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1939 Ford Convertible Sedan

Condition: Used
Make: Ford
Model: Deluxe
Type: Convertible
Trim: Deluxe
Year: 1939
Mileage: 100,000
VIN: 1185106872
Engine: flathead v8
Cylinders: 8
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual
Drive type: RWD
Drive side: Left-hand drive
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: Mickleton, New Jersey, United States

Description of 1939 Ford Deluxe Deluxe

I bought this 1939 Ford Deluxe convertible sedan several years ago, planning that it would be my next project after I finished my current one (a 1942 Deluxe Fordor). As you can see from the first pictures (which show the car before I took it apart), it was basically a hulk, with no interior, and the wrong engine. The floor was gone, but, remarkably, the doors, the cowl, and the rear body panels were in excellent condition (and the trunk floor, while not great, was restorable. I disassembled the car completely, stored it away, and began the process of finding parts and restoring the mechanics. Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to a common restorer's ailment; age has caught up with me, and I'm come to the conclusion that I am just not up to finishing another ground-up restoration project. So now I'm planning to sell this project and replace it with something that only needs tinkering (I'm getting to be a great fan of tinkering...).

Ebay limits the number of photographs that can be put into this auction, so if there are any other parts for which you'd like a picture, let me know and I'll be happy to send them to you. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Oh, and if you are looking for parts, I am not willing to part this car out—if I don't sell it, it'll just sit in the basement annoying my wife for another few years...

Here is what you get with this car:

Body: The doors, center door pillars, cowl, and rear section are in very good condition, with no rust through. The interior parts for the window risers and door latches are all present, as well as the window frames. One window riser has a broken crank assembly—repair it, don't throw it away. I'm told that window risers for a convertible sedan are extremely rare and expensive. The floor for the passenger compartment is entirely gone, but the car comes with a new floor waiting to be welded in. The left fenders are excellent; the right rear was the wrong fender (no tail light), so it has been replaced with an extremely nice correct one. The right front fender was simply junk, so it has been replaced with one that, while not perfect, will require only minor body work. The hood is excellent. (This car has the early '39 hood latch system.) The grill was cracked and a little bent, so it was been replaced with a solid, straight unit. The trunk lid is not rusted, but it has been dented and filled—it's quite presentable, but not perfect. The trunk handle has been replaced with a much better one that falls short of being excellent only because of two tiny dimples. All of the stainless is present, and though the door strips are not perfect, their dents are small and repairable. The nose chrome on the hood is original, and will need to be replaced. The bumpers are rechromed, and it has four excellent bumper guards. The running boards are solid, but will, naturally, need to be recovered. The car has a very nice set of (sort of) NOS headlight buckets, and two sets of reproduction tail lights (one with blue-dot lenses in case you want to go with the hot-rod look...).

Interior: The dash (unique to convertibles) had some rust in the lower edges, so it has been replaced by a solid unit. The glove box door has its stainless decorations and a working clock with a pretty nice face (it ticks, but who knows how good its time-keeping is...). The front seat is unique to the convertible sedan, and just about impossible to find. The front seat with this car is in excellent condition, and includes a very good set of original springs (It came from a car that was being hot-rodded...). There are no rear seat springs (but they are being reproduced, so it's only a question of money...). The frames for the back armrests, and the ashtrays that go in them, are missing. The car has an excellent speedometer and a matching instrument pod (including a working original temperature gauge). I was going to use a reproduction steering wheel, but the car has an original banjo wheel that is easily restorable. Of course, there is no upholstery.

Radio/heater. The car has a professionally rebuilt Philco radio. It does not have the antenna kit. It also has a rebuilt correct 1939 heater (they were different from the 1940 version).

Top: The complete top frame assembly is present, including a new oak header. Like the upholstery, the canvas is long gone—but readily available from several restoration parts companies. The car does not have the top latches.

Engine/transmission: The car came with a post-war flathead in it. That was replaced with a correct 1939 block. It has been bored .020 over and has new pistons, rings, bearings, valves (with springs and guides; I used the later version with adjustable lifters). The oil pump has been rebuilt, as have the distributor, the carburetor, the generator, and the starter. The car has new water pumps of the improved design that stop problems with leaks and improve circulation (it also has a brand new Drake dual core 1939 radiator, so there should be no issues with overheating). The engine has been reassembled, but it has not been tested—it may work fine, but it may require more tinkering to get it how you would like it. The transmission has been rebuilt, and so should give you absolutely no problem. The clutch plate is new.

Frame/running gear: The frame is solid, with no rust-through (although I would replace the body mounts). The rear axle and torque tube are complete and solid. The front axle was damaged, so it has been replaced with a good one. The brakes have new shoes, new springs, new wheel cylinders, and a new master cylinder. The pedal assembly has been rebuilt. The backing plates are cleaned and painted, as are the brake drums (although they have not been turned). The steering box has been rebuilt. The car has two very nice Deluxe series springs (with the tin cases around the leaves). The wheels (five) are pretty good but not perfect; they have not been cleaned or painted.

I also have a few 1939 Ford parts catalogs and maintenance bulletins, and the very useful Early Ford V-8 Club 1938-1939 book, which will go with the car. Most of the dirty work on the car has been done—the frame, the running boards, the rear axle housing, and the torque tube still need to be cleaned and painted, but in their disassembled state, they are very easy to get to... The great benefits of buying this car are, one, it's cheap—you couldn't buy a '39 convertible sedan and do the work that has been done on this car for anything near the opening bid. Two, there are no surprises—the condition of everything is absolutely apparent. How many restoration project cars can you say that about? Three, the Deluxe convertible sedan is the top of the Ford line for 1939, a rare and valuable variety. Restoration costs of this car and a two door sedan are comparable (well, the interior for the convertible is a lot more expensive...), but resulting value is significantly different.

The car is located in Mickleton, New Jersey (08056), about 20 miles south of the Philadelphia/Camden metropolitan area. We are easily accessible from I95, I295, Rt. 55, and the New Jersey Turnpike. You will need an enclosed van, not a car carrier, to pick it up. Every piece, except for the engine (for which I have a hoist), can be picked up by two men, so loading it should not be a problem. Take a look at the last picture I've provided, of one of these convertibles in 1939--wouldn't you like to have a car like that?