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38-39 Ford VIN question


JCFord
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We inherited a 38 or 39 ford 4dr Standard from my wife’s grandfather.  I looked at the VIN and it is 18-4654xxx. When I search Vanpelts data base it indicates that the VIN for 38 runs through 18-466100.  The title reflects it is a 38.  However it has hydraulic brakes and the grill, hood, hood latch and dash look exactly like a 39!  Very confused, anyone have any ideas? Since it was very near the end of the 38 production run, could they have started putting 39 parts on it?

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Thanks, this one was bought new by my wife’s grandpa. When I talked with my mother-in-law she said they had never changed any brakes etc. As I stated, the grill and hood latch and hood side panels are all 39. Grandpa was a farmer and the car was basic transportation. Just an interesting situation to me. 

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Automobile manufacturers don't do things by a regular calendar.  Next year's new cars are available in Sept Oct.  

 

1938 production ended in the late summer early fall of 1938.  So a 1939 car could have a engine that was produced in 1938. 

 

My 1937 Ford engine and trans were produced in December 1936. 

 

My records indicate that the last 1938 Ford engine was 4650603 and it was manufactured in August of 1938. 

 

1939 production started soon after and the first 1939 engine should be 4650604.  

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3 hours ago, JCFord said:

When I search Vanpelts data base it indicates that the VIN for 38 runs through 18-466100.  The title reflects it is a 38.  

 

 

1938 calendar year VIN numbers run up to 466100, NOT the model year.  The 1938 model year ended in August 1938.  After that Ford produced 1939 vehicles.  

 

I have seen it before with old titles---the car was probably titled in error as a 1938 car by someone at the forerunner to the modern DMV--either in error or because the transaction took place in 1938 and the vehicle was new.  

Edited by Pomeroy41144 (see edit history)
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On 3/31/2020 at 10:24 PM, Pomeroy41144 said:

 

 

VINS for the 1938 calendar year run up to 466100, NOT the model year.  The 1938 model year ended in August 1938.  After that Ford produced 1939 vehicles.  

 

I have seen it before with old titles---the car was probably titled in error as a 1938 car by someone at the forerunner to the modern DMV--either in error or because the transaction took place in 1938 and the vehicle was new.  

 

On 3/31/2020 at 10:04 PM, Pomeroy41144 said:

 

 

 

 

Wow.  This looks like it is a 1939 Standard.  Maybe the car was titled in late 1938.  1938 number and 1939 front end.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The car was bought new in October of 1938.  The best original pictures I have are included.  These are coming out of the barn (since 1955) and after I cleaned it up a bit.  It had hydraulic brakes when bought. Serial # is 18-4654985. That makes it within ~ 6000 cars of the end of 38 production (based on 38 production being through 4,661,000). 
 

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DE19B4E0-ADD6-4639-AE09-3888BFD8787C.jpeg

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4 hours ago, JCFord said:

The car was bought new in October of 1938.  The best original pictures I have are included.  These are coming out of the barn (since 1955) and after I cleaned it up a bit.  It had hydraulic brakes when bought. Serial # is 18-4654985. That makes it within ~ 6000 cars of the end of 38 production (based on 38 production being through 4,661,000). 
 

988DB1C5-9FA7-45FA-86FB-C28BC3970D1C.jpeg

DE19B4E0-ADD6-4639-AE09-3888BFD8787C.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Serial # is 18-4654985. That makes it within ~ 6000 cars of the end of 38 production (based on 38 production being through 4,661,000). 

 

This sentence is incorrect---1938 model year cars numbers ended at 4650603.  1938 Calendar year ended at 4661000, not model year.

 

You are misinterpreting the numbers---1938 Ford car production ended in August/Sept of 1938.  .   

 

During  Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 1938, Ford Motor Company built 1939 models.  The beginning of the model years starts in Sept/Oct. 

 

Do you understand the difference between model year and calendar year?  The distinction is important in your case.  

 

For instance, my engine trans combo for my 1937 Ford was manufactured in December of 1936.  It is still a 1937 car, just built in 1936. Do you get it?

 

Not trying to be smart, but I think you are not understanding what I a trying to tell you. 

 

Friend----4661000 is NOT a 1938 Model year number; that is a 1938 CALENDAR YEAR number. 

 

4650604 thru 466100  are 1939 Model year numbers.   Cars with those numbers are definitely 1939 cars that were built in late 1938. 

 

Again.  1938 Ford production ended in August of 1938.  After August 1938, Ford produced 1939 cars.  

 

Your 1939 car was manufactured as a 1939 car in the late summer or early autumn of 1938. 

 

The last 1938 Ford engine / trans combo for 1938 was produced in August and that number is  4650603

After that number, all numbers following are for 1939 cars.    

 

So 4654985 is a 1939 Ford number.  

 

MYSTERY SOLVED. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pomeroy41144 (see edit history)
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Thanks for all your input and knowledge.  That is the reason I posted on this forum.  The only info that I had was from Vanpelts. (Picture attached).  I believe totally that it is a 39 and the DMV or whatever titled it as a 38 because it was Oct of 38 purchase.  If you can send me the reference of where you obtained the last serial # for the 38 year it would be appreciated.   Again, thanks for all the info and feedback.  All my questions were based on the Vanpelts data - which seems to be in error or I lack the understanding of how to read it. 

 

 

C9ADB6C9-ED96-4D27-B10F-AAEC296A39DA.png

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The '39 Standard was always considered an "ugly duckling" as opposed to the DeLuxe,  but I always liked the Art Deco look of the front end especially the way the hood peaked over the grill. Your car looks to be in fairly nice shape and won't take much to get it roadworthy. You are lucky that the car has hydraulic brakes as the mechanicals can be a real pain. What are your plans for the car, as it was your wife's grandfather's car I hope you plan to keep it in the family!

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I love Mac Van Pelt and his page.  He rebuilt my trans.  I have spoken to him in person on several occasions.  His info is usually very good.  

 

 

That being said--the correct 1938 Ford production numbers can be found on page 31 of the DeAngelis book 

THE EARLY FORD V-8 - AS HENRY BUILT IT - A PRODUCTION FACTS BOOK 1932-1938.   

By George DeAngelis and Edward P. Francis.  

 

The numbers for 1938 Ford 85 hp V-8 cars are as follows: 

1938 CALENDAR YEAR:  January 4438369 thru end of August 4650603.

Cars with those numbers are 1938 Ford cars.  That is where the 1938 MODEL year ends.  

 

The EFV-8 Club's 1938-1939 Ford Book is also a great reference.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Pomeroy41144 (see edit history)
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Something I should have mentioned in my earlier post's. If you aren't already a member, I would suggest joining the Early Ford V-8 Club of America. Also, the v-8 Club offers a book dedicated to the 1938/1939 Ford. It covers just about every detail of the car and a valuable tool to be used it the restoration. Thru out it's run, Ford made several changes to the '38/'39 model and it's all covered in the book.

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