Reader Liam W has founded a number of interesting finds over in the UK and it seems he has come across another one. This time he came across this 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe and while he thinks it would make a great hot rod, we think its possible history as a US Army staff car during WWII makes it a better candidate for a restoration. While the market for hot rods might be bigger than the Army staff car market, cars like this are an important part of our history and should be preserved for generations to come. The real challenge though, is proving it was a staff car and whether it was involved in any important missions. Liam hopes to find a good home for this Chevy regardless of its history, so if you’re interested in it, click here to send him an email.
The Master Deluxe series was introduced in 1934 and even with the rough economic times, did very well. Styling was elegant, but not over the top and looked similar enough to a Cadillac to grab the attention of both price conscious and well to do buyers. By the time this one was built, the Master series had also established itself as durable and dependable, making it a very appealing option for the US Army as a staff car. For the most part, Chevy didn’t have to do much to make these ready for military duty. The most noticeable difference was the flat green paint and the large white Army Star on each side.
Chevy installed their Stovebolt straight six in the Master series, which gave the car decent power for the day, about 80 horsepower. It also proved to be highly dependable and required minimal service, making it a great option for the Army. Staff cars need to be able to transport officers and other high level officials in and out of the battle field as quickly and safely as possible, making the Stovebolt powered Master a great choice. Liam claims the engine was rebuilt prior to being stored a number of years ago, but is missing some pieces. If it turns freely, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get it running again and parts should be easy to come by. Finding mechanical parts will be the least of the next owner’s concerns though, as the interior is completely missing. Finding the interior pieces shouldn’t be impossible, but could get expensive and time consuming.
This Chevy is going to need a lot of work, which could explain why Liam feels it would be better suited as a hot rod. If it turns out to have seen action during the war, we feel it should be restored to original, as this is just too important of history to be lost. There have been many cars from this era turned into staff car replicas, so be sure to inspect it closely and check for any data plates indicating military ownership. Getting it over to the States could be a challenge, but Liam says he is willing to help ship it internationally. So would you restore this back to military spec, hot rod it, or put it back in the barn?