Chevrolet's heritage dates to 1911 when William 'Billy' Durant and racer Louis Chevrolet joined forces to form the Chevrolet Motor Company. Chevrolet became a division of General Motors in 1918 and by the 1930's, as many auto makers struggled mightily, it prospered, even overtaking Ford in sales.
Redesigned just a year earlier, the 1938 Chevrolet saw only modest changes such as a new grille and several less visible refinements; heavier valve springs for the engine and the addition of a voltage regulator to name two. The once popular rumble seat was being phased out about this time and the 2,787 Master Cabriolets built in 1938 were among the last Chevrolets to feature one.
The Chevy featured here rolled off the showroom floor for $755 powered by an 85 horsepower Blue Flame six. It included fender skirts and lights, white wall tires, a push-button radio as well as a 'banjo' steering wheel. The current owner purchased the all-original car in 1971 and he undertook a complete frame-off restoration in 2004.
The owner once owned the world's largest collection of Chevrolet literature. Much of this collection has been acquired by GM's Heritage Center.
The 1938 Chevrolet Master series wore new and modern styling (as advertised by Chevrolet), though the body shell, fenders and running boards were the same as in 1937. It had a new grille that featured horizontally arranged chromium bars. There were new bumpers that had a full width indentation that was painted black. There were bullet shaped headlights.
Inside, the seats were two inches wider and an improved worm and roller sector steering was installed.
Six body styles were available with prices ranging from $660 - $750. There was a two-door coupe, cabriolet, town sedan, sport sedan, and sedan. The most popular bodystyle was the town sedan which saw 95,050 units produced.
Power the 1938 Chevrolet was an overhead six-cylinder engine that displaced 216.5 cubic-inches and offered 85 horsepower. They had a three-speed manual transmission with a single plate clutch. The wheelbase measured 112.25 inches.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2011