1939 Dodge Coupe Long Distance Rally Car Front Quarter

 Price £97,500


Built in the US with no expense spared, this 1939 Dodge has twice completed the gruelling Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, and in 2016 it finished fourth overall and won its class.

The Dodge Brothers Company was founded in Detroit by two brothers, John and Horace Dodge. It originally made components but in 1914 it started building its own cars, and six years later its sales were second only to Ford. Both brothers died in 1920 and the company was bought by Chrysler in 1928.

This particular Dodge is a Luxury Liner Business Coupe, a model that was introduced in 1939 to celebrate 25 years of production. American cars of the time were strong and reliable, and designed to cover long distances on rough roads. The Dodge’s generous ground clearance, rugged six-cylinder engine and huge boot made it a practical proposition during the 1930s – and the ideal basis for a long-distance endurance rally car in the 21st century.

Having been looking for something different to compete in, the then owner who had the Dodge converted for rally use was a successful businessman who commissioned a ground-up build to the highest standards. A ‘Spitfire’ straight-six engine producing circa 200hp was fitted and everything was finished to an incredibly high standard. The paint, for example, was a Rolls-Royce colour and was sourced from the same German company that supplies it to that revered British marque, while many of the fixtures and fittings were to aircraft specification.

The Dodge was completed in time for the 2010 Peking-Paris and came 23rd despite its crew being novices. On its return to the States, the car was stripped down again and modified in line with the lessons that had been learned on the grueling event.

Ahead of the 2016 Peking-Paris, the Dodge was acquired by a British enthusiast who was an experienced rally driver. He was looking for something in which to tackle the endurance classic and bought the car after flying out to Seattle to see it. Having shipped it back to the UK, he entrusted it to RPS and spent almost £40,000 having it prepared and upgraded to reflect his extensive experience of desert rallying in the Middle East. That effort was rewarded on the Peking-Paris with fourth overall and first in class.

After that adventure, it was entered on the Blue Train Rally, which ran down through France from Deauville to Cannes.

Wherever you look, there is evidence of an experienced owner having meticulously prepared the car for competition use. It has been converted to 12-volt electrics and there is a safe beneath the driver’s seat. A discreet water-temperature gauge has been added, the fuse box is perfectly accessible in the centre console, and there is a rear roll cage plus safety harnesses.

The rear luggage area features tie-down points and there are 12-volt outlets in the cabin and the boot. An electronic tracker is fitted and there is a battery cut-off switch in the floor, plus a high-level brake light, and a look under the bonnet even reveals twin fan belts.

Presented in beautiful condition, the Dodge features an interior trimmed in matching leather and with heated Recaro seats. It is running on heavy-duty Dodge truck wheels and this unique car – which is affectionately known as ‘Bessy’ – is a highly competitive Vintageant alternative.

Fastidiously maintained regardless of cost, it is ready to use and is offered with an comprehensive spares package that includes a set of body panels. It also comes with four extensive folders that include invoices and receipts relating to its original build and the ongoing work that’s been carried out since, and the owner has meticulously recorded its mechanical specification.

The vendor is motivated to sell and is enthusiastic to receive serious offers on it, and this Dodge would make the ideal car for events such as the forthcoming Badawi Trail or the Grand Prix of America.

All viewings welcomed by appointment only at Rally Preparation Services.

All enquiries please contact us on mail@rpsrally.com or telephone +44(0)1993 358009

Images subject to copyright – Rally Preparation Services Ltd

  • 218 cubic-inch ‘Spitfire’ flathead six
  • Four-barrel Holley carburettor
  • Gearbox upgrade
  • Rear axle upgrade
  • Hydraulic brakes with rear limiter
  • Long-range fuel tank
  • Twin Facet fuel pumps
  • Rear safety cage
  • Simpson full harness belts
  • Recaro heated seats trimmed in brown leather
  • Door cards trimmed in brown leather
  • Underfloor document safe
  • Dinitrol rustproofing
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Aluminium jack
  • Monit tripmeter
  • Twin auxiliary lamps
  • Comprehensive spares package


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