1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe ‘Fangio Coupe’  


Vehicle Registration - 459 XUR

Chassis Number - AAPV0240950532866

MOT Expiry - Exempt



  • Rally prepared 'Fangio Coupe', based upon a 1938 South African RHD car
  • Veteran of two Peking to Paris Motor Challenge events
  • Described as 'ready-to-go' and eligible for another Peking to Paris race
  • Some £13,000 spent on mechanical and rally preparation work with Ramsport in 2023



Many late 1930s Chevys will forever be synonymous with the exploits of Juan Manuel Fangio who used a Master 85 Coupe with much success, recording his first race victory on the gruelling 1940 'Gran Premio Internacional del Norte' (the racing legend taking the chequered flag after almost 5,000km and 109 hours of racing).

Chevrolet had spent a staggering $26,000,000 on developing its 1937 line-up. Styled by Jules Agramonte, the incoming models originally sat on strengthened box girder chassis frames and carried wider, roomier all-steel bodies that were some 150lbs lighter - like for like - than their predecessors. Available in either Master or Master Deluxe guises (each range boasting six models apiece) the '37 Chevys outsold their Ford counterparts. Sitting on the same 112.3-inch wheelbase as their forebears the '38 Chevys were visually distinguished by a smart new diecast grille, featuring horizontal rather than vertical bars, which was the work of Franklin Q. Hershey.

Previously a 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe 2-door Coupe in South African right-hand drive specification, these cars are often referred to as the ‘Fangio Coupe’. First registered in the UK on 9th November 2009, ‘459 XUR’s’ previous owners in the UK include Mr Clive Dunster, prior to Mr Ed Bathgate of London, who acquired the car on 4th April 2011 before Mr Clint Smith of Tamworth purchased the car on 23rd April 2013.  Our vendor has owned and raced the ‘Fangio Coupe’ since that date.

From Clive (Dunster) & Ces’ blog on Blogspot: “The Chevy was acquired in South Africa. It came as a job lot of 3 similar cars, naturally with one very good, one average, and one shocker. After some exchanges of mechanicals, we reduced the number of Chevys to one. Some of the modifications made to the Chevy were as follows: Re-wire, endurance fuel tank, engine re-build, bodywork modifications, suspension upgrades, drive-train re-build, bespoke spares storage system, rally meters, GPS mounting, bespoke exhaust.....”  1938 Chevy does 2010 Peking to Paris: Fugly (the Chevy) (38chevyp2p.blogspot.com)

‘459 XUR’ was originally prepared for long-distance rallying by Rally Preparation Services Limited in Witney and Autosportif, Bicester c.2009/2010.  The former, being a specialist not only in pre-war American rally cars but also endurance rally preparation. The original Autosportif rally preparation was estimated to have cost some £140,000, and further to that cost, preparation work has continued in order to maintain its ability to compete on rallies, such as those by HERO-ERA. 

The Coupe has finished many events, including:

The Flying Scotsman Vintage Rally 2023

The Peking to Paris 2016

The Vintage Cape Horn Rally 2013

The Flying Scotsman Vintage Rally 2013

The Peking to Paris Rally 2010

The Nile Trail Rally 2009

Fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission and a 3890cc engine (engine number F1220A), the specification includes twin fuel tanks, twin brake systems, a rally pedal box, Brantz timers and rally seats. There is a huge spares package available with the car.

There are invoices on file dating from 2013.  In 2013 ‘459 XUR’ had benefitted from some £8,000.  This included new axle mounts and rear springs, new shocks, brake fettling, a new exhaust, the seats trimmed, the carburettors rebuilt and a full service carried out. Just last year, from February to April 2023, some £13,000 (invoice on file) was spent with Ramsport.  The work involved rally preparation, inspection, servicing, cleaning and fettling.  Attention was paid to the brakes and steering and ‘459 XUR’ received a new clutch, engine mounts, new universal joints on the prop shaft, a new throttle linkage, new rear fuel lines along with new master cylinders and body-wise, new inner arch panels.

This ‘ready-to-go’ ‘Fangio Coupe’ is a ‘tried and tested’ long-distance rally car, suitable for Class B - Vintage & Vintageant classes on the Peking to Paris Rally in particular.  The 8th Peking to Paris Motor Challenge runs from 18th May to 23rd June 2024 and plans are already afoot for the 2025 event.