1939 Buick Business Coupe, Model 46, 2 door, 2 passenger
Owner: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: $928.50 (list price: $849.00) [In 1939: Average car cost $700; average household income, $1,730; average home, $3,800; gallon of gas, 10 cents]
Previous owners: The canceled check for this car’s original purchase was found in its glove compartment. A copy of check is on a sign by car. It was originally purchased by Theodore Pappas, Valley, Nebr. for $928.50. It was bought in 1969 by another party in Valley, NE, and owned 2004 -2006 by a person in Omaha. The Taulborgs owned it from 2006 until they donated it to the Classic Car Collection.
Number made: 14,609
Engine, etc.: 8 cyl., 107 h.p., 248 cid., 120” wheelbase, 3,387 lbs.
Buick had a “Special” series which included the Model 46, Business Coupe. The business coupe had no back seat and was especially useful for traveling salesmen who called on businesses and individuals and needed space to store their samples.
Special Models were equipped with a new Crown Spring Clutch that had only nine parts compared to the previous one that had 41, making them stronger, simpler, and longer-lasting. Also new was the column-mounted gearshift.
Introduced for the 1938 model year was an all-coil suspension, a Buick first, that delivered an improved ride, aided by refillable shock absorbers four times the typical size.
The series had a 107 hp Dynaflash engine which was unfailingly reliable and stable. It had domed high-compression pistons which boosted horsepower.
The 1939 models were introduced Oct. 9, 1938.
Design changes for 1939 included a lower-look and mild face-lift with a “waterfall” grille, “streamboards” (optional concealed running boards), and a sunroof option on some models. Sidemount spare tires were still available but not ordered frequently. Buick abandoned the increasingly unpopular rumble seat ragtop for 1939. It introduced a safety innovation with flashing turn signals installed at the rear as part of the trunk emblem.
A key interior design feature was that all major gauges except the clock (located on the passenger side) were positioned directly in front of the driver.
Sources: Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805 – 1942. Beverly Rae Kimes, et al. 3rd ed. Krause Publications, 1996.
See also: http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Buick/1939_Buick/1939_Buick_Brochure/dirindex.html (Original sales brochure)