Chevrolet is well known for its amazing cars manufactured in the recent years. But incredible and amazing cars were built at its beginning as well and, nowadays, those cars are wanted by many classic car collectors and are more expensive than in the period when they were released. In 1931, Chevrolet manufactured some amazing cars including a dashing cabriolet, a convertible called the Landau Phaeton and a smart five-passenger coupe.
The 1931 Chevrolet Series AE was produced by Chevrolet in different versions (sport coupe, roadster) and helped the company reclaim the first place in sales, surpassing Ford. One of these versions is the 1931 Chevrolet Series AE Independence which was a larger, heavier car and could be bought at a lower price than the 1930 Chevrolet Series AD Universal.
The 1931 Chevrolet Series AE Independence suffered a lot of important improvements represented by the extended wheelbase that went up to 109 inches, a frame that was stronger and a more spacious and stylish body than the one of any other car manufactured in that period of time. The weight of this 1931 Chevrolet was increased with 95 pounds because of all the mechanical components used by the company for its design. The interior of the 1931 Chevrolet Series AE Independence featured Mohair or broadcloth upholstery which covered the comfortable seats while the variety of colors was large.
The technical components were also improved for the 1931 Chevrolet Series AE Independence and included a new durable clutch, a new vibration damper, a stouter engine block strengthened by the additional ribs and the worm-and-sector steering which replaced the outmoded worm-and-gear design. All the 1931 Chevrolets were equipped with wire wheels while the DeLuxe models were available with a smart chrome-plated wire mesh radiator inspired by the Cadillac V16. For some extra money, the buyers could choose some optional features which included the clock, the interior heater, the cigar lighter and the front and rear bumpers. The Cabriolet version was able to reach a maximum speed of 85 mph and was equipped with a 194cid straight, six-cylinder engine.
This 1931 Chevrolet was manufactured in 619,554 units and it could be bought for a starting price of $475. The maximum price could be as high as $650. Nowadays, for example, a 1931 Chevrolet Series AE Independence Sport Roadster Convertible costs around $52,000.
Another version of the 1931 Chevrolet Series AE is the 1931 Station Wagon which used the new Series AE chassis while the wheelbase was two inches longer than usual. This 1931 Chevrolet was equipped with a six cylinder engine producing 50 horsepower. This engine had a heavier flywheel, a new crankshaft vibration damper and an improved block with strong ribs.
The exterior design of the Chevrolet Station Wagon was improved by a new grille, a new headlight bar, which sustained even the horn placed on the left side, and the revised hood louvers. The 1931 Chevrolet Station Wagon featured a lot of interesting details such as an under seat fuel tank and the beefier springs. This “woody” Station Wagon was covered, on the outside, in bright trim similar to that used on the DeLuxe package. The body also featured roll-up glass for all four doors and for the rear quarters used side curtains. The upholstery used for this 1931 Chevrolet could be leather or brown vinyl.
During the Great Depression, the Chevrolet production was lower with eight percent, but the situation wasn’t as bad as the one of Ford which slipped the production with 66 percent. As a result, Chevrolet reclaimed the first place in the car industry segment.
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