1931 Chevrolet Abandoned for 70 Years Gets Second Chance, Engine Refuses to Die

When it comes to late 1920s and early 1930s American classics of the affordable variety, we usually think about the Ford Model A (1928-1931) and Model B (1932-1934). For some reason, Chevrolet's answers to these cars are often forgotten.
1931 Chevrolet Sport Coupe 9 photos
1931 Chevrolet Sport Coupe1931 Chevrolet Sport Coupe1931 Chevrolet Sport Coupe1931 Chevrolet Sport Coupe1931 Chevrolet Sport Coupe1931 Chevrolet Sport Coupe1931 Chevrolet Sport Coupe1931 Chevrolet Sport Coupe
It probably has something to do with the fact that the Model A and Model B became very popular with hot-rodders, so many of them survived for decades as restomods. In addition to that, the Chevrolets of the era had more wood in the bodies and chassis, so they tended to rot away and fall apart much quicker. Simply put, many of them simply didn't live to see 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.

While dusty and faded after so many decades in storage, the two-tone green paint job still looks the part. If you're into weathered cars, that is. However, it seems this Chevy was repainted at some point, with traces of beige and maroon found in the engine bay.

But by far the best news about this classic is that it still has the original engine under the hood. The mill in question is a 194-cubic-inch (3.2-liter) inline-six, which Chevrolet introduced in 1929 and offered through 1933 when displacement increased to 206 cubic inches (3.4 liters). While Ford introduced a V8 in 1932, Chevrolet stuck to inline-six power all the way until 1955.

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.

Video thumbnail
Video thumbnail


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories