Live Auctions

Very Rare 1933 Continental Beacon Hot-Rod

Well, I learn something new every day – which isn’t a bad way to go through life, and today’s knock on the noggin is the discovery of the Continental Beacon such as this 1933 example, who knew? Some of you probably did, but not me, so let’s investigate and figure out this rare marque. Discovered by Larry D and located in Marietta, Georgia, this Continental Beacon hotrod is available, here on Autotrader for a price of $31,000 with a make an offer option.

Continental actually started out as an engine manufacturer, first for cars and then for aircraft. When one of their auto manufacturer clients financially collapsed, Continental took over their operation and ended up in the car building biz. Branded as Continental-DeVaux models in 1932, the DeVaux moniker was dropped for ’33. Continental’s lineup included the full-size Ace, the mid-sized Flyer, and the budget-minded Beacon – none were particularly successful and Continental dropped the car assembly business in ’34 preferring to continue with just engines. Realizing a successful operation as an aircraft engine manufacturer, Continental turned to defense activities and continued with that until jet propulsion replaced piston-based aircraft engines. Ultimately, Continental’s auto engine business was acquired by Kaiser and their commercial aircraft engine operation morphed into today’s Continental Aerospace Technologies.

Continental’s auto business is much better known for the multitude of brands that used their engines as their actual auto assembly business was small in scope. One example of a Continental automobile that doesn’t use a homegrown engine is our subject Beacon model – it’s powered by a fuel-injected Chevrolet 350 CI small-block V8 motor in place of the original in-line, four-cylinder flathead. Rounding out the powertrain is a Turbo-Hydramatic 350 three-speed automatic transmission with a Ford nine-inch differential bringing up the rear. The seller states, “The vehicle is mechanically sound and drives, but has been sitting for a decade without regular use (a few low mile trips <25mile trips over the past 5 years to occasional car shows).” Also in place are four-wheel disc brakes and a Mustang II front suspension.

I don’t know my 1930’s cars as well as I probably should but this Beacon has all of the bearing of a ’32 Ford five-window coupe though Continental did not use anyone’s specific designs including those from DeVaux – the financially struggling company that Continental assumed.  It shows well but it is suggested that the paint is worn and in need of attention – it’s showing some cracks and there is some minor surface rust in places. And if you’ll note, some of the canary yellow hue appears to be mismatched.

The interior is listed as being in “great shape” and it looks it though there’s a whole lot of tan velour-type fabric going on – seats, upholstery panels, carpet, mats, and headliner. The instrument panel has been redone with digital gauges, it’s a very custom environment and probably looks nothing remotely like it did originally. Agreed, it is all in really great shape!

So yes, this is a rare item, though the Continental’s calling card was its engine and it’s long gone. A Chevy V8 does make for a better hot-rod motivator, but still, having the born-with Continental flathead would be a nice inclusion. If you’re one who favors early ’30s hot-rods, this is a nice twist on the usually found Ford or the sometimes found Chevrolet, wouldn’t you agree?


  1. NW Iowa

    Absolutely beautiful! If I owned it and lived on a paved road, I’d drive it everyday.

  2. Gary

    Cool old car from a unfamiliar maker. Over the course of time there were over a thousand auto companies from what I’ve read.

  3. Steveo

    With God as my witness, I would have sworn the title said Continental Bacon.

    Like 2
    • Ike Onick

      I thought Continental Beacon was an insurance company.

      Like 1
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      The way that I spell, that’s a decided possibility!


      Like 1
    • Allen L

      Hmmmm, bacon.

      Like 1
  4. DeeBee

    Interesting, off the path little jewel! Knew Continental engines working with industrial engines, never knew of the automotive venture! And, actually, glancing at the grille at first, I would have called it a Willy’s!

    • RKS

      It looks like a 32 Ford and a 33 Willys got it on. The only problem is that they were cousins.

      Like 3
      • Winesmith

        Well, Kaiser did purchase the franchise……..

  5. Bunky

    Decent car. Would prefer it with a Continental engine, instead of the belly button running gear. (everybody’s got one). I could change the Canary Yellow paint- but then there’s the interior…clearly this is just for someone else.
    Not sure why Continental brass figured the depths of the Depression was a good time to start building cars…?

    Like 1
  6. Paul S

    Is it just me or does it look like a carburetor on top of the motor, and not fuel injection as stated?

    Like 1
  7. Jimmy Novak

    All that aside, a pity this rare Continental fell into the hands it did and became less of the rarity it should be.

    Like 4
  8. Pugsy

    I think I will start commenting how it’s a shame that the owner didn’t rod that ugly stock looking car next time one appears.

    The owner of this one did a great service for the viewing public. They get to see something cool driving by.

    Like 2
  9. Pugsy

    More to my above statements.

    Just hope the viewing public does not look underneath at this welding abomination.


    Like 1
  10. Rw

    Another nice street rod with totally suck wheels.

    Like 1
  11. Skkip

    Gorilla welds on the frame.

  12. Sam Shive

    Did anyone look at the Autotrader pictures? This thing is all bent up around the firewall. The front wheels DON’T look centered in the fenders. Lot’s of Yellow overspray on the frame. and the little bowtie. I’d be good at 10 grand less than asking.

  13. Paul S

    Looks like a 12 year old welded on the chassis, wow that’s bad. Needs a total repaint on the outside but underneath is really bad.

    Like 1
  14. Wayne from Oz

    Unusual quarter elliptic leaf spring rear suspension. Got to love the welding and wiring. Didn’t know 5 year olds were taught those skills. Love RKS cousins comment. I totally agree.

  15. Rw

    Wow, just looked at under car pics, forget what I said about nice street rod.

  16. Lowell Peterson

    Find it, Fix it, Flaunt it! I’ve seen worse , its a good start needs redo anyway? Thats what the car hobby is all about!
    Morrison chassis, wiring harness, disaasemble, separate the reusable from the unbelievable? That spells: PROJECT! NO FEAR! Yer gonna have the only one! Not for the under $50 k crowd looking on from the porch.

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