Ford Deluxe Convertible Sedan

While most American automakers began to focus on closed bodies by the 1930s, Ford introduced a new open car, perfectly combining the best features of a closed body, a cabriolet and a four-door sedan. Introduced for 1931 on the Model A and continued through 1939, the distinctive Convertible Sedan was a low-volume prestige car and clearly designed to enhance showroom traffic.

Offered only in Deluxe trim for its final year in 1939, the Convertible Sedan included dual tail lamps, dual windshield wipers, walnut wood grain window moldings and dash panels, rear armrests, dual electric air horns, a “banjo” steering wheel, a locking glove-box door and a dash-mounted clock. Despite its considerable appeal, relatively high pricing of $920 and a shaky economy held sales of the Convertible Sedan to just 3,561 examples in 1939, and the model was quietly retired from the Ford product catalog.

Mechanically, the 1939 Fords featured better-sealing 24-stud cylinder heads and a long-awaited set of Lockheed hydraulic brakes. Stylistically, the headlamps were relocated to the front-fender peaks, housed within handsome teardrop-shaped glass covers. The hood thrust boldly forward with a low V-shaped grille with vertical bars that suggested the bow of a speedboat cutting through the waves. The wider and lower grille aided engine cooling and gave the designers the latitude to eliminate the hood side-vents as well. A sleek, modern design, it would continue without substantial change until new, longer and wider bodies were released for 1941.

Part of the RM Auctions event at Hershey Lodge in October, 2010; for the Dingman Collection in June, 2012 and for Charlie Thomas in October, 2012.

85 bhp, 221 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed sliding gear manual transmission, solid front axle with transverse leaf spring, ¾-floating rear axle with transverse leaf spring, and four-wheel Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel

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