Hot Rod Business! 1938 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe

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Earlier in the week I covered this 1952 Dodge Wayfarer Business Coupe, and as usual, made a suggestion as to what to do with it. Many commenters offered their recommendations too and that’s always welcomed. Today, we’re going to wind it back a few years and take a look at a 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe Business Coupe that has already had the “What if?” laid on it. It’s a very cool custom but there is no mistaking its roots. Located in Glen Cove, New York, this very orange hot rod is available, here on craigslist for $24,000. T.J. gets the credit for this find!

This car makes a visual statement! The seller tells us that the restoration/build occurred in the 1990s and by all accounts it has held up swimmingly. The finish is lacquer – so that does date this build as I don’t believe lacquer is used, or in some cases, can be used, anymore.  Really, the exterior is essentially stock, other than its hue and pinstripes; the steel wheels, with their trim rings and moon-style caps, surrounded by wide whites, is a period-correct look.  There is probably some debadging that has occurred to the trunk lid – it’s a cool smooth look, but the rest of the trim all seems to be accounted for – and yes, it’s perfect.

Now, to the chagrin of many, ’30s Fords are often hound harboring a bowtie small block V8 between their frame rails, and many would agree with Last Man Standing’s Chuck Larabee who often uttered his tagline of, “not cool”. So, finding the ubiquitous small block under the hood of a ’38 Master DeLuxe coupe would be expected, right? Not in this case, nope, this one has a straight-six with, “Original Offenhauser aluminum, intake manifold with dual Stromberg 97s, with a Fenton dual port exhaust header into a dual exhaust system exiting at the rear bumper. It has a high-performance Sun ignition system and a remote oil filter, period accessory gauges…“. My thought is that all of this goodness has been bestowed upon the original 85 HP, 216 CI six-cylinder motor, but that detail is not divulged – and I’m a bit confused about the Original Offehauser intake claim unless the seller means that it’s a dated piece from long ago and not a reproduction – the stove-bolt certainly didn’t come equipped that way. I’ll run with the assumption that the manual gearbox is the original three-speed.

The interior of this cool ride is as much a highlight as the exterior. The color-keyed dash, original instrument panel, and old-school tachometer are a tasteful arrangement, it’s an attention-getter but not too in your face. The tan crushed velour, with contrasting door panels, is new but old at the same time in that it’s clean and refreshed, but not too far removed from the original mohair upholstery.

OK, price consideration time. If the seller caused all of this to happen, I can’t believe he’ll recover his investment at $24K. But if he bought this Chevy for a reasonable amount, and is now trying to move it on, things may turn out a bit better. Regardless, whatever happened doesn’t matter, I think $24K is a deal, how about you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Nice! Crew Chief likes the big trunk for groceries. Lots of torque in those old sixes. Good price.

    Like 4
    • bobhess bobhessMember

      The Offenhauser products came out of the ’50s and ’60s dirt track racing. They built all sorts of parts for the Chevy 6s and flathead Ford engines which included intake and exhaust manifolds, cylinder heads and many more go fast parts. The dual carb manifold on my ’32 Ford came out of the back of a repair shop hanging on the wall. No telling how old it was but it worked. I built my own dual exhaust system for my ’54 Chevy and then found out they were still available from Offenhauser. Think they still are. The exhaust manifold on this car looks like an Offenhauser unit.

      Like 3
      • bobhess bobhessMember

        Update… Offenhauser still the same company and still in business. Don’t think they are making exhaust manifolds.

        Like 2
      • Ray M

        Nice ride, like the color. To me a good example of old school cars. Some of those 6 cylinders with dual carbs and split exhaust manifolds actually moved along pretty well. The price doesn’t seem out of line.

        Like 5
  2. TheOldRanger

    I just love these old cars!!!

    Like 5
  3. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    There was a young man (at that time, 59-60) that had a Chevy coupe 38-39 that he put a self built GMC 6 cylinder in that ran 103mph in the 1/4 mile track with time slips to prove it. These old buggies can be made to be quite fast even with 6 cylinder engines and 3 speed manuals. I like this car but the orange paint is a bit much these days. In the 70’s I would have loved it.

    God Bless America

    Like 3
    • Randy

      John, that orange paint would go perfectly here in Tennessee. We love ❤️ our UT Orange. Think I might buy this one.

      Like 6
  4. Norman K Wrensch

    That is not a Fenton exhaust, That exhaust is any bodys guess maybe home made. The carbs are not stromberg 97’s. 97’s were 2 barrels, these are 1 barrels. From what I understand a person can still buy any manifold Offenhauser ever made right from Offenhauser.

    Like 4
    • bobhess bobhessMember

      True, and they will custom build anything you need. Web site very informative.

      Like 1
  5. Wayne from Oz

    They are not Stromberg 97 carbs. They are single throat Strombergs BXV series. 97s were dual throat. Nice car, nice engine and speed equipment. Nice change from V8s.

    Like 2
  6. Joe Haska

    A very nice 38 Chevrolet. Would have been nice to have more details. These cars came with two suspensions, a straight axle and a knee action, which was a relatively new front end and it had some problems. All the Hot Rodders in the 50’s wanted the straight axle. Would be nice to know what size the engine is, I am sure some of you can tell from the photos, I can’t. I do know the later years were better. I had a 48 GMC P/U with a 292 GMC six and a power glide and it had no trouble keeping up with traffic. Looking at the build even with not much info, I think this would be a good buy for someone.

    Like 1

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