West Coast Classics are proud to present a very rare and extraordinary opportunity to own an original southern California family owned since new 1931 Chevrolet 2 Door Sports 'Independence' Coupe with its original 194 c.i. 'Storebolt Six' featuring 5.02:1 compression ratio & a single barrel RJH-08 Carter updraft carburetor which produced 50HP & 122 llbs ft of torque! The car was purchased new by the grandfather, E.L Yeager, of it's most recent owner in 1931 and the car was driven in the beginning only once a week in the Rubidoux area of Riverside, CA to buy groceries! E.L Yeager was a civil engineer and the founder of the renown family owned construction company bearing his name, a company responsible for changing the landscape of southern California and building numerous, and some of the most well known, Los Angeles freeways & intersections, and other such projects throughout the southwest United States. Mr Yeager's grandson inherited the car in 1968 with some 30K original miles and helped to fully restore it with the help of the Yeager companies mechanics. The grandson returned the car to his father (E.L Yeager's son) in 1972 when off to college and the car was kept in storage until the father died in 2010. The car had been in storage since 2010 until we recently acquired the car and began it's preparation for sale.
The car is virtually completely original including its original inline 6 cylinder engine which now has some 58K original miles and its original mechanical brakes & 3 speed manual transmission. A left turn signal was added for safety reasons and the AM Radio/cassette and speakers. It is its original Green color with Black fenders. It is the desirable 2 Door Sports 'Independence' Coupe model with the added 'Rumble Seat' and wind down rear window, vinyl 'Topper' roof and 'Broadcloth' interior. The car has its original wire wheels mounted with white sidewall tires and its original spare tire with rim and a '1931' cover .
Even in the depths of the Great Depression, many of the people who could afford a new, low-priced car had their sights set high, wanting a vehicle with a bit more style, power and refinement than the run-of-the-mill economy offering. In the early 1930s, those people often turned to Chevrolet, and drove off the dealer lot in a 1931 'Independence' or a 1932 'Confederate'. General Motors volume brand had been working towards taking the Ford Motor Companys best-selling crown for almost two decades and with Fords four-cylinder Model A aging and its yet-to-be-proven V-8 still in the wings, the six-cylinder-powered Chevrolet stepped in as the most popular car in America in 1931 and 1932.
Chevrolet began selling the six-cylinder engine, commonly known as the Stovebolt Six, and affectionately, as the Cast-Iron Wonder in 1929, and they made only minor improvements to it over the next few years. It performed much better than its four-cylinder rivals and inspired the slogan, Get a Six for the price of a Four.' That inline-six integral to Chevrolets identity was an advanced overhead-valve design, debuting at a time when flatheads ruled. Displacing 194 cubic inches via its 3-5/6-inch bore and 3-3/4-inch stroke, the three-main-bearing engine used a 5.02:1 compression ratio and Carter one-barrel RJH-08 updraft carburetor to make 50hp at 2,600 RPM and 122-lbs.ft. of torque at 1,800 RPM. This inherently balanced engine was upgraded in 1931 with a stronger engine block, stronger crankshaft and a redesigned harmonic balancer for markedly smooth operation and its torquey nature and flexible powerband meant that fewer shifts of the unsynchronized three-speed manual gearbox were needed.
The 1931 Independence Series AE's took on a more graceful appearance than their upright forebears, an improvement made possible by the two-inch-longer wheelbase (now 109 inches) that allowed fine proportions; their bodies rode on a stronger channel-section frame with four crossmembers. Taller radiators were protected by stone guard grilles on many bodies and trims, and chromed headlamps sat on a matching chromed bar over a vibration horn. Closed Chevrolets, built by Fisher Bodies, sported Fishers VV (Vision-Ventilation) windshield, which cranked into the header for additional ventilation, and all models shared a new three-spoke steering wheel and fresh dashboard design. Matching Fords pricey Houdaille shock absorbers, their suspensions featured Lovejoy hydraulic shocks and four longitudinal semi-elliptic springs, while the four-wheel, 11.5-inch mechanical drum brakes were fully enclosed for weather protection behind stylish 19-inch steel spoke wheels, which were steered via worm and sector gearing.
Starting in April 1931, three new body styles graced Chevrolet showrooms: the $615 Cabriolet; $650 Landau Phaeton (with its removable B-pillars and disappearing window frames) and $595 Five Passenger Coupe (a twin to Fords A Victoria). Continuing body styles included the $510 Convertible Phaeton; $475 two-passenger Roadster; $495 Sport Roadster (with rumble seat); $575 Sport Coupe (with rumble seat); $535 two-passenger, Three Window Coupe; $545 two-passenger, Five Window Coupe; $545 Coach (two-door Sedan); $635 Sedan; $650 Special Sedan and $615 2/4-passenger Cabriolet; also available were commercial versions like the half-ton Roadster and Sedan Deliveries. Chevrolet finally outsold Ford in 1931.
Todays bowtie fans who are interested in picking up a rare piece of Chevy history are strongly advised to join the 'Vintage Chevrolet Club of America' as these cars comparably small remaining numbers mean that they can pose a greater challenge to buy, restore and maintain than comparable Fords. If you buy and definitely if you are planning to restore one, it would be highly recommended to join the club. There are hundreds of years of joint expertise in the VCCA when it comes to restoring or indeed just owning 1931-1932 Chevrolet's and there have traditionally been more 1931 year Chevrolet's owned by VCCA members than any other year simply because they made a lot of them and they were extraordinarily well built and highly regarded reliable cars.
As you would expect from such a beautiful example with such storied and single southern California family ownership, the car is in quite astounding condition both cosmetically and mechanically. The original and legendary 194 c.i. inline 6 cylinder 'Storebolt Six' engine is extremely strong and sounds absolutely magnificent with this particular car also driving absolutely magnificently - must be driven to be fully appreciated - does not miss a beat and purrs like a kitten - drives straight as an arrow with no strange road wobbles, shakes or rattles - a truly remarkable daily driver with the transmission shifting smoothly through the gears and with the car being an absolute pleasure to drive!
This is obviously one especially desirable example of the now very rare 1931 'Independence' Sports Coupe with very few still remaining, even fewer can be anywhere close to comparable to this particularly exquisite example boasting only one southern California family ownership since new. This car truly has to be seen and indeed driven to be fully appreciated and without a doubt you will look long and hard to find a finer example of this beautifully presented 1931 Chevrolet 'Independence' Sports Coupe, a very rare piece of classic American car history and obviously absolutely essential for any serious GM collection and quite simply a perfect car for the Chevrolet enthusiast or any pre-war classic car collector to add to their collection!