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1931 Chevrolet AE Independence news, pictures, specifications, and information
Coupe
Engine Num: 22602207
 
Sold for $22,000 at 2014 Bonhams.
As the 1920s continued to roll-on, Chevrolet abandoned its attempt to compete head-on with Ford's Model T. Ford was able to drop their prices annually whereas Chevrolets steadily rose. They continued to move their product mid-market and they possessed a degree of refinement lacking in the Model T.

In 1929, Chevrolet introduced its new range powered by the famous 194ci (3.2-liter) Stovebolt overhead-valve six-cylinder engine. Chevrolet marketed their new product as 'a Six for the price of a Four.' Wearing styling by Harley Earl at General Motors Art & Color department, the new line was known as the International in its first year, subsequently becoming the Universal and then the Independence in 1931.

The 1931 Independence received a higher, larger radiator along with a bowed tie bar carrying the headlights. Its hood gained vertical louvers on the raised side panels and wire wheels were now standard.

This rumble-seat coupe is equipped with dual side mounts with covers, front and rear bumpers, pedestal mirrors and a luggage rack. The car joined the Heritage Auto Museum Collection in 2003, and prior to this had been the property of Donald Sullivan of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to that, it was part of the W.A. Smith Museum in Flint, Michigan for many years.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2014
 
The 1931 Chevrolet offered 12 different body styles ranging in price from $475 to $650. Chevrolet was well-established as an industry leader by this time; 1931 saw production of the company's 8 millionth car.

Following the series AD of 1930, the new Series AE Chevrolets for the 1931 model year included the first ever 5-passenger convertible 'Landau Phaeton' Deluxe as the most elegant Chevrolet. All the new Chevrolets were marketed as the 'Independent' line in either Standard or DeLuxe models, the latter for the first time and distinguished by a chrome plated wire mesh grill in front of the radiator housing. ON a wheelbase of 109 inches, stretched from the previous year, ride quality improved across the Chevrolet line.

Power and performance were continuations of the year before but with considerable refinement of the new-for-1930 six-cylinder engine that was refined and brought up to about 50 horsepower for 1931. In the depths of the Great Depression, annual sales of Chevrolets dropped over 8% from 1930 to 627,104 cars sold in 1931.

However, among GM's five divisions, Chevrolet remained the largest selling division by far, maintaining its market segment with stylish designs in a range of colors and a growing list of options. An important factor in the nameplate's sales that year was a broader selection of body styles than previously offered and continuation of reduced prices.

The lowest priced Chevrolet was within about $65 of a comparable Ford. 'Body by Fisher' had become a quality feature of Chevrolet cars by then, and the 'Landau Phaeton' DeLuxe priced at $650 brought 5,634 buyers into Chevrolet showrooms who then drove away in high style, enjoying open air travel.
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