1930s Classic Cars

The 1930s was a period of massive expansion in the auto industry. Learn about the Bugatti, Fords, Packards and other classic cars from the the 1930s in this section.


The 1926-1932 Bugatti Type 41 Royales were ultra-exclusive cars that cost the equivalent of half a million dollars by today's standards. This car featured a massive engine that displaced 12.8 liters, which is big even by today's standards. Learn more.

The 1934-1937 Chrysler Airflows were revolutionary in that they were aerodynamic, but they were not a success for Chrysler. This was one of the first cars that was styled with aerodynamics in mind. Learn more here.

The 1932-1938 Pierce-Arrow Twelve are considered to be the greatest cars made during the Depression. It featured a V-12 engine that was capable of producing 175 horsepower. Keep reading to learn about Pierce Arrow.

The 1928-1934 Duesenberg J-Series automobiles were beautiful, well-built machines that were made in low numbers during the Depression. This car stood out above all others when it was introduced at the New York Salon on December 1, 1928. Learn more.

The 1931-1933 Marmon Sixteens were exciting automobiles that were fast, light, and good at climbing hills. The car weighed about 500 pounds less than the rival Cadillac models because of the extensive use of aluminum. Learn about the 1931-1933 Marmon Sixteen.

The 1927-1932 Mercedes S/SS/SSK/SSKL were super-charged machines, each lighter and faster than the last. The cars were engineered by Ferdinand Porsche, who replaced Paul Daimler, the firm's co-namesake. Learn more about these impressive cars here.

Only three 1933 Packard Twelve Sport Phaetons were built, all for auto shows. The 160-horsepower V-12 engine is so quiet that one almost needs to see the fan running to know it's running. Find a profile and pictures of the 1933 Twelve Sport Phaeton.

The 1931 Chevrolet Series AE Station Wagon was Chevrolet's first factory-authorized "woody" station wagon. The AE chassis also served as the basis for a series of light-commercial vehicles. Read more about the 1931 Chevrolet Series AE Station Wagon.

The 1931-1940 Lincoln Model K was developed in response to faltering Lincoln sales. It was powered by a high compression 120 horsepower V-8 engine and known as the police chief's official car. Find out more about this classic.

The 1934 Ford DeLuxe Roadster was known for its explosive speed, and was popular among the police and crooks. A 85 bph flathead V-8 provided the performance for the DeLuxe Roadster. Learn more about this quick roadster.

The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A was a powerful touring car with a supercharged engine. Only a handful made it to the United States, making it extremely rare. Learn more about the classic 540K cabriolet.

The 1932 Ford Models B and 18 were born during the tough times of the Great Depression. These attractive and highly sought-after cars had many loyal and enthusiastic fans for a very long time. Learn the history of the Ford Model B and 18.

The 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Touring Limousine was known as the most innovative and mechanically lavish of prewar Rolls-Royce cars. The Phantom III debuted at the Olympia Motor Show in London with a price tag around $20,000. Learn more about this classic.

The 1930 Cord L-29 Brooks Stevens Speedster was a customized Cord L-29 designed by Brooks Stevens. It was a particular favorite of Stevens, who still had it at the time of his death in 1995. Read more about his beautiful creation.

The 1938 Peugeot 402 B Retractable Hardtop was inspired by the 1934 Chrysler Airflow. It featured futuristic styling and carried on Peugeot's tradition of being tough and dependable. Learn more about this classic.

The 1932-1935 Graham Blue Streak was a trend setter for the American auto industry during the Depression-era. Its cutting-edge design and performance made the Blue Streak one of the most popular cars at the time. Learn more about the Graham Blue Streak.

The 1939 Chrysler New Yorker Four-Door Sedan was elegant and befitting times with respect to design. The New Yorker sedan sold for $1,298 and weighed 3,695 pounds. Learn more about this elegant classic car.

The 1937-1942 Packard Darrins were designed by Howard A. "Dutch" Darrin. They were quite expensive at the time with a price tag equivalent to six figures today. Learn more about these pricey classics.

When Cadillac introduced its V-16 for 1930 and V-12 in 1931, Packard had no choice but to offer a new multi-cylinder engine. Packard came up with one of its most elegant efforts. Learn more about the 1934 Packard Twelve Sport Phaeton by LeBaron.

Duesenberg advertised its Model J, introduced on December 1,1928, as "The World's Finest Motor Car." The 1936 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster was a sight to behold and so special that only two were built. Check out the rare 1936 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster.

The 1936-1937 Cord 810/812 had every hallmark of success: advanced engineering, innovative styling, exciting performance. Yet all were squandered in an ill-fated rush to production. See pictures and explore the 1936-1937 Cord 810/812.

The 1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Coupe was a French-made six-cylinder car. In the late 1930s, the sporty Delahaye Type 135 scored wins in the Monte Carlo Rallye and at LeMans. Read more about this race winning classic.

The 1931-1945 Volkswagen Beetle designs never saw high-volume production because they were interrupted by World War II. But they did lead to the reliable low-cost cars that spread worldwide. Read the story of the 1931-1945 Volkswagen Beetle.

The stylish 1934 Plymouth PE Deluxe achieved sales numbers that helped lift Plymouth to third place. This model was the one-millionth Plymouth off a Detroit assembly line. See pictures are learn more about the 1934 Plymouth PE Deluxe.

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