1931 Chevrolet Independence

2dr Coach

6-cyl. 194cid/50hp 1bbl

#1 Concours condition#1 Concours

#2 Excellent condition#2 Excellent

#3 Good condition#3 Good

#4 Fair condition#4 Fair

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Model overview

Model description

As the Depression worsened, Chevrolet doubled down on its investment, increasing the size of its cars and trucks as well as the number of models offered. The new 1931 Chevrolet Independence Series AE rode on a 109-inch wheelbase and the range of models was increased to 12. Nevertheless, sales continued to decline to 623,901 units for the year, down 240,342 from 1930. However, the 8 millionth Chevrolet was delivered in August.

The AE Series featured a taller, more impressive grille and curved, chromed light bar. The engine remained the same 194 cubic inches and 50 bhp, but the crankshaft was strengthened, the crankcase ribbed, and a heavier flywheel and vibration dampener added. The frame was heavier, semi-elliptic springs were fitted, and Lovejoy shock absorbers utilized. However, the Fisher body still featured wood framing when other manufacturers were turning to all-steel.

New body styles added a 5-passenger Coupe and Cabriolet and a Landau Phaeton. Two-door models included a 2-passenger Roadster and Coupe, and a 5-window Coupe. Rumble seat 2/4 passenger models were a Sports Roadster, Sports Coupe and Convertible Cabriolet. There was also a 5-passenge Coupe, a new 5-passenger Landau Phaeton, and the 5-passenger Coach. Four-door models were reduced to a 5-passenger Phaeton, a Sedan, and a Special Sedan.

Prices were reduced slightly across the entire line which ranged from the Roadster at $475 to the Special Sedan and Landau Phaeton at $650. Runaway best seller was the eternal 5-passenger 2-door Coach with 228,316 units sold, followed by the Special Sedan with 109,775 buyers. The 4-door Phaeton found just 852 customers as the body style fell out of favor and even the base Roadster dropped to 2939 sales.

Wire wheels were now standard across the line, as were Goodyear diamond tread tires, though whitewalls were optional. Other options included front and rear bumpers, single or dual sidemount spare wheels, with or without covers, trim rings, side-mount mirrors, dual taillights, heater, trunk rack and trunk, spotlight, wind wings, grille guard, and quail hood ornament.

Chevrolet introduced a new line of ½ ton trucks, the AE Deluxe series, which had the new AE passenger car grille, hood, and fenders. The Sedan Delivery was making inroads into the truck market while the stylish front end treatment attracted Station Wagon, Ambulance, Fire Engine and Funeral Home contractors. A total of 4340 Sedan Deliveries were sold, equipped with a single side mount spare in the right front fender. The Roadster Pickup was still sold in small numbers for $440.

In late 1930 Chevrolet bought Martin-Parry, which had been making truck bodies for GM. As a result factory bodies were now available in the ½-ton AE Series and 1½-ton LT series. In the LT Series the grille was the same as the Sedans but the fenders and hood were still the 1929-30 style.

The LT series continued with the 131-inch and 157-inch wheelbase with optional dual rear wheels until mid-season when the new M series was launched. This featured a new 4-speed gearbox and vacuum windshield wipers. In addition, trucks could now be ordered in different colors. Most had been black until 1929 when they became Blue Bell Blue. M Series trucks could also be ordered with extra wide fenders and running boards for dual 32x6-inch wheels.

As before, Series M 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, Panel Vans all the way up to Moving Vans. Chevrolet trucks were now sold worldwide, as far afield as Europe, Australia, South Africa and South America.

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