1/2 Moon

1938 Chevy Business Coupe

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How do I tell if my car is a master or master delux. My dad always called it a business Coupe, but that doesn’t come up in any listings??

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My first antique car 48 years ago was a 37 Chevy. If I recall correctly, the Master Deluxe had what they called a Knee action front suspension instead of the typical straight axle.

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6 hours ago, 1/2 Moon said:

How do I tell if my car is a master or master delux. My dad always called it a business Coupe, but that doesn’t come up in any listings??

 

 

Here ya go:


http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Chevrolet/1938_Chevrolet/1938_Chevrolet_Brochure/1938%20Chevrolet-15.html

 

Business coupe is a pretty generic term.  Some makes used it and some did not - and it meant different things to the ones that did.

Edited by CHuDWah (see edit history)

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Business coupe was a cheap stripped down model with no back seat used for deliveries and by salesmen, meter readers etc. It was part of the lowest priced line and was the low price leader for penny pinching purchasing agents, government bureaucrats and small businesses.

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14 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Business coupe was a cheap stripped down model with no back seat used for deliveries and by salesmen, meter readers etc. It was part of the lowest priced line and was the low price leader for penny pinching purchasing agents, government bureaucrats and small businesses.

Harsh, but generally true.  However, business coupes (and in the 1950s "business sedans" using 2-door sedan bodies) were sometimes available in higher trim grades, such as the 1940 Desoto "Custom" (vs. basic "Deluxe") business coupe in the  Hemmings Classic Car just out.

 

And in the 1930s, people who were NOT outside salesmen or delivery persons, but who had a need to carry more goods than people, often opted for a 2-passenger coupe with a deep trunk--such my own father who had a 1937 Ford DELUXE 2-passenger coupe when he married my mother.   

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"Business coupe" or even worse, "Businessman's coupe" gets thrown around quite a bit by people who don't know what they are talking about. I thought it might be time to clear things up a bit.

 

I know they made fancier coupes with no back seat but they weren't business coupes.

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Depends on what the manufacturer called it!  In those days, sometimes going from "base" to "next higher" got you a second taillight, passenger sunvisor, passenger wiper (as well as a bit more chrome) that often were not available for dealer installation on the "base" models, and those items were deemed essential.  Please read the HCC article on the 1940 DeSoto in the current issue which is marked October 2018.

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5 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Business coupe was a cheap stripped down model with no back seat used for deliveries and by salesmen, meter readers etc. It was part of the lowest priced line and was the low price leader for penny pinching purchasing agents, government bureaucrats and small businesses.

 

4 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

"Business coupe" or even worse, "Businessman's coupe" gets thrown around quite a bit by people who don't know what they are talking about. I thought it might be time to clear things up a bit.

 

I know they made fancier coupes with no back seat but they weren't business coupes.

 

 

Really?

 

1939 Chevrolet Master De Luxe Business Coupe

1180134305_1939ChevroletMasterDeLuxeBusinessCoupe.thumb.jpg.3a2dee08587ae921ef051d2fd63273c7.jpg

 

1940 Chevrolet Special De Luxe Business Coupe

498867605_1940ChevroletSpecialDeLuxeBusinessCoupe.thumb.jpg.ecdedf4963767461d8037518523d1615.jpg

 

1937 Chrysler Imperial Business Coupe

76591138_1937ChryslerImperialBusinessCoupe.thumb.jpg.2b0dbb7b3ecbedaea87ddda19ae5004b.jpg

 

1939 Chrysler Imperial Business Coupe

2017007265_1939ChryslerImperialBusinessCoupe.thumb.jpg.dc802d64b48ef7b8af1511891b4c6faa.jpg

 

1940 Ford De Luxe Business Coupe

1613995486_1940FordDeLuxeBusinessCoupe.thumb.jpg.ee5c1a18f41c925b4bce08ab6c7074b2.jpg

 

1939 Pontiac De Luxe Eight Business Coupe

1655364007_1939PontiacDeLuxeEightBusinessCoupe.thumb.jpg.d32fceab319ea2e706254605f795c4a1.jpg

 

And those are just a few found with a quick brochure search.  Some may have been low-priced makes.  But the manufacturer called them Business Coupes and they were top-of-the-line trim within those makes, not a "cheap stripped down model".  Now what was that about terms being thrown around by people who don't know what they're talking about?  Maybe this will clear things up a bit for you.

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CHuDWah,

 

Thanks for posting these brochures. I never knew so many lines included Business Coupes.

 

Don

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1 minute ago, DLynskey said:

CHuDWah,

 

Thanks for posting these brochures. I never knew so many lines included Business Coupes.

 

Don

 

 

You're welcome.  Like I said, those are just a few found with a quick search,  I'd guess there are more top-of-the-line Business Coupes in other makes/years.  And Rusty is right in one respect - BCs also often were included in low-priced lines within makes.

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In Oz the 1939 Chev 2 door was known as a 'sloper', with more of a fast-back styling than the US offering. Mine was sold to me as a 'Businessman's coupe', and the two components of the rear seat were made to release, and to be lifted out. I found this to be an excellent arrangement, combined with the generously sized boot lid. It carried some large loads for me, including on one memorable occasion when I used it to transport a small horse down to the Kindergarten Fete. Seat base out, open the passenger door wide, front seat folded forward, and the pony walked in and stood quietly with his head out the window for the trip. The toddlers loved it, when I pulled up and walked him out the driver's side. That was my first registered vehicle, and I remember it as robust and utilitarian. Not sure of the trim level, as I had nothing to compare it against.

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My '40 Packard 110 is a business coupe.It didn't have a rear seat originally but a vinyl covered one was added ,possibly from an English car. My dog rides back there. Quite a few higher end car manufacturers offered "business coupes".

St.Mary's car show 005.JPG

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I limited my post to 1935-40 top-of-the-line trim Business Coupes from the Big-3.  I left out Olds so here are 1936 and 1938 Eights:

 

363308894_1936OldsmobileEightBusinessCoupe.thumb.jpg.d68d3612b6c92ae63d0284b5cbb4db78.jpg

 

1336667689_1938OldsmobileEightBusinessCoupe.jpg.2a44158a9aa3f3a0a1f129a8ae310b93.jpg

 

GM had a tendency to call coupes with trunks Business Coupes while those with rumble seats were Sport Coupes.

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11 hours ago, Bush Mechanic said:

In Oz the 1939 Chev 2 door was known as a 'sloper', with more of a fast-back styling than the US offering. Mine was sold to me as a 'Businessman's coupe', and the two components of the rear seat were made to release, and to be lifted out. I found this to be an excellent arrangement, combined with the generously sized boot lid. It carried some large loads for me, including on one memorable occasion when I used it to transport a small horse down to the Kindergarten Fete. Seat base out, open the passenger door wide, front seat folded forward, and the pony walked in and stood quietly with his head out the window for the trip. The toddlers loved it, when I pulled up and walked him out the driver's side. That was my first registered vehicle, and I remember it as robust and utilitarian. Not sure of the trim level, as I had nothing to compare it against.

 

 

I like that sloper body style - wish it had been made in the US, along with utes.

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Here's the complete brochure for the 1938 Chevrolets:

http://www.lov2xlr8.no/brochures/chevy/38chev/38chev.html

Click on thumbnails to enlarge them.

 

And, just for fun, here's a link to a page I set up for my 1951 Chevrolet Special Business Coupe:

https://www.sites.google.com/site/davezgarage/the-cars-trucks-and-trailers/1951-chevrolet-special-business-coupe

 

Dave B.

Edited by Dave B. (see edit history)

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A sorta related bit of 1938 Plymouth trivia.  The maker called the coupe with a rumble seat "Rumble Seat Coupe" and the trunk model was simply "Coupe".  But there were two lines, the P6 De Luxe and the cheaper P5 Business (no rumble seat coupes in that line).  P5 buyers objected to their cars being called the mundane name Business.  So in mid-year, Plymouth renamed the P5 line a more exciting "Roadking".  ?

Edited by CHuDWah (see edit history)

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Great to see the period material posted, thanks for doing that, justifies what was stated during the period the cars were new. Always nice to back up current opinions/views  of what was available with period images.

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My 1929 Graham-Paige 610, 2 passenger, Business Coupe literature dose not call it striped down but no rear seat (rumble seat).  They advertise extra room for your supplies, leather seats (more durable?), they even go as far as to say you can sleep in the back!  That is what caught my attention.

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3 hours ago, Graham Man said:

My 1929 Graham-Paige 610, 2 passenger, Business Coupe literature dose not call it striped down but no rear seat (rumble seat).  They advertise extra room for your supplies, leather seats (more durable?), they even go as far as to say you can sleep in the back!  That is what caught my attention.

 

 

The trunk in my 38 Plymouth Coupe was big enough to stretch out in - at shows, I did nap in it.  Course I left the lid open - folks usually were amused by my sleeping back there.  ?

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On 8/21/2018 at 2:49 PM, Rusty_OToole said:

"Business coupe" or even worse, "Businessman's coupe" gets thrown around quite a bit by people who don't know what they are talking about.

 

 

Much like the Model "T" Doctor's Coupe. Worth a bit more than the ordinary coupe, according to most eBay adds

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Most likely in the 1930's when you had spotty cell service it was hard to check the on line availability of hotel rooms.  Having a car you could comfortably sleep in would be a selling feature.  And even now I would think that might increase the desirability?

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I once bought a 1940 Olds coupe from a small town furniture store owner who doubled as the undertaker. Once when his "meat wagon" was down for service he pressed the Olds into service to bring in a deceased gentleman .The body was strapped to a plank and slid into the trunk.

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3 hours ago, CarlLaFong said:

Much like the Model "T" Doctor's Coupe. Worth a bit more than the ordinary coupe, according to most eBay adds

 

 

Yup.  AFAIK, Ford used just "Coupe" during most of T production - there was a body style for a few years that they called "Coupelet".

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