Rust Free Original: 1939 Pontiac Deluxe 8 Coupe

By Scott Allen

Finding a prewar car in original unmodified condition is uncommon, finding one that is complete and rust free is even more uncommon in my opinion. This 1939 Pontiac has obviously been in storage for a while and may look a little rough around the edges, but upon closer inspection, this car is in excellent original condition. The seller makes the bold statement of  “No rust ANYWHERE”. If the claim is true, this is a chance to own a unique classic car for a reasonable price. Find it here on eBay in Hialeah, FL with bidding up to $5,350 and a BIN of $7,800.

1939 was a good sales year for Pontiac, they revised their model lineup and sales were increased from the previous year. The increase in sales was partly due to the “quality six” model, which was basically a ’39 Chevy body with a Pontiac front end powered by a six-cylinder engine. This model appealed to the buyer that wanted to treat themselves to something just a little nicer than the Chevrolet. If you wanted to move up another level, the car we have here was probably for you. This coupe is the Deluxe 8 model powered by the smooth Pontiac inline-8 powerplant. I picture this car being the one in the showroom that got the customer hooked before they walked the lot and opted for the more sensible six-cylinder model.

Some elbow grease will go a long way with this car. I have a feeling the paint would present a nice shine with a careful polishing. The ad does not give many details, the seller focuses on originality and says it runs. The car is very complete with all of the trim still in place, there is no rust anywhere according to the seller, let’s hope this is true. Mileage is listed as 122,328. Although it looks rough, its been loved by someone if it has made it this long and remained in this shape, the seller says the car has always been garage kept. I wish there was more history on this one, maybe the seller has more details for the buyer. Whenever I see a car like this I always wonder where it was during pivotal points in history like the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the Atomic bomb was dropped or when Kennedy was assassinated to name a few.

The originality continues inside, from what we can see things look to be very complete. The dash and gauges seem to be in excellent shape, the steering wheel and seat may need some work. Let’s hope the new owner can appreciate this one and keep it as original as possible while making it a roadworthy car. This would be a great car to have fun with on the local car show circuit, or it would make a great period correct car to be used in a movie. I personally think the price is very reasonable on this one, but the style is not for everyone. Let’s hope it finds the right owner that will keep it out of the Hot Rod shop.

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Comments

  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    I personly think this car is worth of a simpathetic restoration, in saying that I mean things like touching up the paint where needed while polishing up the rest. I believe that the engine will need a rebuild mostly based on the milage and the fact that oils were not as good in the time of this car. Internal up grades can be done to the engine at this time fresh Pistons better rings, bearings, and improved oil filteration to name a few. Steering parts will be worn as well as brakes, axle bearings. Transmission bearings. All part of what I’d repair, I’d also do some refreshing in the interior but not necessarily all interior materials or components. Then I’d be driving it every chance I got but kindly with continued maintenance of course. What a nice ride.

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  2. nrg8

    I have one about the same shape, better bright work though, painted emerald green in the 60’s. I’m at the point that every part is worn and the drivability is even sketchy at parade speed. Parts while attainable are starting to become unfeasible. Having the car looking original for the 20 years I had it, just don’t think it would look right with an LS swap/5 speed with updated axle, suspension, brakes, and wheels. Might be time for it’s next care taker. 8k US doesn’t sound bad. Guess I’ll have to watch if he gets that, if he does, it may be time.

    7
    • leiniedude Member

      Best of luck on what you decide to do nrg8. I have been giving small items away to people here and on other forums and covering the shipping. Better to see those Items go to someone that would enjoy them. When I check out my family would probably chuck most of it. Take care, Mike.

      5
    • Raggs

      I agree. I’m a Pontiac guy to the core but it’s just kinda ugly for a mod. Could be a nice original restoration though.

  3. sluggo

    I cant say for 39, but this spring I sold my 37 Pontiac coupe (This one is a BEAUTIFUL CAR!) and while some parts between 37 Pontiac and 37 chevy interchange, many do not.
    Doors a biggie. The Pontiac coupe and Chevy look very similar but the doors on the Pontiac are about 12-14″ longer. I found this the hard way as my passenger side door was missing. I found a 37 Chev door and bought it on the spot. Boy! Was I shocked and dissappointed when I held it up to the car. I SHOULD have kept it but sold it on. I SHOULD have cut and lengthened it as the Pontiac doors are very hard to find.
    Fenders-Front end. Slight differences. Rear fenders appear to interchange, However the front fenders are slightly different. Compare where the fenders end near the firewall on the bottoms,, near door openings. There is a moulding on the firewall panel and its called a “EyeBrow” and the curvature is very different. I had a Chevy front clip and when I went to fit it it will not line up. To make the Chevy front clip work, You have to cut and weld in that panel, or cut up the fenders.
    Rear deck lids seems to interchange,, I got one that was allegedly chevy and it dropped right on.
    I sold mine to a cool 20 something guy this spring and was really happy to see it go to someone so young and passionate about prewar cars that were 2 generations older than he was.

    3
    • nrg8

      Yup, didn’t think coming out of a world war, a depression and the upcoming 2nd world war. There would be so many differences external tooling as well as the underside too

      1
  4. jdjonesdr

    If you can afford the Zephyr, this may be the next best thing…

    1
  5. canadainmarkseh Member

    I think a possible alternative to the Ls route would be the engine out of a Chevy trail blazer. In line six double overhead cam port injection. I think this engine would fit theses prewar cars better than a v8 and would give you a reliable modern power plant. A lot of these old cars end up with an engine to powerful for the car, and I think that it is not practical to turn it into a tourque monster. So if you go that route that’s my suggestion.

    1
  6. Pete Phillips

    What a gem! Clean it up, make it safe to drive, but don’t touch anything that you don’t have to touch. Any money you spend on this will come back to you when it is time to sell.

    3
  7. John

    I’m a hot rod & custom guy. But I believe that: when a car like this emerges, an actual “surviver”, it should be treated as such. There are a disproportionate amount of cars out there that have been modified in some way… some good some not. There are fewer that come to light in this condition. Whether a “simpethetic” or complete restoration, this one should retain it’s dignity.

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  8. chad

    Sweet! a straight 8!
    yeah, drive’n restore as U go.
    Right dwn to the cloth covered wires –
    8^ )

    4
  9. Doug

    The flattie straight 8 may not leap forward from a stoplight, but they sure are smooth on the open road. My ’51 with three on the tree averaged 22mpg on the cheapest Simas Brothers regular, and at 80 on the freeway, it felt like I was sitting in a parking lot while VWs were getting blown into the next lane by crosswinds.
    I’d keep it as original as possible, while replacing worn parts with the closest appearing parts I could find that would do the job – for instance, as I recall the master cylinder on these cars was under the floorboards, so a higher performance one wouldn’t detract from the look of the car. There are a number of ways to keep a car looking pretty original while making it more driveable, like upgrading to 12 volts, replacing the generator with one of the alternators that look like a generator, installing the electric fan between the grille and the radiator, etc. I believe that someone has recently started marketing an A/C system that uses an electric motor to drive the compressor, so there’s no giveaway under the hood, if one wanted to add A/C.

    2
  10. charlie

    Oh, but that awful whine in the Pontiac transmissions of the time, in 1st and especially 2nd. Why Pontiac did not just use one of the transmissions of the other 4 GM makes I will probably never know. But in the 40’s and 50’s you knew it was a Pontiac by listening to it go up through the gears. Even more annoying than the starter noise of the 60’s Mopars.

    1
  11. Thor

    This would make a perfect hot rod! The best ones start from the best cars. Everything is there so you don’t need to go scrounging around for it. This would be great with a Pontiac v8 and 3 deuces.

  12. Rick M.

    Would love to bring this fine machine to Arizona, where it would still never rust. Want to hear those gears whine, those eight cylinders firing in perfect sequence as it lopes along. I’d polish as is, get all the systems right, and enjoy it as a daily driver, mostly as it is.

    1

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