1931 Chevrolet Independence Roadster - $37,900
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With red bodywork accented by cream belt moldings and six wire wheels, this Chevy is definitely an eye-catcher.

Handsome older restoration in great colors. Smooth and torquey 194 cubic inch inline-6. Desirable roadster body style with sidemounts and trunk rack. A rarer and more sophisticated alternative to the usual Model A Ford!

If you’re going to have a sporting Chevy, you may as well make it flashy. With red bodywork accented by cream belt moldings and six wire wheels, this Chevy is definitely an eye-catcher. Using traditional construction techniques with wood framing under the sheetmetal, this Chevy was built at a time when coachwork was still an art as much as a science. GM and Harley Earl took that seriously and as a result, this entry-level Chevy looks like a far more expensive car than it was. The styling resembles the stuff coming out of the Fisher body works for LaSalle, arguably GM’s most stylish brand. Thanks to a quality restoration perhaps 10-12 years ago, this neat little roadster still looks fantastic and it’s possible that most folks won’t even guess that it’s an affordable Chevrolet. Panel fit is quite good, the belt moldings line up well, which is critical, and the hood snugs down without a lot of effort. You’ll also find lots of chrome to make it look expensive, plus an accessory grille guard and metal covers on the sidemounts, all of which add to the upscale look. In back there are two taillights (one was standard) and this is a Deluxe model that also includes cowl lights, twin horns, and two-bar bumpers. There’s just no angle from which this car doesn’t look great.

The black and red vinyl interior isn’t quite how they would have built it in 1931, but you can’t argue with how it looks. The pleated pattern is correct and the white piping mirrors the exterior color combination. Map pockets are practical and the rubber floor mat features Chevrolet bowtie emblems—a nice touch. The simple instrument panel covers all the engine’s vitals, including oil pressure, temperature, amps, and fuel level, and they all appear to be operational. Controls for the headlights moved from the steering wheel hub to the dashboard as well, making everything intuitive and easy to find. The big steering wheel gives the lightweight roadster great maneuverability and while it’s not synchronized, the 3-speed manual transmission shifts smoothly with just a quick double-clutch. Overhead there’s a trim tan canvas convertible top that fits beautifully and the rumble seat offers seating for two passengers with the same color combination as the main cabin.

The real reason we like this Chevy is under the hood: 194 cubic inches of overhead-valve inline-6. It’s a few cubes smaller than the Ford’s 4-cylinder but it’s infinitely more sophisticated and smooth. It makes more power, too, and combined with a six’s inherent torque production, it’s very drivable. “Stovebolt” sixes have always had a traditional look and this one is no different, with the spark plugs on the right side and the manifolds on the left, making it easy to service. You’ll also note that this Chevy uses a fuel pump, which was cutting-edge tech in 1931. The engine was rebuilt during the restoration and runs great, starting easily with just a bit of choke and pulling the lightweight roadster around with real enthusiasm. It’s still running a 6-volt electrical system, but that’s hardly a demerit because it’s properly sorted. As I mentioned, the transmission is a 3-speed manual, and with 4.10 gears out back, it’s a comfortable 50 MPH cruiser, which is pretty impressive. Brakes are still mechanical drums, but given the car’s modest performance and curb weight, they’re more than adequate and have a nice, firm pedal. The undercarriage is neatly detailed with red painted wood floors and satin black hardware, so the contrast is very appealing. A correct exhaust system gives it the proper 6-cylinder grumble. Six 19-inch wire wheels were painted to match the belt molding and carry 5.00-19 Goodyear blackwalls for a very correct look.

This Canadian-built Chevrolet Independence roadster has a lot to offer: bigger, faster, and more comfortable than a Model A for not a lot more cash. Add in the relative rarity, great looks, and bulletproof reliability, and you have a great hobby car that delivers an ownership experience that’s better than most. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1931 Chevrolet Independence Roadster
Price: $37,900
Stock Number: 118062
Odometer Reading: 18,465
VIN: 563503
Engine: 194 cubic inch inline-6
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 4.0999999999999996
Wheelbase: 109 inches
Wheels: 19-inch wire wheels
Tires: 5.00-19 Goodyear blackwall
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Red vinyl
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