Best Cars Of 1939 – The Greatest Cars In The World This Year
With the advent of mass production, pioneered by Henry Ford, the inter-war years saw a huge boom in private car ownership. The number of private cars on the roads doubled from 1 million to 2 million by the outbreak of WWII.
By this time, most cars were able to reach speeds of around 70mph, but a 20mph speed limit was scrapped in 1930 because it was so difficult to enforce. As a result, motorcars killed 7,343 people in 1939 (compared with 2,538 in 2008).
If safety wasn’t a particular concern of the motorist, style certainly was. For the first time, cars could be marketed on their looks, not just their performance.
New ‘Art Deco’ designs became fashionable, which meant sloping windscreens, sweeping wing lines, curved rooflines and pillar-less windows. William Lyons of Jaguar was one of the first to recognize the appeal of this look.
Related: Don’t forget our best car hub where you can find the top cars for every year.
Our Favorite Cars for the 1939 Model Year
1939 BMW 335
No less than 70 years have passed since BMW’s ﬁrst entry into the luxury market. It was back then in 1938 that BMW presented a prototype of the BMW 335 at the London Motor Show, production of this trendsetting car starting just one year later. Learn more…
1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport
Produced from 1939 and after the war until 1951, the 6C 2500 was the last of the famous six cylinder cars first started with the 1928 6C 1500. For this reason, the later 6C 2500s, and especially the elegant Villa d’Este model were considered the end of an era for Alfa, and some call them the last of the great Alfas. Learn more…
1939 Lagonda V12
The 2900B Spyder was particularly elegant in profile, having much more length and elegance than the shorter Corto versions. A soft top was provided, but didn’t offer any side-window protection except for 412023 which had full-size side windows. Learn more…
1939 Packard One Twenty Model 1901
In 1941 the One Twenty line was reduced to just eight body styles which included the Business Coupe, Club Coupe, 2-Door Touring Sedan, 4-Door Touring Sedan, Convertible Coupe, Convertible Sedan, Station Wagon and Deluxe Station Wagon. Learn more…
1939 Alvis 4⅓ Litre
The 4.3 Litre Alvis was the fastest non-supercharged production car of its day. Board minutes reveal that 77 of the chassis that were officially sanctioned for production were never fulfilled because car production had to be suspended in 1940. Learn more…