Needs To Be Saved: 1939 Ford Sedan

Left front

Thanks to Charles H who found this old Ford here on eBay in Billings, Montana. It’s is said to have been parked because of a slipping clutch. It’s very original with very little rust and a few dents on the fenders.

frontF

I especially like the headlights on the 1937 to 1939 Fords. From slightly above they can look like a sad puppy. This puppy is sad because it’s going to be turned into a street rod if it doesn’t sell.

Overall, the body looks to be in good shape. There is some surface just below the trunk lip and a minimal amount on the floors. It looks very drivable just as it is. There is no mention or pictures of the interior. The dash looks pretty nice in the picture. There’s also no word on the engine, brakes or transmission. If this doesn’t get too expensive, perhaps one could get this running and driving with a new clutch and the usual tuneup, brake work and fuel system cleanup. The interior could need a lot of work as well. It would be great if this was preserved as an original car, but it could also end up as a street rod.

 

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Comments

  1. Mark E

    In 1939 other car mfrs were experimenting with different shaped headlights too!

  2. Todd

    If it doesn’t sell, I hope the owner doesn’t take the easy way out and turn it into a street rod. That would be a real shame. Street rods of all shapes and sizes are a dime-a-dozen, but an original like this is a piece of history. If I had more space, I’d buy it.

  3. David R.

    If I see one more of these nice, easily kept original pre-war cars turned into a street rod, I think I’ll break into the White House and press the big red button.

  4. JoeW

    The 60 horse engines are very anemic. I would street rod it.

  5. RayT Member

    Yeah, I’d be tempted to yank the V8 60. I presume an 85-horse would plug right in…. I would, of course, keep the original engine in case the next owner wanted the car all-original.

    Otherwise, keep it stock! Too many of these have been hacked up.

    • RayT Member

      Oh, and by the way: did a little checking online and everyone seems to agree that ’37 Fords came from the factory with the 85-horse “221” V8.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Ray. The ’37 Fords offered both the V-8 85 and the V-8 60; the V-8 60 being introduced that year (because Henry refused to build an inline six). My information doesn’t say whether it was a credit option or it was the standard engine in some of the Standard models and light pickups. And yes, the V8-85 will drop right in but I think you’ll also have to drop in the larger transmission too. I’m in full agreement in keeping it stock, maybe the larger flathead but, like you said, there’s too many of them being modified beyond bringing them back and original ones are all but gone…

  6. Charles H.

    Here’s another example of weird shaped headlights, 1939 Willy’s Overland

  7. Fred

    Thanks for posting those headlights Charles- always like to see things I’ve never seen before.

  8. Mike D

    tho not an expert, I am not sure this is a 39, I’d say a 37 or 38 while restoring this would be a novelty, I would rod it, with an exception .. keep the stock look

    • RayT Member

      I think you’re right re the date: looked at some images, and this seems to be a ’37. Fine with me….

      Still not up for rodding it, though. At most, a few period “speed” parts — on a larger flattie — but nothing more. I’m a purist.

    • Lee H.

      It is a ’39. It’s the Standard model.

      • Stang1968

        Agreed. The famous 39 is the deluxe model. That’s the one that sells for some mula.

        I myelf like this car as is. I was actually looking for a flathead project such as this 10 years ago when I lived in Idaho. Too bad I’ve since moved :(.

  9. Mark S Member

    One option is resto mod keeping the stock look with a modern drive train, brake, and steering would make it fun to drive while being able to keep up with modern traffic.

  10. 64 bonneville

    It’s a 39 Standard, the Deluxe looked like the 40 Standard from the front. Should be the 221 c.i. flathead, as that was base engine. Car really should be restored, has already be changed over to “juice” brakes, as Ford still used mechanical brakes up until 1940 or 41. did not go to hydraulic brakes until after the War.

    A Tip of the Hat to all the Veterans out there. We saw a job that needed done and we did it. that is something that can’t be taken away from you the title Veteran.

    • Rustowner

      I’m pretty sure that 39 was the first year for hydraulic brakes on Ford cars.

      Thanks for the hat tip. Marine vet here.

  11. jim s

    so many of these were made into dirt track race cars ” back in the day “. it is nice to see a stock one. i hope it stays close to stock, made safe and put back on the road. i would keep it from rusting and keep the dents. i think it might be fun around town but not at todays hightway speeds. i wish i still had all the AMT 3 in 1 model kits of this body style i built when i was young. great find.

  12. JoeW

    Yes, 1939 was the first year for hydraulic “juice” brakes. Also last year for floor shift.

  13. bcavileer

    Dodge in 1939. Different take on the teardrop lights.

  14. JLB

    The 39 was the only year that the teardrop tail lites, as far as I know.

  15. Tom S.

    Seller’s threat to make a street rod out of it is just so much talk to tug at your heartstrings. Sort of like may favorite National Lampoon cover.

  16. z1rider

    Lots of comments here, some correct, some not so. A summary:

    — 60 horse flathead (136 cubic inch) was available from 37 – 40. This is a 60
    — 1939 was the first year for hydraulic brakes. Last year for the “wide 5” wheels.
    — 1939 was the last year for floor shift.
    — If you want to swap a 221/239/255 C.I. flathead you will need a trans too.
    — This is a 39 standard.For 38 through 40 the Deluxe styling (mainly the front clip with some detail changes) carried over to become the Standard for the following year.

  17. bcavileer

    Tom S. OMG! That is a hoot!

  18. Rex Rice

    The ’39 standard Tudor ,(Henry’s spelling), 60 hp was the cheap model, affordable by many. These have gotten so rare that it would very sad to see it modified, becoming just another hot rod. It has enough power to get around the neighborhood and keep up with anything in stop & go traffic. It would also win a long distance race with a new electric car that has to stop & recharge for hours.

  19. Oldfart

    1938 also had the tear drops but people always refer to them as 1939 lights due to the lack of popularity for 1938’s.

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