The American business coupe was part of the product mix for many brands from the late 1920s into the early 1950s. Most were advertised as business coupes, but some coupes had more general names, yet could be used for business purposes.
The logic of using a coupe for traveling salesmen, consulting engineers and many other business activities requiring road travel was that coupes were: (1) usually inexpensive to buy; (2) had a usefully minimal seating capacity; and (3) had small cabins but also the long wheelbases of large-cabin cars so that there was room for a larger than normal trunk for carrying stuff.
Below are examples of this long-departed type of automobile body in chronological order.
An early example. The trunk is fairly small, so this body might also have had a rumble seat version.
This is probably a rumble seat coupe. I show it because of its very small cabin that seats two (or perhaps three in a pinch) and its long trunk area. The rear-mounted spare tire would have made this an inconvenient business coupe because it would have interfered with loading. A business coupe version would have been possible if the spare tire was repositioned.
Two General Motors business coupes from mid-range marques. I suppose these were offered for salesmen or business representatives requiring a more substantial image than that offered by entry-level brands. The cars shown here used the same basic body.
Another example of a mid-range business coupe. Surprising, given that it was from the maker of luxury cars, but Packard had to enter a lesser market range in order to survive the Great Depression.
A business coupe from a minor brand. Note the illustration showing how the spare tire was stored, providing more convenient trunk space.
A business coupe from Chrysler Corporation. Like the Graham, it is a four-window coupe, something becoming common for business coupes by the late 1930s.
This publicity photo shows a business coupe being loaded.
The text (click on the image to enlarge) mentions that a business version of this coupe was available.
I include this brochure page image because it shows storage variations.
A nice example of a small cabin on a long-wheelbase car with the resulting large trunk.
Yet another view of business coupe storage.
Business coupe production continued post- World War 2. This one has Chrysler Corporation's redesigned postwar body style.
Perhaps the flashiest business coupe of the lot, though that 1939 Graham comes close. These small-cabin Studebakers have always fascinated me.
Even General Motors continued business coupes into the early 1950s.
UPDATE: Further research shows that Chrysler Corporation's Plymouth brand offered business coupes as late as 1957.