1932 Chevrolet Confederate
6-cyl. 194cid/60hp 1bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The Depression steepened in 1932 and automobile production plummeted. Chevrolet was caught in the maelstrom with everybody else and automobile sales plunged almost 50 percent, from 623,901 vehicles to 323,100 units.
However, the new 1932 Chevrolet Confederate Series BA is still considered to be one of the best examples of classic automobile design. With 18-inch wire wheels, trumpet horns, chrome door vents on the extended hood, side-mounted spare wheels, attractive two-tone paint schemes, tilting windshield and adjustable seats, it was a far cry from just a couple of years before.
The new Series BA was built on the 109-inch wheelbase and offered nine models in the DeLuxe line and 12 in the Standard series. Both series used the same 194cid OHV six-cylinder engine, now rated at 60hp at 3,000 rpm, with a new downdraft carburetor. Power was delivered through a new silent synchromesh 3-speed gearbox.
Two-door models included a two-passenger Roadster and 3- or 5-window Coupes, rumble seat Sports Roadster and Sports Coupe, and Cabriolet Convertible. There was a 5-passenger close-coupled Coupe, the long-running 5-passenger Coach and an unusual 5-passenger Landau Phaeton. 4-door models included a 5-passenger Phaeton, Sedan and Special Sedan. The Standard Roadster and Phaeton were not available in the DeLuxe Series, but owners often added so many accessories they made their own DeLuxe versions. To further confuse things, sales figures often lumped Standard and DeLuxe models together.
Prices ranged from $445 for the Standard Roadster to $625 to the attractive DeLuxe Landau Phaeton, which has been described as being ahead of its time and was dropped after only 1602 were sold. Best seller was, as usual, the 2-door 5-passenger Coach with 132,109 finding buyers. The Special Sedan was second best with 52,446 sales.
In a rare case where distinction was made between Standard and DeLuxe models the next two most popular designs were the Standard 2-passenger, 5-window Coupe with 34,796 sales and the deLuxe version which drew 26,623 buyers. Had those sales been combined, the new 5-window Coupe would have proven the second most popular 1932 model with 61,419 buyers. It would continue to be popular in succeeding years. Meanwhile, the Standard Phaeton attracted only 419 customers and numbers would dwindle further until the model was discontinued in 1936.
Truck lines followed the lead from 1931. The ½-ton series was called the BB model while the 1 ½-ton series was the Series N. BB models rolled on 18-inch wire wheels and the deluxe Panel was the first Chevrolet to use a stainless steel belt molding.
The Series N continued with the 131-inch and 157-inch wheelbase with optional dual rear wheels. It featured a 4-speed gearbox and vacuum windshield wipers and trucks could be ordered in different colors. Most had been black until 1929 when they became Blue Bell Blue for a year. Series N trucks could be ordered with extra wide fenders and running boards for dual 32 by 6 in steel wheels.
As before, Series N trucks were adapted to a wide variation of body styles. They ranged from basic Pickups – right up to the 157-inch wheelbase - to Stake Beds, Dump Trucks, Fuel Tankers, Buses and Coaches, and Panel Vans all the way up to Moving Vans. Chevrolet trucks were sold worldwide, as far afield as Europe, Australia, South Africa and South America.