Fordor Driver: 1939 Ford DeLuxe V8 Sedan

Here’s an interesting one. It’s being listed as “mostly original” and I guess you could say it’s also “mostly” a 1939 Ford since it’s sporting black ’40 Ford headlight rims on the front fenders. But there’s just something fun and inviting about this four-door green machine and hopefully the next owner will see this as well and continue its preservation.  It’s currently residing in Polk City, Florida and is for sale here on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $10,500.

Ford introduced its more upscale DeLuxe line in 1938 to try and bridge the gap between its Standard base model and the luxury Lincoln line. (But it wasn’t just a trim line difference, the two lines differ in appearance.) This featured 1939 DeLuxe Fordor Sedan (that’s not a typo, that was Ford’s clever way of spelling four door) was one of five DeLuxe models that year which also included a Tudor Sedan, Coupe, Convertible Coupe, and the last year for the Four-Door Convertible Sedan. It appears to be finished in Dartmouth Green, one of six colors available on the De Luxe line in 1939. It presents pretty well and shiny in the photos, but the seller shares that the driver quality paint shows wear and rates it a 7 on a 1-to-10 scale.

I wish we knew more about this car’s history, what it’s been up to the past 83 years, how it survived, and how long the current seller has owned it. The seller doesn’t share much but states that the Ford has been “sitting in indoor storage for years and needs some TLC, but the body is in very good shape. It is completely solid front to back including all underbody, frame, floor pans, etc., with no rust issues.” That appears to be a pretty accurate description and the seller also mentions that the glass is clear and free of cracks and all doors, the hood, and trunk opens and closes correctly as well as the cool crank out windshield (Ford called it “Clear-Vision Ventilation”). The running boards are worn but the seller claims they’re solid and new rubber is included along with a box of “spare parts.”

Ford’s 1939 sales brochure really touted its “town car” appearance along with its big, roomy interiors with new seat construction that could seat six comfortably. There aren’t many detailed photos, but from what’s provided, the interior isn’t perfect but looks presentable. The seller states that it is mostly complete but does show some age and wear and could benefit from a deep cleaning.

Other details from the seller includes all the lights and gauges work on the car,  the tires (which have some mismatched whitewall widths) are older but show no signs of leaks, and the original gas tank was removed due to a leak. A new gas tank is included but will need to be installed.  Also, the seller confesses that the brakes will “need attention” but doesn’t give specifics. So, it sounds like the next owner may need to bring a trailer.

Under that green hood sits the famous 85-horsepower V-8 engine that Ford claimed, “gives peak performance with good economy.” Ford’s sales brochure in 1939 boasted that there were plenty of skeptics when Ford first put a V8 in a low-priced car, but that “Five Million Owners Have Proven The Common-Sense Advantages Of The Ford V-Type 8-Cylinder Engine.” The only information shared from the seller is that “the engine runs well and the transmission shifts smooth” and the odometer is listed at 9,805.

There’s a certain funky charm in the timeless styling and vibe of these late-30s Fords. It’s easy to see why many Coupes and Tudors have been converted into hotrods, but not many of these “Fordors.” I, for one, am hoping the next owner will continue to keep it stock and just drive it and enjoy it. What would you do with it if it was in your garage?


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  1. Harvey Member


    Like 6
  2. DRV

    That’s an incredible original! Do the maintenance and drive it. The only concern as a driver would be the smell. 🤔

    Like 8
    • TBone

      The smell? Because of the funky charm comment? Not sure I smell what your stepping in.

      Like 3
    • Cristiana

      Most of those odors would be eliminated by vacuuming and deep-cleaning the upholstery and headliner, and any remaining odors would tend to fade as the car remains in regular service. Then there’s always the old-fashioned pine-scented “Little Trees” car freshener hanging from the radio knob.

      Like 5
  3. DRV

    TBone, have you ever been in an original stored 30s car? If it doesn’t smell like mothballs, it will have a musty smell at best.

    Like 5
    • Richard Kirschenbaum

      It’s a glorious mustiness. There is no elixir to match the scent of an old car’s interior.

      Like 12
  4. Joe Haska

    I don’t think those are 40 Ford DeLuxe headlight rings, they are too big. I know I have seen some like this, but I just can’t remember where and why. Maybe another Old Timer can help me out. I want to say P/U or after market accessory.

    Like 1
    • Bellingham Fred

      Those are an aftermarket sealed beam conversion. I’ve seen them advertised now and again as ’40 Ford headlight rings. The headlight buckets are basically the same on ’39s and 40s, so the 40 would work fine, look better and have the parking light lens incorporated into the top. In today’s world a pair of repo ’40 headlight rings, are $155 a pair for chrome, and $152 for ready to paint. Should I mention they are notorious for a lousy fit.

      Like 1
  5. John C.

    Already sold! good price too!

    Like 5
  6. Rob

    I have a 47 Packard sedan. I like the vintage car smell of the interior. But I have an ozone generator which I put in the car to kill insects that might damage the wool interior. A side benefit is that it removes all smells good and bad. So the interior now is as fresh as a daisy!

    Like 3
  7. charlie Member

    Putting 1940 sealed beam headlights in a ’39 was a common practice, it gave a much brighter view of the road. The alternative was to somehow mount a sealed beam behind the ’39 lens and keep the “streamlined” appearance. The ’36 Zepher from the other day took the latter approach, it appears, from the pictures.

    Like 4
  8. benjy58

    The headlight rims are an after market accessory.

    Like 3
  9. Denny N.

    Charlie, you are right about the headlights. The sealed beam conversion spoils the streamline contour of the fenders.

    Like 3
    • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

      I agree that the aftermarket sealed beam conversion spoils the gorgeous lines of the 39 Deluxe/40 Ford Standard and Deluxe cars. Ford integrated sealed beams much better in 40 when sealed beams became standard throughout the industry. The 40 Standard headlight doors were body colored with separate park lights on top. 40 Deluxe headlight doors were chrome plated pot metal with the park lights integrated in. Personally, I always preferred the Standard headlights, the body color just seemed to “flow” nicer.
      My brother had two 40s in the early 60s, a Standard Tudor and a Deluxe Tudor. The Standard cost $15.00, he had to pay up ($100) for the Deluxe. Sigh.

      Like 2
  10. Joe Haska

    Hey Charlie, I get that, and I remember all of that and the seal beam conversions. I just think I remember an after market conversion , that was available from places like Honest Charlie’s or J.C. Whitney or one of those early mail order accessory suppliers. I have had several 40’s and I just don’t think these are not stock 40 trim rings. I am sure there something else ,just not sure what, maybe its just my old age.

    Like 1
  11. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Larry was the chubby boy in our grade school in the 50’s and 60’s. He was taller than most. A very likable boy with a higher than average I.Q. We were friends our entire lives until l Larry passed away a few years ago. One of the many things I remember about Larry was his dads car. It was 39-40 Ford 4 door like this one but in black. I always thought they were nice looking cars. Larry’s dad worked as a dynamite man in construction and made good money. He bought 5 acres and built their 4 bedroom 2 bath house himself and hand dug two water wells of about 180 feet deep. But Larry wasn’t anything like his dad. He inherited the place when his dad died in his arms in a hospital from heart attack. The old Ford disappeared sometime in the fifties to be replaced with newer cars. RIP my friend.
    Your friend John

    Like 2
  12. Lou Rugani

    The non-sealed-beam headlamps are called “prefocused”. They always look the best on vintage vehicles with the creative headlamp styles that were common before 1940 before the government mandated sealed-beam headlights. (Even so, somehow Crosley avoided sealed-beams until 1948.) Someone should make 6-volt LED bulbs to fit within the pre-focused headlamp sockets.
    Interestingly enough, sealed-beams are passe now and the industry has gone back to pre-focused headlamps.

    Like 1

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