Hudsy Wudsy

1939 Century Cpe $2000 C/L MO

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Posted (edited)

Here's a link to a C/L ad offering a '39 Century coupe for $2000:

 

https://kansascity.craigslist.org/pts/d/orrick-1939-buick-century-fireball/6884785115.html

 

Ad Copy:

 

Thanks for looking for sale is a 39 Buick Century Fireball straight 8 body has a little rust but not to bad. Needs a good home 2000. What ya see is what ya get has some chrome but for some reason someone else wanted some of it more then the car. ( Bill of sale only no title ) . Don't need no help to sale no checks no scammers.

 

1

Edited by Hudsy Wudsy (see edit history)

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I changed the ad to indicate the seller's new asking price of $2,000, rather than the former $2,500.

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Did they make a Special in that coupe body style?  Never seen one.  Verification of this being a Century would be essential to purchase, IMO.

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7 hours ago, B Jake Moran said:

Did they make a Special in that coupe body style?  Never seen one.  Verification of this being a Century would be essential to purchase, IMO.

That was my thought from the start. I've seen many Specials labeled as Roadmasters. Just like every Hudson is a Hornet to many dumb sellers. Before getting too enthused about this car, a person would absolutely need to see a clear photo of the ID plate. It could well be a century as in these years you could only get a coupe in a Special or a Century. A Roadmaster coupe would be a wonderful find, but there aren't any.

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Posted (edited)

In the Special there were two models.....46 was the Business Coupe with no back seat.   46S was the Sport Coupe with folding jump seats and the back side windows slid back about 3 inches.

The Century only came in the 66S Sport Coupe, also with folding jump seats and the sliding side windows.   The Special had 120 inch wheelbase and the small 248 ci engine.

The Century had a 126 in wheelbase and the 320 ci engine used in the large cars.

You can see in one of the photos in the ad that the back side windows have the knob so the window can be opened.....this makes it a Sport Coupe,  not sure how the seller determine that it is a Century as the hood side spear is missing and that

is the only place that it said Special or Century.    I believe it is a Century based on the distance from the front of the door to the rear of the front fender.

No Roadmaster  coupes were made '39

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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I did not know the Century had a 126 inch wheelbase.  This was probably shared with the Cadillac 62 series.  That's an impressive wheelbase for a coupe, since my 1949 Roadmaster Sedanette had 122 inch wheelbase.  


This would be one to save I suppose.  

 

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54 minutes ago, Barney Eaton said:

 I believe it is a Century based on the distance from the front of the door to the rear of the front fender.

 

100% correct, this is a Century.  The front fender is much closer to the front door on a Special.

 

 

 

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I see part of the missing grille in one of the interior photos. I do have a complete '39 grille if someone should buy this and restore it. It's a rare car, but it has apparently been sitting outside with a couple of the windows down or missing, so the floors may not be much good--so sad. I do see the missing back glass in one of the photos. If the 320 engine, drive train, and the 3.9 Century rear end are intact, then this is worth the asking price along with all of the other parts.

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10 hours ago, Pete Phillips said:

I see part of the missing grille in one of the interior photos. I do have a complete '39 grille if someone should buy this and restore it. It's a rare car, but it has apparently been sitting outside with a couple of the windows down or missing, so the floors may not be much good--so sad. I do see the missing back glass in one of the photos. If the 320 engine, drive train, and the 3.9 Century rear end are intact, then this is worth the asking price along with all of the other parts.

That's not helping!   I hate it when I think about such a difficult project.  In the past 2-3 years I have successfully avoided this trap.  But I googled 1939 Century coupe and several beautiful photos came up. 

 

I know where Orrick is, my Dad lived there for awhile. 

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Save yourself all that trouble.........buy my complete "39 Century Sport Coupe.....restored around 1994 and has maybe 2000 miles since then.  It has every factory option plus the sunvisor, fog lights, spotlights, and very rare stream boards.

1939 Buick 007.jpg

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5 hours ago, Barney Eaton said:

Save yourself all that trouble.........buy my complete "39 Century Sport Coupe.....restored around 1994 and has maybe 2000 miles since then.  It has every factory option plus the sunvisor, fog lights, spotlights, and very rare stream boards.

1939 Buick 007.jpg

 

I sure like that car, Barney.

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6 hours ago, Barney Eaton said:

Save yourself all that trouble.........buy my complete "39 Century Sport Coupe.....restored around 1994 and has maybe 2000 miles since then.  It has every factory option plus the sunvisor, fog lights, spotlights, and very rare stream boards.

1939 Buick 007.jpg

How much??? do you take trade-ins???

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

I sure like that car, Barney.

Me too

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On 5/13/2019 at 7:02 PM, B Jake Moran said:

I did not know the Century had a 126 inch wheelbase.  This was probably shared with the Cadillac 62 series.  That's an impressive wheelbase for a coupe, since my 1949 Roadmaster Sedanette had 122 inch wheelbase.  


This would be one to save I suppose.  

 

 

122" wheelbase for 1949?  According to my 1949 owner's manual, wheelbase for all Roadmasters that year was 126" -- 121" for the smaller series. 

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11 hours ago, Buickborn said:

 

122" wheelbase for 1949?  According to my 1949 owner's manual, wheelbase for all Roadmasters that year was 126" -- 121" for the smaller series. 

 You may be right as I do not study much on the old cars anymore and go on 30 + year knowledge.  I do know this - the Roadmaster and the Super are the same wheelbase, the difference in the Roadmaster overall length is in the front sheetmetal/front end (1949).  The 121 " sounds like the last year Pre War Special specifications, but that's just an educated guess. 

 

I thought Super and Roadmaster were 122, and it was an eye opening bump when Roadmaster went to 130 or so and shared a big wheelbase on the 4 door sedans with Cadillac in ? 1951 to 1953.

 

Sorry for taking off topic, but it does relate and come full circle to better understand that a Buick buyer in 1939 is essentially getting a Roadmaster in length in coupe form here.  I now wonder if that was the intent of Buick management in 1939.  It's as if someone noticed at the last minute there was no LWB coupe.  Chrysler, Lincoln, Cadillac surely had one.    Then they settled on the Century. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Barney Eaton said:

I'm putting the Century in the Bugle at $29,500

DSCN2382.JPG

 

Lots of recent discussion on old car pricing.  You could not come close to restoring the subject above for $29,500.  Advantage Barney!

 

I went to looking for 39 Century coupe information on the Internet and came across a reproduction ad for a 1939 Century Coupe in red.  I may buy the ad and frame it.  But it mentions the stream boards as optional.   In looking at your car with them, it appears like an early attempt to start the running board removal process.  I don't know the answer for sure, but it appears in 1939 all or most bodies (except Cadillac's 60S) still were drawn with running boards in mind.  Therefore, without a running board the sill area might look naked, or unadorned, so something had to go there.  Thus - stream boards were invented.

 

Or I could be totally wrong.  In any case running boards gone 2 years later.

Edited by B Jake Moran (see edit history)
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Seller dropped his price to $1500.  This is my kind of seller, really trying to move the car.  I have reached out to him because I will be going to Lawrence KS on Saturday to pick up an SUV with my oldest daughter for her to drive.  She will be on her own coming back.  Seller said Saturday afternoon will be fine.  I'll get some photos and more detail then. 

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Of course there is a lot more to it than the money, but there is WAY more than a $28,000 difference between this car and Barney's beaut!

 

It would take a special buyer to make this car what it could be.  If I was a betting man, I hate to say it, but my money would be it turns into part of a rod project.  I guess that's better than what it is now. 

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2 hours ago, B Jake Moran said:

 You may be right as I do not study much on the old cars anymore and go on 30 + year knowledge.  I do know this - the Roadmaster and the Super are the same wheelbase, the difference in the Roadmaster overall length is in the front sheetmetal/front end (1949).  The 121 " sounds like the last year Pre War Special specifications, but that's just an educated guess. 

 

I thought Super and Roadmaster were 122, and it was an eye opening bump when Roadmaster went to 130 or so and shared a big wheelbase on the 4 door sedans with Cadillac in ? 1951 to 1953.

 

Sorry for taking off topic, but it does relate and come full circle to better understand that a Buick buyer in 1939 is essentially getting a Roadmaster in length in coupe form here.  I now wonder if that was the intent of Buick management in 1939.  It's as if someone noticed at the last minute there was no LWB coupe.  Chrysler, Lincoln, Cadillac surely had one.    Then they settled on the Century. 

 

 

 

       At the risk of pursuing this debate beyond all usefulness . . . it wasn't until 1953 that the Roadmaster shared the same wheelbase as the Super.  In the case of both models, sedan wheelbase is 125.5" -- the others 121.5"

       I wonder if the abandonment of the Roadmaster's greater length had something to do with the fact that  long hoods -- hitherto desired -- suggested old-fashioned straight-eights, replaced in 1953 by Buick's new V8.  

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The Stream Boards were a one year only attempt at making the running boards more "modern".   There is no rubber on them just stainless strips on the top and the stainless strip on the side.

They were only offered on the Special and Century and it was a NO COST option. 

Around the same period of time.....Chevy and maybe Pontiac offered a running board that I have little details about.   The outer edge had a gap in it and they may have been more of a taxi, police car option.   The outer edge was much more robust

...something like 3/16 steel.....with a combination of advantages....tougher against high curbs and it would act as a boot scraper in areas without paved roads.   I have a photo somewhere......I'll see if I can find it

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How much of the front end sheet metal (nose, fenders, etc.) are interchangeable between 39 and 38?

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

How much of the front end sheet metal (nose, fenders, etc.) are interchangeable between 39 and 38?

 

None

 

The only sheet metal that I know for sure that interchanges with a ‘39 are ‘39  Pontiac and Olds rear fenders

 

The way the headlight buckets mount force all the 1939 sheet metal to be completely different.

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

How about we do a hypothetical build of the "39 setting in a field and guestimate what it would cost to put it into #3 or #2 condition.

Sure we would need to decide if the work would be DIY or pay to get it done.........but just starting with the parts......... anyone want to do an estimate?   Assume you get the car for free and go from there.

* chassis (engine, transmission, rear end, front end, brakes, shocks, wheels and tires

* body (structure repair, paint, trim parts, glass)

* interior  (upholstery, floor covering, instruments, steering column, wheel, window trim and door handles

* wiring

* trunk

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

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If a person actually had to source all the parts this car is missing and pay for labor, easily $100,000 if someone wants it done in less than 3 years.  I wouldn't be surprised at $200,000.  I've restored a 1939 from a car in similar condition myself, although mine was complete.  I did all the work but the painting, so I had no labor expense, and I was lucky to find a wrecked donor with a new interior and new wheels/tires.

 

This car is really a complete mess.

 

Engine/mechanical $10,000 + labor (could be less if engine isn't rebuilt, includes rebuilding accessories)

interior $10,000 + labor

body/paint (assuming it needs some pan replacement and a lot of massaging) $50,000 and could be $100,000 alone

finishing wheels/tires $1500+

missing parts $10,000+ (trim/gauges/seats/who knows what else)

wiring $1500 + labor

add 33% for all the stuff we cant see

 

The missing parts could be a big problem if on a time schedule.  Many are available, and more expensive if you must have them now.  Many are not easy to find at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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