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Colorized Mario's Tribute to 1939 Plymouth with Unique Square Headlights

1939 Plymouth First with Square Headlights

" THE BIRTH OF A NEW CAR ". The newly redesigned 1939 Plymouth with Unique Square Headlights was a First for American cars, but only for one year, making this a rare car to find. Another popular feature of the 1939 Plymouth was a modern column mounted gearshift compared with the floor shift on contemporary models.

I was very fortunate to see a rare 1939 Plymouth Convertible with square headlights at a car show I attended in 2019 (Pictures 5 & 6).

This is my Tribute to the 1939 Plymouth. Enjoy, Mario

1 1939 Plymouth Convertible with new square headlights flush within the front fenders.

2 Only 5,976 Plymouth 2 door Convertibles were manufactured in 1939 all with a Rumble Seat. In addition, there were only 387 4 door Convertibles made, all without a Rumble Seat.

3 1939 Plymouths were powered by the familiar 201 cubic inch flathead six engine which produced 82 hp. As an option Plymouth offered a high compression 86 hp engine.

4 A very nice Interior with full gauges. The 1939 Plymouth had a modern column-mounted gearshift compared with the floor-shift on other contemporary models.

5 I was very fortunate to see a rare 1939 Plymouth Convertible with square headlights at a car show I attended in 2019.

6 1939 Plymouth Convertible with a Rumble Seat at a car show in 2019. Only 5,976 Plymouth convertibles were built in 1939. Fortunately this one survived.

7 1939 Plymouth Square headlights and famous 'prow nose' front end.

8 1939 Plymouth Business Coupe seats 3. During 1939 the three-millionth Plymouth rolled off the assembly line.

9 1939 Plymouth Business Coupe. On September 24, 1938 the new 1939 Plymouth models were revealed to the public.

10 Completely restyled for 1939, the Plymouth cars have a look all their own thanks to those distinct squared-off headlights. First year for square headlights.

11 Assembling the new 1939 Plymouth P7 Road King and P8 Deluxe models.

12 1939 Plymouths at Final Assembly.

13 1939 Plymouth 4 door sedan body drop assembly.

14 New 1939 Plymouth square headlights being installed. Square headlamps were moved into the newly elongated fenders.

15 Final Inspection of 1939 Plymouths. Prices started at a low $645.

16 Loading up for delivery of new 1939 Plymouths.

17 New ’39 Plymouths loaded up and getting ready for shipment to dealers.

18 1939 Plymouth with off market round seal-beam headlights. ‘39 Plymouths were built with square non-seal beam headlights but some owners converted them to round seal beam.

19 1939 Plymouth Sales Brochure.

20 1939 Plymouth Sales Brochure.

21 1939 Plymouth Sales Brochure.

22 1939 Plymouth Sales Brochure.

23 1939 Plymouth Sales Brochure.

24 1939 Plymouth Sales Brochure.

25 1939 Plymouth P8 Deluxe convertible on display at the LeMay Vehicle Collection near Tacoma, WA.

26 Lucille Ball toured the 1939 New York World's Fair in a rare ’39 Plymouth four-door convertible. The four-door convertible sedan rode on a longer 117-inch wheelbase.

27 The restyled 1939 Plymouths featured a prow nose front end and a V-shaped two-piece windshield as well as a 10 inch longer hood than the 1938 Plymouths.

28 The 1939 Plymouth debuted entirely new models outwardly, though underneath they were essentially the same as in preceding years.

29 1939 Plymouths were known as the biggest Plymouths built to date. Extra seating room, leg room and headroom were highly marketed attributes. A Gentleman needed head clearance so he could wear a brim hat.

30 A new 18-gal gas tank and at the front end the fuel was supplied to the engine by a new fuel pump, inverted to move the fuel bowl farther away from the heat of the exhaust manifold.

31 During the 1939 model year 417,528 Plymouth vehicles were made. Only 387 4-door convertibles 1,777 woody wagons and 1,850 limousines were made.

32 The Smithsonian Museum in Wash DC offers 'America on the Move' an exhibit of transportation from 1800 to present. The display includes this 1939 Plymouth.

33 In 1939, Plymouth offered a power-operated top on its convertible, a first in the low-priced field.

34 Nicholas Cage and Sean Penn got into a blue 1939 Plymouth two door sedan in the 1984 movie “Racing With The Moon”.

35 The 1946 movie “The Big Sleep” had a 1939 Plymouth P8 Deluxe convertible in this rainy scene.

36 The 1988 movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” had a blue 1939 Plymouth coupe in a prominent role.

37 The blue Plymouth coupe in the 1988 Roger Rabbit movie is probably the most famous 1939 Plymouth of all.

38 Vintage picture of a Trolley car and a 1939 Plymouth.

39 The new prow-like nose with its unique square headlights are a treat.

40 Looking quite complete with all its trim and good solid sheet metal, the 1939 Plymouth is a rare sight.

41 The style of the 1939 Plymouth was a big hit. Plymouth sales rebounded up by 49%. Ford rose a mere 12% while Chevrolet sales were up 24% in 1939.

42 During the 1939 model year 417,528 Plymouth vehicles were made for 3rd place. Chevrolet led the pack with 577,000 vehicles. Ford second with 487,000 vehicles.

43 Most Plymouths rode on a 114-inch wheelbase. The commercial car used for panel vans had a 116-inch wheelbase.

44 The 1939 Plymouth was offered in several body styles and two trim levels. The entry level Road King and the better-equipped DeLuxe model.

45 In 1939 Plymouth offered a power operated top on its convertible, a first in the low-priced field.

46 By the end of the 1939 model year, the 3 millionth Plymouth was built.

47 Walter P. Chrysler lived to see his practical prow nosed beauty hit that 3 million production mark. Walter died the next year in 1940.

48 1939 Plymouths had square non-sealed beam headlights. In 1940 Plymouth introduced round sealed-beam headlights.

49 Plymouth car buyers in 1939 were offered nine types of models to choose from.

50 Plenty of Models to choose from, it was the largest selection of Plymouth’s in seven years.

51 In 1940 the auto industry came up with a headlight standard of a round 7-inch sealed beam headlight. This solved the problems of tarnished reflectors, non-standardized bulbs, aiming and sealing due to the lack of O rings.

52 Only 1,777 Plymouth Woody Station Wagons were made in 1939.

53 Very Rare 1939 Plymouth 4 Door Convertible. There were only 387 4 door Convertibles made that year.

54 Very rare 1939 Plymouth 4 Door Convertible. They did not offer a Rumble Seat on this model.

55 The standard engine is a 201 cubic inch flathead six which produced 82 horsepower.

56 Plush interiors with leather seating on the 1939 Plymouth 4 door Convertible. You can plainly see the unique column-mounted gearshift.

57 1939 Plymouth Woody Wagon only 1,777 made. Rare survivor.

58 1939 Plymouth Woody Wagon.

59 1939 Plymouth Woody Wagon.

60 1939 Plymouth Woody Wagon.


Video and audio clips

" THE BIRTH OF A NEW CAR " 1939 PLYMOUTH


1939 Plymouth Deluxe Test Drive


1939 Plymouth 4 Door Sedan


1939 Plymouth P8 Deluxe Rumble seat Convertible


1939 Plymouth Business Coupe



Related

More Cars of the 1930s
More Plymouth Coverage

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Comments

Mario on Oct 2, 2023 said:

The newly redesigned 1939 Plymouth was unique in that it had Square headlights flush within the front fenders, but only for 1939. In addition, the modified front end had a 'prow nose' and the hood was elongated by 10 inches stretching out the car’s design.

Another popular feature of the ’39 Plymouth was a modern column mounted gearshift compared with the floor shift on contemporary models. Eventually most of the models converted to a column mounted gearshift.

During 1939 the 3 millionth Plymouth was built. 1939 sales placed Plymouth in a solid 3rd place with 417,528 built behind Chevy’s 577,000 and Ford’s 487,000.

Enjoy my Tribute to the 1939 Plymouth! Mario

[Reply to this comment]

57timemachine on Oct 2, 2023 said:

I always thought the 39 Plymouth was a really sharp looking car and made other cars look outdated by comparison. It looks two to three years ahead of most cars that year. Another good post Mario. Cheers.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Oct 2, 2023 said:

Thanks George, good to hear from you.

The square headlights back in 1939 were a first and very unusual. When I saw one at a car show I thought the owner modified the car to add square headlights.

He told me no it came that way. Thank goodness because his car was all stock and immaculate. Cheers, Mario

[Reply to this comment]

57timemachine on Oct 2, 2023 said:

Interesting how it only lasted one year. Folks just have a real hard time accepting something new and original and good. The 1941 Plymouth looks one to two years before the 1939 model. The 1939 was just too ahead of its time.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Oct 3, 2023 said:

Yes George the '39 Plymouth was a one year beauty especially with its square headlights. But they were non-sealed beam and as you know the Industry went to seal beam 7 in headlights in 1940 to solve many other issues.

The prow nose got flattened in the next couple of years because the car designers were going for a different look without the large bubble fenders in the mid forties.

Good commentary George on the Plymouth evolution. Cheers.

[Reply to this comment]

57timemachine on Oct 2, 2023 said:

Sorry folks I meant to say the 1940 Plymouth not the 1941 Plymouth. Sure they are one and the same but they both look dated next to the 1939 model.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Oct 3, 2023 said:

Agreed, the '39 Plymouth was "The Birth of a New Car" unfortunately it only lasted one year. I guess it was too much change all at once as you said. Cheers.

[Reply to this comment]

Anonymous on Oct 3, 2023 said:

I have watched the Big Sleep countless times and always wondered what car the daughter Carmen drove. AND NOW I KNOW!!

Awesome thread, another one knocked out of the park.

The Big Sleep is a great movie if you like old cars. There's even a Woodie Wagon in it. And a Duesenberg with a bad interior detail job..and twisted bumper. And other rides. Even Bogarts business coupe.

I enjoyed your thread and the movie. They go hand in hand like Phillip Marlowe and Humphrey Bogart.

Keep up the great work. We expect nothing less nor will accept nothing less.

You set the benchmark.

Rob

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Oct 5, 2023 said:

Thank you Rob, glad you liked this Page.

[Reply to this comment]

57timemachine on Oct 4, 2023 said:

Mario, I forgot all about the sealed beam thing. It all makes more sense now. They could not have used the sealed beam headlight with the 1939 square headlight system. If they could have then they probably would have. Thanks for sparking up my brain matter. Cheers.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Oct 5, 2023 said:

That's correct George. Plymouth had to go to the round seal beamed light. Very unfortunate.

It wasn't until the mid 70's that cars were allowed to have rectangular seal beamed headlights. Cheers, Mario

[Reply to this comment]

Brandon on Oct 21, 2023 said:

I love the business coupe!

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Oct 22, 2023 said:

I agree Brandon. I always liked the styling of a Business Coupe. Especially the '39 Plymouth with the unique square headlights.

It was a treat for me seeing a '39 Plymouth in person at a car show as a convertible and the owner kept it stock. Cheers to you, Mario

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Apr 16, 2024 said:

I colorized the B/W pictures.

[Reply to this comment]


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