1939 Dodge Business Coupe

Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX

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Fort Worth, TX



Year 1939
Mileage 1924
Engine 100
Doors 2
Transmission Manual
Make Dodge
Model Business Coupe

Business Coupe 1939

Title Status --
Exterior Color Maroon
Interior Color Black


If you're like many show-goers, you're probably tired of showing up and looking at the same old cars week after week. Lots of late-30s Chevys and Fords, and while they're nice cars, standing out isn't that hard to do. Take this 1939 Dodge Business Coupe, for example a breath of fresh air in the pre-war collector car world. Featuring a gorgeous restoration that includes an elegant maroon paint job, comfortable stock black interior, and a period-perfect Flathead 6 under the long nose, this early Mopar makes a big statement in a sea of more common hardware.

Aerodynamics were all the rage in styling in the mid- to late-1930s, and all the cars were more rounded and smooth, but when you compare this lovely Dodge to the competition, you can see where early Chrysler stylists were making their mark. The imposing split grille, the generously rounded fenders, and a sleek profile that has a long trunk out back (hence the Business Coupe designation more room for salesmen to haul their goods) all suggest that streamlining was more than just a buzzword at the Chrysler design studios when they were dreaming up these Luxury Liners to commemorate Dodge's 25th anniversary. This one has been artfully refinished in deep maroon, high driver-quality paint that looks great, creating a dramatic look that emphasizes the car's smooth, sleek lines. All the original details were restored in earnest, from the split windshield and giant vented hood up front to the bulbous front fenders with integrated headlights and turn signals and to the blacked-out running boards at the flanks. The chrome was brought to a bright glisten as well, with the ornate bumpers leading the sparkle show, and those super-cool taillights are incredibly hard to find on the secondary market so we have to believe they're original, just like the rest of this exquisite Dodge coupe.

Back in the late '30s and '40s, travelling salesmen cruised the back roads of the country in their 2-passenger business coupes like this one, which traded the back seat for massive storage in the trunk. It gives this Dodge an intimate interior for two, recently restored and complete with a wide split front bench covered in period-correct black fabric that's comfortable and long-wearing. Matching black carpets give it a highly finished look, and that awesome stock wood dash is still in amazing condition and full of original gauges that show slight patina but are all intact. All the plastics and trim pieces on the dash are in great shape too, and they connect to all the important stuff: lights, throttle, and the choke, while the original 3-spoke steering wheel anchors the cabin and feel like pure American history in the hands of the driver. Three-on-the-tree shifting was still a relatively new invention in 1939, but it makes it a lot of fun to drive, and the car includes an accessory under-dash heater that appears to be all-original. Behind the passenger's seat is a door that leads to a 'secret' compartment in the trunk, which was supposedly used to hide moonshine and other contraband from prying eyes, as it can be surreptitiously accessed by the driver without ever leaving the car. Old wives' tale or not, that's still a pretty darn cool piece of automotive design history. Open the trunk and you'll find out exactly what the salesmen found so appealing about these business coupes: a fully upholstered space big enough for a month's worth of road trip.

In a world filled with hot rods and small block crate motors, it's really refreshing to see the 189 cubic inch Flathead 6 living under the hood. Traditional silver paint marks it as a Chrysler product, and if you're judging this one solely on its stats, you're missing a great opportunity. Gutsy, torquey, and happy to rev, these tough engines powered everything from taxicabs to stationary generators for decades, and if you can kill this one, well, you might just be the first guy to ever do it. It pulls with vigor and a neat 6-cylinder grumble from the updated single exhaust, and the ratios in the 3-speed manual transmission are well-chosen to keep it spinning in the fat part of its power band. The engine bay is clean, if not totally detailed, but there aren't any real deviations from stock, with that oil bath air cleaner, top-mounted canister oil filter, and large dual horns vying for the attention. Likewise, the underside is very tidy and stock, showing a lifetime away from harsh winter weather, and we have to admit that those bright red wheels adorned with chrome Dodge hubcaps and wide-whites add just the right accent.

An unusual and nicely finished little coupe that keeps it 100% Mopar and 100% fun. Call today!


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