Typically, we associate the Ford Model A (1928–1931) and Model B (1932–1934) with cheap American classics from the late 1920s and early 1930s. For some reason, people tend to forget Chevrolet’s responses to these vehicles.
The Model A and Model B became highly popular with hot-rodders, and many of them lived for decades as restomods, so that definitely has something to do with it. In addition, the bodywork and chassis of the Chevrolets from that era contained more wood, which made them more prone to rotting and disintegrating sooner. To put it plainly, a large number of them passed away before 2022.
Still, there are plenty of these Chevrolet out there and they definitely deserve more love and attention. Whether we’re talking about the Series AB National that arrived when the Model A made its debut or the Series BA Confederate that competed against the Model B, these Chevys are just as cool as their Ford counterparts. And here’s one that survived no fewer than seven decades in storage.
As incredible as it may sound, this 1931 Coupe sat for a whopping 70 years without falling apart. Yes, it spent all that time indoors, but it’s downright amazing that it’s still in one piece. On top of that, it’s also a solid candidate for restoration, with not a lot of rust holes to fix.
If you’re not familiar with early 1930s Chevrolets, this one is part of the AE Independence series, which was offered in 1931 only. Unlike Ford, Chevrolet used a different name for every model year back in the day. So while FoMoCo sold only two models from 1928 to 1934, Chevrolet had seven different nameplates in showrooms.
Built in nine different factories, the AE Independence spawned a long list of body styles, including two-door coupes and roadsters, four-door sedans and tourers, and a phaeton. The one you see here is a two-door coupe with a rumble seat, a feature that makes it a Sport Coupe.
The two-tone green paint job still looks good, even if it has faded and become dusty from being stored for so many years. That is, if you’re into weathered vehicles. Nevertheless, the engine bay exhibits beige and maroon paint remnants, suggesting that this Chevy has undergone a paint job at some point.
The fact that this classic still retains its original engine under the hood, however, is by far the nicest piece of news about it. The engine under consideration is a 194 cubic inch (3.2 liter) inline-six that Chevrolet debuted in 1929 and continued to sell until 1933, when it was upgraded to 206 cubic inches (3.4 liters) of displacement. Chevrolet continued to use inline-six engines until 1955, despite Ford having debuted a V8 in 1932.
These mills are known to be highly reliable, but is the 194 unit in this Sport Coupe still able to run after 70 years without a sip of gasoline? Well, the folks at YouTube’s “Strong’s Garage” managed to fire it up with a bit of work. The engine makes quite a racket and has issues running by itself, but it’s amazing that it came back to life without a full rebuild.
Hopefully, this cool piece of Chevrolet history will be restored (or at least refreshed) and put back on public roads. Until that happens, check it out in the videos below.