1928 Chevrolet National
4-cyl. 171cid/35hp 1bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
When 1928 Chevrolet National Series AB debuted, the company was ramping up to compete with Ford’s Model A, which was still having production issues. As a result, Chevrolet retained the number one spot and produced just over 1,193,212 cars and trucks to Ford’s 800,000. Chevrolet’s big news was four-wheel mechanical brakes, which arrived with this model.
The new Chevy National Series rode on a 107-inch wheelbase, all of it ahead of the firewall. The engine was so far back from the radiator that cooling became an issue and extended fan shrouds were fitted to help. The reason for the change would become clear in 1929 when the six-cylinder “stovebolt” engine was introduced.
Meanwhile, the 1928 models benefitted from an improved 171 cubic-inch, OHV four-cylinder engine generating 35 bhp. It featured larger valves and aluminum pistons, and was the only Chevrolet engine to be so equipped until the redesign of 1953, which was 25 years later. The gearbox remained a 3-speed. The bullet headlight bar now doubled as a fender brace and license plate bracket. All doors now hinged at the front.
Once again, eight models were offered. Prices were cut to compete with the Ford Model A and ranged from the $495 Roadster and Touring to $715 for the Imperial Landau with its canvas-covered roof and dummy landau irons. Two-door models included the 2-passenger Roadster, Coupe and Coupe Sports Convertible; 2/4 passenger Cabriolet and 5-passenger Coach – still the biggest seller with 346,976 delivered. Chevrolet’s 4 millionth car was delivered this year and it was a 2-door Coach.
Four-door models included the Touring, Sedan and Imperial Landau. The rumble seat Sports Cabriolet (which was a coupe with canvas top and landau irons) was replaced midyear by the Coupe Sport Convertible, which was the same thing but with a proper folding cabriolet roof. Hibbard & Darrin built one custom bodied long-wheelbase Sedan.
The light truck line added a sedan delivery, which would continue in the lineup until 1960. It featured a full-width rear door so the spare wheel was carried in the left front fender. Three 1-ton truck lines were built, evolving from the LM Series which was replaced first by the LO Series, then mid-year by the LP Series. The first two were basically similar but the LP featured a number of advances including a new 4-speed gearbox, and 4-wheel mechanical brakes for the first time. The wheelbase remained 124 inches, as it had been since 1925.
Trucks could be purchased as bare-boned light delivery chassis or numerous body variations by Hercules, Martin Parry, and Mifflinburg. Woody wagons were becoming more popular from various manufacturers and bare chassis could also be bodied as taxis.
Chevrolet offered a Roadster Pickup, and a Coupe Panel substituted a big box as replacement for the usual trunk. Open truck bodies included flared sides for such loads as coal while the Canopy Express featured a roof with open sides – suitable for fruit and vegetables. Insulated ice trucks, Stake Beds for farm use and large Panel Deliveries for moving companies showed the wide range available and such other beds as Fuel Tankers and Dump Trucks could be fitted. Freeport, Illinois company J.W. Henney built hearse bodies on the extended chassis and for an extra $100, ambulance equipment was available, if the vehicle served hospitals as well.