1931 Chevrolet Independence 5-Window Coupe - $36,900
     
  • Overview & History
  • Specifications
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We have extensive restoration photos showing a frame-off build and the beautiful condition of the car today suggests someone not only did a great job, but that this car has been loved its entire life.

In most of the car-loving world, you’re either a Ford guy or a Chevy guy. But with hot rods, even the Chevy guys kind of have to be Ford guys simply because there aren’t nearly as many Chevys around. You can put a Chevy in your Ford, of course, and a fiberglass body isn’t quite a Ford piece, but you know it’s not the same. So Chevy fans should be thrilled to see this gorgeous 1931 Chevrolet Independence 5-window coupe. One, it’s all steel except for the running boards and rear fenders. Two, it’s got a healthy small block Chevy V8. And three, there aren’t many colors more appealing than Chevrolet Black Cherry, which gives this coupe a handsome, upscale look. If you’re a Chevy guy looking for a great Chevy rod, this is an awesome choice.

Fortunately, this neat little Chevy also has a great story behind it. It has a known history from new, purchased on August 12, 1931 by Ward Herr and it remained in that family until 2012. It was refinished to its current specification by the original owner’s nephew sometime in the late 1990s and has been maintained and enjoyed ever since. We have extensive restoration photos showing a frame-off build and the beautiful condition of the car today suggests someone not only did a great job, but that this car has been loved its entire life. Fit and finish are excellent, with a steel hood that latches into place easily and doors that close with a positive kerCHUNK that feels very rewarding. It wasn’t chopped or modified in any significant way, although the hood ornament was shaved and most of the chrome was painted to match the bodywork. Front fenders are steel, the hood is steel, the body is obviously steel, with only the running boards and rear fenders (which are slightly wider than stock) being fiberglass reproductions. The original headlights were replaced with a set of neat accessory units from the ‘40s that include built-in parking lights and even the grille guard was painted to match the bodywork. It looks black at a glance, but if you look closer, the deep burgundy tones come out and really make it a striking car.

Bucket seats from a late-model Camaro anchor the interior, which has been upholstered in burgundy velour to give it a bit of an old-school look with modern comfort. Simple door panels are made of the same material and use billet aluminum hardware, and burgundy carpets on the floor help control noise and heat. The factory dash was completely reworked to hold a set of white-faced VDO gauges, plus an AM/FM/cassette stereo over in front of the passenger. There’s also a Cadillac tilt steering column with a leather-wrapped wheel, so this coupe is extremely comfortable for long-haul cruising. The windshield still cranks open like it did in 1931 and the rear window powers down electrically, and together they provide a surprising amount of cool, comfortable air inside. There’s a neatly finished bulkhead behind the seats that also includes a pair of 6x9 speakers for the stereo and separates the passenger compartment from the trunk. The trunk opens rumble-seat-style, so it would be easy enough to convert it to a rumble seat, but as it sits today, there’s plenty of storage, even with the battery tucked back there.

Power comes from a familiar 350 cubic inch Chevy V8 that was built to be street-friendly yet still extremely entertaining to drive. With 9.5:1 compression from a set of Keith Black pistons, Edelbrock aluminum heads, an Air Gap intake manifold, upgraded camshaft, and a 4-barrel carburetor, there’s plenty of horsepower on tap at almost any speed. The block is a 1969 casting with an .030 overbore, so it’s properly seasoned and should outlast us all. Thanks to proper tuning, it starts easily and idles well, but there’s no mistaking the hot rod lope of a big camshaft working inside. A big 4-row aluminum radiator and electric fan pretty much eliminates hot weather worries and it was nicely dressed with an Edelbrock dress-up kit that includes finned valve covers that match the bodywork. You’ll also not an Accel electronic ignition system, smoothed firewall, and a set of block-hugger headers that feed a great-sounding dual exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers.

It sits on its original frame, which has been reinforced with extra bracing and crossmembers. The transmission is a TH350 3-speed automatic with a 3500 RPM stall torque converter, so it’s a no-brainer on the road, and Monte Carlo disc brakes were installed up front to give it modern stopping power. The dropped tubular front axle sits on leaf springs, so it has a traditional old hot rod feel, but a Vega steering box improves precision in a tangible way. Out back there’s a 10-bolt rear end from a 1966 Nova that has been filled with 4.11 gears from Richmond and a PowerTrax locking differential. This sucker feels insanely quick around town! All the lines are stainless, the gas tank is new, and it sits on handsome American Racing wheels with staggered 185/65/15 front and 235/75/15 rear blackwall radials.

There’s an extensive documentation package with this car, including build photos, receipts, detailed ownership information from the very beginning.

Unusual, fast, and fun, this Chevy coupe provides all the things that we love about hot rods. It’s also comfortable and practical, if such a thing could ever be said about a hot rod. The build is extremely well done and it is fully sorted, making it a car you can get in and enjoy without doing anything but turning the key. That might be the best part of all. Call today!

Vehicle: 1931 Chevrolet Independence 5-Window Coupe
Price: $36,900
Stock Number: 115161
Mileage: 15,048
VIN: 1AE22357
Engine: 350 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 4.1100000000000003
Wheelbase: 109 inches
Wheels: 15-inch American Racing
Tires: Front: 185/65/15, Rear: 235/75/15 blackwall radial
Exterior Color: Black Cherry
Interior Color: Burgundy cloth
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