified by our 1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe featured in this article.

plymouth pj deluxe

1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe

The New 1935 Plymouth

The 1935 Plymouth was built new from the ground up. The 1935 models were completely re-engineered from the 1934 models. An example of this was that the engine was positioned more forward over the front axles. The passenger compartment was moved  further toward the rear increasing legroom and giving better weight distribution. The same X-frame was used but was improved.

There were two types of Plymouth automobiles for 1935. These were both PJ models but one was designated Business and one was Deluxe. The Deluxe line included a four-door sedan, a two-door and a four-door Touring Sedan and a Rumble seat Coupe. These were all built on a 113" wheelbase chassis.

As far as design is concerned, the 35 Plymouths started to have some streamlined looks losing some of the boxy look of it's predecessors. The front fenders had a pontoon look and curved downward. The rear fenders also had a more rounded look. Briggs supplied the bodies as they had in previous years.

1935 also saw a major change in how air flowed into the back passenger area. This included heat as well. Plymouth designers put a passage under the front seat which allowed ventilated air to get back there as well as warm air put out by the car's heater. This was a welcome improvement to those knowing how cold it could get in the rear passenger area.

1935 plymouth pjPlymouth Deluxe Vs. Ford Deluxe

Plymouth had some significant advantages over competitor Ford. This was nothing totally unexpected since Ford had the reputation of being slow on innovation. Many attribute this to Henry Ford's desire to keep things the same as much as possible. During the 1930's both General Motors and Chrysler made good inroads with potential Ford buyers.

Plymouth offered hydraulic brakes and Ford only offered mechanical. Plymouth had a tubular front axle and Ford an I-Beam. Plymouth offered manifold heat control and Ford did not. These are only a few comparisons.

The Deluxe and Business lines could be told apart by trim differences as well as interior appointments. As an example, wood grain dashboard and the ivory horn button was absent on the Business models. Regarding the exterior, all Plymouth Deluxe models had chrome plated brass headlights and taillights, chrome windshield frame and stainless hood rings.The Business models had lighter front and rear springs, different front shocks and no sway bar like the Deluxe.

Same Engine With Improvements

Engine re-engineering also took place. The same six cylinder power plant from 1934 was used but there were major changes. The block was redesigned to allow for more fuller cooling of the pistons, especially the rear ones. In addition, there were changes to the outside engine dimensions which occurred only in 1935. This meant that the 35 engine couldn't be placed in earlier models without some modifications.

Plymouth's Increasing Sales

Since 1930 Plymouth rose to third place in sales. In 1935 Plymouth found itself as the biggest low-priced car with hydraulic brakes, all steel body, new better weight distribution and better fuel economy. Plymouth's production for 1935  grew to over 350,000 units. About 250,000 vehicles were Deluxe models.

1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe Specifications

As mentioned above, the engine in the 1935 Plymouth was the same six cylinder as in 1933 and 1934 models except with some improvements. This was a 201 cubic inch straight six delivering 82 HP.

plymouth pjTransmission was a manual silent synchro type three speed.

The Plymouth Deluxe had four wheel hydraulic brakes and semi-elliptical leaf springs were used on front and rear suspension. Wheelbase was 113.0 inches.

Frame was a reinforced  X-Type.

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Reference material and excellent books on this subject include…American Auto Legends by Michael Furman and Tracy Powell….and Art of the Classic Car by Peter Harholdt and Peter Bodensteiner.

1935 Plymouth PJ Collector Cars

1935 plymouth pj deluxe sedan

35 Plymouth PJ dash

All automobiles from this period are great collector cars. The 1935 Plymouths are milestone vehicles in as much as they were redesigned from the ground up. Their smooth lines and fresh contours set them apart. The engines for this model year also received major modifications.

The 1935 series were the last of the letter series Plymouth cars that started with the model "Q" in 1928.The 1935 Plymouth PJ was advertised as the biggest low priced car on the market that used about 20 percent less fuel than it's competitors.

As of this writing, the top valuations from various price guides for the 1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe range from about $16,000 to $23,000. The convertible models have the highest valuations, ranging from about $25,000 to $39,000. The highest prices are those in mint restored condition.

(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)





A Very Rare 1936 Ford Sedan Convertible / Photos, Specs

The automobile featured in this article is a beautiful original 1936 Ford Sedan Convertible. These are rare models considering only around 5,500 were produced. Everything on this automobile is original including the V-8 which was one of the first series of V-8's built by Ford.

1936  ford sedan convertible

1936 Ford Sedan Convertible

There were both phaetons and convertibles produced. The difference between the two is that a phaeton has no sliding windows on the doors. It's an open automobile without weather protection. A convertible is a car with sliding windows and with a folding top.

An interesting side note is that President Franklin Roosevelt owned a 1936 Ford Phaeton which had hand controls allowing him to drive the vehicle. The car has been on display for many decades and is still on display at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum located at 4078 Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park, NY.

The 1936 Ford

The 1936 Ford was basically similar to the 35 model with some changes. Lines were more rounded which included a new grille This was an inverted pentagonal grille with all-vertical bars beneath a prominent hood and three horizontal chrome side strips. A concealed horn, long a prominent part of the Ford's design, also brought the car into modern times. The engine was moved forward several inches, and the body was 5.5 inches wider. The automobile looked more stylish.

1936 ford sedan convertible

The early V-8 engine years at Ford marked the era of design and power improvements not seen at the company until that time.

The 1930's and the Great Depression weighed heavily on the auto industry and this of course included Ford. Henry Ford lowered worker's wages and laid off some.Several luxury automakers didn't even survive the 1930's with Auburn being  a good example.

Unions tried to organize Ford workers which led to strikes and violence. A union contract was not to come until 1941. Improvements were made to Ford automobiles during the 30's which kept it competitive with General Motors had been known to be a bit quicker than Ford with improvements.

When 1936 opened up, Ford Motor found itself in third place in sales behind both GM and Chrysler. Also that year, Ford reached total company production of it's twenty millionth vehicle since the company was formed. Out of that amount, 15 million vehicles had been Model T's.

1936 Ford Sedan Convertible Specifications

The 36 Ford was built with a 221 Cubic Inch Flathead V-8 that was rated at 85 horsepower. This was an engine upgrade new for 1936.

1936 ford four door sedan photo

36 Ford four door sedan convertible

The gearbox was a three speed manual that could be switched into a six speed.

Brakes consisted of four wheel hydraulic actuated drums.

The Convertible Sedan featured in this article has a full top with roll-up windows and a removable center post between the side windows. The post would typically be removed when the convertible top was down. This design allowed all-weather protection and eliminated cold drafts that were felt in traditional phaeton and touring sedan car styles.

Total Ford production for the 1936 models were 930,700 vehicles. Out of that figure , production for the 1936 Sedan Convertible totaled 5,600. If you on one of these restored models today you have a valuable automobile.

New car prices for the Ford models in 1936 ranged between $550 and $750. If you compare these prices to those before the 1930'd you will see how large a shadow the Great Depression cast over the American automobile industry.

See these additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

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Where to Find Serial Numbers on Classic and Vintage Cars and Trucks

Excellent reference materials for the 1936 Ford includes...The 1935-1936 Ford Book Compiled by the early V8 Club of America...The V-8 Affair by Ray Miller...Ford Motor Company Archives.

1936 ford convertible1936 Ford Collector Car Values

Any of the Ford automobiles produced for the 1936 model year are valuable collector cars. Some of the fully restored 1936 Ford models have relatively hefty price tags today. As mentioned above, the 36 Ford Sedan Convertibles are rare with relatively few built.

The 1936 Ford Woody Wagon likely will have a $100,000 asking price. Sedans and coupes in similar conditions will likely have $40,000 to $80,000 + price tags.

(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)