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In the Garage: 1939 Pontiac sedan

This 1939 Pontiac two-door sedan is owned by

This 1939 Pontiac two-door sedan is owned by Bernie Biren. (Credit: Handout)

THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1939 Pontiac two-door sedan owned by Bernie Biren

WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
When Bernie Biren’s Pontiac debuted in Canada almost 75 years ago, the French Canadian ads touted its many standard features at “a prix beaucoup plus bas” (“a much lower price”). Those features included a front end lifted from the standard 1939 American Pontiac and the rear end – from the door post back – of an American Chevrolet. Today, the car’s almost stock exterior masks a host of modifications and aftermarket parts that clearly identify it as a “street rod.”

HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
Since 1986

WHERE HE FOUND IT
“It was purchased in York, PA at the NSRA (National Street Rod Association) East Meet. The previous owner purchased the car from the original builder in Canada. I put it on a flatbed to its new home on Long Island.”

CONDITION
“I did some restoration to the car,” he says. “It now has a General Motors 350 (cubic-inch) motor and a 350 transmission. The subframe is from a Camaro, with power disc brakes and a tilt steering column from a Trans Am. It has an Oldsmobile air conditioning unit, power steering from the Camaro and a customized digital dashboard. The interior is from a Ford Probe and the halogen headlights are from a Jaguar.”

TIPS FOR OWNERS
“If you are looking for a street rod,” Biren advises, “check around and get it checked out by a good street rod builder or you will be shelling out big bucks to make the car right.”

VALUE
He declines to place a value on the Pontiac, saying, “True love has no price.”

THE BOTTOM LINE
“This car is part of our family and will not be sold by me,” Biren says. “It is loved by my kids and grandkids. We use the car to go on trips. By owning a street rod such as this one, I am able to enjoy membership in the Long Island Street Rod Association. It gives us a great opportunity to spend time with friends and make new ones. I get many questions from different car people on how all the parts from different cars fit together.” 

Tags: Pontiac , 1939 Pontiac sedan , classic cars , in the garage

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