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Passing Project: 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe

Carefully nestled in a garage, this ’38 Chevrolet Master Deluxe Sedan was intended to be a project for the seller’s father. Unfortunately the seller’s father passed before making any headway on this project. A great start for a project, this Chevy is quite solid, with only a couple of bruises to show for its age. Fairly complete, this 30’s era sedan is offered for $5,500. Take a look at it here on craigslist out of Yuma, Arizona. Thanks to Ikey for sharing this solid find!

There are a few good photos of the exterior, but the interior and engine compartment are a bit of a mystery. You will notice that the dash has been brush painted at some point in time. Also there is some mild rust on the dash, as well as in the foot well area. The driver side windscreen is broken out, to which I imagine that this Chevy may have spent some time outdoors, where the elements had easy access to the interior. If that is the case, I would imagine that the interior upholstery and trim may not be in the best of condition.

Although there are no photos of the engine, I would assume that it is still in its rightful place. Definitely not running, if this Chevy was discovered in the Arizona area after spending a long time outdoors, then it is difficult to guess what condition the engine may be in.

Rot looks to be non-existent on this Chevy, the only real issues are a couple of dents along the passenger side of this vehicle. There is a noticeable dent on the passenger rear fender, as well as two smaller dents along the front and rear edge of the passenger front fender. Beyond those areas the sheet metal looks great, and even the running boards are in solid shape. Perhaps the biggest let down is that there are a few missing items from the front end of this Chevrolet. The hood ornament, grill, center bumper stop, and turn signals are all missing. That is not to say that the seller may not have those items some place. But if they are missing, it is a bit of a sad reality. Although this Chevrolet may not represent the value to make it worthy of restoration, it is certainly worthy of being revived in some form or fashion. Restore, Restomod, or hot rod, options would all be suitable for this machine depending on your taste. What route would you take with this Master Deluxe?


  1. TimM

    LS swap candidate!!! Looks soild!!! The paint even looks like it would buff out!!! The inside looks worse than the outside!!! I guess there’s something to be said about having good glass in your car!!!

    Like 1
  2. Sal

    I love these cars, but I don’t know about that price.

    You can find running & driving late 30’s GMs all over the place with good paint for $15k or less. Unless you knocked down that asking price, I can’t see driving this car around sitting on a milk crate with $6,500 into it. (Figure at least a grand for tires, glass, and incidentals)

    Like 1
  3. Andrew

    Price seems high alright. The Master Deluxe has the knee-action front suspension which can be a problem. The straight I beam is easier to maintain. If the grill and trim are missing, Chevs of the 40s (Vancouver, Wa) have all the replacements – but expensive. A resto-rod to consider is the 37 or 38 body on a 2002 – 2009 Envoy or Trailblazer chassis – same 112.5″ wheelbase and 270 Hp Atlas in-line six with disc brakes, AC, etc.

    Like 0
    • Nsuracer

      You must have been reading my mind. I have had that combo in mind for years.

      Like 0
    • Jon

      We purchased a master deluxe back in 1969 or 70 for a price of $45, far cry from $5500. Weren’t Masters equipped with banjo steering wheels? Ours was. Or was that an option?
      We dropped a 265 into it with a 3 speed overdrive out of a 57 Chevy along with a 55 Chevy rear axle. We ditched the knee action for a complete corvair front suspension along with a rack and pinion steering from an unknown foreign car.
      Worked well together.
      Wheel choice were the ansen sprint slotted wheels.
      We also did the paint. Corvette dark blue metallic and flames in several different hues of blue and purple. We also stitched the interior. Black Naugahide. Was a fun car.

      Like 0
  4. Bob McK

    I do love these late 30’s cars, but this WAY overpriced. I bought a running, driving 38 Coupe for $8K. Sorry, this is a $1,000. car

    Like 0
    • Del

      I agree with Bob

      Like 0
  5. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    My first car was a 35 Chevy standard 4 door sedan. Those missing parts, grill, hood ornament etc. will set you back a few bucks but they’re out there. Glass looks like it probably all needs replacing and resealed. Know nothing about the engine, but I would imagine a complete overhaul would be in order. Brakes would have to be checked and or rebuilt. To say nothing of interior, wiring, body work and paint. Just to much expense to pay the asking price for this one.
    God bless America

    Like 0
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    2nd year in college found a rust free ’39 two door for $100. It was a roller but we had a big Olds engine/tranny combo we were going to put in it. I can honestly say I’ve never had a car with so much room to do whatever we wanted to do to it. The options for these guys is limitless.

    Like 0

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