Dusty Old Coupe: 1939 Chevrolet Master

Dusty and forgotten in a shop, this 1939 Chevrolet Master Coupe is a sleek and beautiful car that was a driver but has been parked for 10 years. With hope of it being revived into a driver once more, this gorgeous machine looks to be a relatively simple project. Bidding has risen to $5,200 with the reserve not met, or the buy it now option of $16,500 is still available. Check it out here on ebay out of Fayetteville, Tennessee.

Beneath the engine covers lie a long term hibernating 206 cubic inch inline 6. Typically a reliable and easy to service engine, there is hope that this engine will come to life once more. Having spent the past 10 years indoors is a promising prospect. The seller is confident that this will be a driver in nothing flat after performing a tune up, fuel system cleaning, and brake system check. If this Chevy is all original as the seller claims, then the paint seems to be in very reasonable condition. The engine bay looks quite stock and tidy, although there are a few derelict wires and horns.

Although described as “all original” I suspect the interior of this Master has been reupholstered. Despite its possible originality, the interior is complete, and is much more valuable reupholstered than worn out and worthless. The steering wheel is wrapped and I suspect it is hiding a few cracks. The paint within the cockpit is in great condition. Vibrant and clean, it would appear this Chevrolet has been well taken care of in its lifetime.

Also when it comes to originality the passenger fender is a replacement but looks to be an excellent one at that. The modern wheels are not exactly original, but they do what they need to do. Overall the body looks excellent, with no signs of rust, or damage. I would imagine the passenger fender was replaced due to an accident or rust. It may be a little tricky, but it would be wonderful to paint match that fender to the rest of the car. Also I would opt to put the original steel wheels back on, or another wheel that would give the car some classic appeal. Solid, and appearing mostly original, this Chevrolet looks like a great project that could easily become a driver. Do you think that this Chevrolet Master Coupe is as original as the seller claims?

Fast Finds


  1. John M.

    The car’s originality is up for debate but there’s no question that it’s a solid candidate for a makeover.

    Like 1
    • Jerry HW Brentnell

      my father ran a garage back in the day and I remember him telling me how he hated chev masters because the knee action front ends were junk when new he changed lots of them back to straight axles so I bet ya thats the first thing that needs to hit the scrap bin with this car!

  2. Matt St

    God, that interior is ugly- but like you said, it’s there. Would make for a great around town driver though, and you’d probably never lose too much money on it, if any. You gotta wonder why they don’t get it running and stopping if the fixes are so easy…

    Like 1
  3. Rod

    Hard to believe the interior is original maybe he feels that the original frame count. This is a good looking car and will look great when fixed up. Personally I would see if there was any way I could dye the interior as it looks to be in decent shape. Paint and enjoy.
    Prices too high though.

    Like 1
    • Fred W.

      I don’t think there is any dye capable of covering up that interior, which is 100% 80’s and not original. Lots of possibilities otherwise though.

      Like 1
  4. racer99

    Just don’t know where you’d find something else like this that’s 80 years old and this solid. Seems to be a great starting spot for whatever direction you want to go in. I would think anything under $10K is reasonable. Drive it while you figure out what you want to do.

    Like 1
  5. JW454

    I’ve actually seen that interior fabric before. I believe it was intended as seat inserts in a late 1970’s Chrysler product. I don’t think it was ever intended to be the complete seat cover material. Yes, the wheels have to go. They’d be more at home on an old pick-up truck.

  6. Kevin Reid

    I see a big block gasser in the future

  7. Loco Mikado

    I think I see some frame rot in picture #9 on top below the body..

  8. Leman Wilson

    Why are they asking so much for a car that needs so much work done to make it runnable again? It is not worth $16k + it is actually worth about $3,000.00 as it sits.

  9. cyclemikey

    That’s not the frame, it’s some kind of deteriorated rubber pad or seal. This looks like a real solid car. What worries me a little is that he actually appears to believe that the interior is original, which means he’s not very knowledgeable. But the car speaks pretty much for itself.

    Like 1
  10. David

    My first car,drove it to high school.Later swapped in a V8 and trans,Oldmobile rear end.It was 1967 just another old car,but it was a HOT ROD!

    Like 1
    • DrinkinGasoline

      Mine as well. Dad brought home a 4 door sedan and said :
      Son, if you can drive this, you’ll be able to drive anything.
      The body was Gunmetal and each fender was a different color.
      I was mortified until my friends thought it was cool…then it was all good :)

      Like 1
  11. Jerr

    I thought 39 was the first year for the 3 on the tree. I had a 38 master with a straight axle. Was told knee action was only in the master deluxe .

    Like 1

    I see a straight axle and a 348 or a 409 in this. Such beautiful lines.
    I agree with all of you that fabric has to go. I think it would have been a light brown mohair material. I also agree 16k is to much money. $6k seems good to me as solid as it looks.

    • RS

      Ugh, unless you want to recreate an early 60’s hot rod… the legend of the 409 was bigger in the Beach Boys song than it was on the strip. There is a reason that engine family had a relatively brief life in production.

      • BRAKTRCR

        Actually, there are two 409’s in my past. One in a 64 Biscayne wagon, with factory 4 speed and factory teach. I think it also had an am radio. No other options. It was a consistent 15 seconds flat bone stock, and an ultimate sleeper in the 70’s The other was a dual quad 409 in a 61 Ford Falcon with a straight axle. A race only car, that ran 11’s at 130 mph. But… I’m guessing I’m a bit older than you. The 348 debuted in 1958, so that motor filled a much needed performance boost for Chevrolet until 1965, when the admittedly superior Big Block of the modern era debuted. They were also in the heavy duty trucks. I dig em, but again, I’m older than many on here.

  13. JCW Jr.

    I agree wheels need to go. They might look ok on a 80’s pick up not on this or any car ever.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Agreed…and I wouldn’t put them on my 80’s pick-up either. Up in the Northeast, anyone who had them spent every Saturday wash-n-wax day cleaning the rust off of them.

  14. JCW Jr.

    I agree totally. Was just saying that because that was the hot wheel to have on your ttu k in the 80’s. What were we thinking.

  15. Doug Towsley

    Reserve not met at $9100 which in my opinion was a pretty fair price both ways. Looks like a solid project but needs everything. Maybe somebody gets it off ebay or will be relisted

  16. Rex Rice

    I bought my ’39 Deluxe coupe while in high school. I thought then, and still think it was nicest design of the pre-war cars. Problem: Lead footed me could not stop the engines from blowing up. The splash oil system was awful, little buckets attached to the con rods just didn’t work for me.

  17. David Frank David F Member

    It didn’t hit the 10K reserve but was relisted and sold for over 13K

  18. Dan

    Admittedly 3 yrs. late w/ this but here goes……#1 for Rex Rice: so the old Chevrolet straight six (whether it be the 206, 216 or even the early 235) splash oiling system actually did perform well. Of course, that is if they were driven carefully & how they were meant to be used. They never were intended for juvenile abuse, so we can’t really believe they were crap. That’s just not the case, period. Ok #2 for Jerr: yes, the ’39 Master Deluxe models had the 3 on the tree but the Master 85 was the standard model, so it had the 3 on the floor. Lastly, the same Master Deluxe / Master rule applied for the Knee Action vs straight axle front end setup until 1941 when Chevs had a much better (totally redesigned) Knee Action assembly in the now renamed Special Deluxe and Master Deluxe models…….I feel better now😇

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