Model T Killer: 1925 Chevrolet

Henry Ford had sold millions of Model Ts by the time 1925 rolled around.  Yet Henry was being forced to face an uncomfortable truth.  Competitors, largest of which was General Motors low cost Chevrolet division, were offering more modern cars and even giving customers options not offered on a Model T.  Cars like this 1925 Chevrolet being sold on eBay out of Allen, Texas, eventually forced Ford to give customers more say in how they wanted their cars.  Ford, reluctantly, gave up on old Lizzie and replaced her with a brand new car called the Model A.  Yet, collectors still flock to prewar Fords and all but ignore Chevrolets of the same era.  This feeling is clearly evident when you consider what it takes to purchase this Chevy.  Can you believe the asking price is just $5,750?

What we know about this particular car could be written on a postage stamp.  Stored in a Kansas barn for decades, the owner of this car passed away recently.  As it often happens, the seller’s son doesn’t want the car and has given it over to a dealer to sell it.  The dealer says that all of the parts are there, and that the wooden wheels are in good shape and free of rot.  We can also see by the pictures that the car appears to be quite solid and may be presentable once washed and detailed.

These Chevrolets were called the Superior series, and were produced from 1923 through 1926.  These were the cars that were consistently eating onto the sales of the Model T Ford.  While we look back and marvel at how primitive a car from the twenties is, remember that this was quite an advanced car compared to the rugged but simple Model T.  Henry was giving the public what he thought they needed, and Chevrolet was giving them the car they wanted.  In the Model T’s waning years, there was an attempt to offer more options and modernize the car.  It would take the arrival of the Model A Ford to reverse the sales decline.

So these are historically important cars.  The problem is that they just don’t have the following that a Model T has.  They also don’t have the aftermarket support either.  When you buy a car like this, the local machine shop is your parts house.  The good news is that advances in 3D printing and what is coming to be known as “additive manufacturing” may soon make owning a car like this more practical and economical.  You would simply bring or mail the broken part to a facility for them to scan and replicate.  There are a few companies in the automotive industry perfecting these processes right now, and the future looks bright.

I wish there were more pictures of this car in the ad.  We have no idea what the engine looks like or the condition of the interior.  The engine should be a 171 cubic inch four cylinder engine.  We can see glimpses of the seats in the pictures above, but have no idea if rodents have made them a decades long home.  What we do see is a car that likely would take a small investment to get back on the road.  It would certainly be distinctive at a car show.  When was the last time you saw a 1925 Chevrolet?

Would you park this old Chevy in your garage for the asking price?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Sometime, shortly after the war, a neighbor was traveling home in a blinding rainstorm. He was driving a Chevy very similar to this one. The old ranch is in a river bottom and back then the road past had a couple of steep and treacherous hills. The guy couldn’t get up the hill; he kept running out of gas; that old Stevenson vacuum canister just couldn’t keep up with the demand with the throttle opened right up. No doubt the wipers were completely stopped as well. The guy left the car by the road into the ranch and Dad gave him a ride home in the ’42 Ford tonner. When things dried up and time permitted (spring work was in full swing) the guy showed up to retrieve his car. To his dismay, someone boosted the vacuum canister off it. He went to town to get a replacement but took the other way home and left the car for a couple more weeks. When he showed up with the canister the carburetor was gone. Dad suggested he tow the car home but the guy refused, promising to return with a carburetor. Well, it was over a month and more parts disappeared, which was kind of interesting because there was never much traffic on that road. The owner sold his farm and moved to the city. Dad towed what was left of the car over to the ranch boneyard where it languished for another ten years before my brother and I honed our mechanical skills taking it apart. Of course, by then the clutch and transmission had been pulled; the rear axle was gone, the hood and radiator were long gone, and the car was left to ruin. I still think about that car and wish we’d kept it all together. Dad said that when he towed it to the boneyard it was still over 90% complete. I’d love to have a second chance…

    Like 12
    • 38ChevyCoupeGuy

      Park it in my garage? Yes, on rainy or snowy days, otherwise run as is. Just if it wasn’t so far away.

      Like 1
    • PatrickM

      That is sad and funny all at the same time!!! Yet, it serves the owner for leaving it there for so long with no attention. He must not have cared for it much. My brain is really searching on this one. LOL. In Cheyenne, Wyo., there is an old car club named Oak Spokes All the cars do have the original type wooden wheels and are restored. Many have updated paint, like red and white combos.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        He likely had a similar attitude to others at that time. The car was over 20 years old at the time and was worth maybe $75 tops. The guy was too busy with spring planting to get right at it and didn’t get back right away. There are scavengers all over the place. I remember some years ago a building contractor drove his ‘51 Ford pickup to a construction site at the St. Mary Lake. His fuel pump decided to quit so he caught a ride home and brought a new one with him when he came back. Well, it was on a weekend. Scavengers swooped down and stripped that truck down to the frame, cab shell and engine block. They must have had quite a crew…

  2. Ken

    “Would you park this old Chevy in your garage for the asking price?”

    Yes, if for no other reason than to keep it away from the resto/ratrodders.

    Like 9
    • TimM

      Don’t see to many Chevrolet’s from these years!! Great find!! Very fixable and driveable!!

      Like 2
  3. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Yes, for less than 6k initial cost, most parts still intact, the average shade tree mechanic could make this a running and driveable parade car. Having once owned a 35 Chevy Standard I feel qualified to say don’t trust those mechanical brakes for use as a daily driver. Now if you want a model A looking car with fairly modern mechanicals try looking at a “Shay”. Built on a Pinto chassis with a model A body and sold through Ford dealerships in the late 70’s these little cars are quite fun to tool around in on fair weather days.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  4. Richard Love

    Chevy’s had a lot more wood in their frame. Makes restoration tougher.

    Like 1
  5. canadainmarkseh Member

    I know I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again if the wood isn’t to bad fix the soft spots with epoxy resin and fibreglass fabric. If it’s really rotten then fab up a metal replacement using thin wall HSS mild mild steel tubing. With this kind of car and the amount they get used you’ll never have to rebuild the frame again. The frame is completely covered any way and it would be better than new. Welders like myself like to build in metals and I’d enjoy a build such as this. Ford was making all metal bodies by this time that’s why there are so many more of them around.

    Like 2
  6. Dan D

    I think I would rod this, with a 302 Ford. Just to turn the tables on everyone that puts SBC’s in their Ford streetrods….. ;-)

    Dan D

  7. Jerry Brentnell

    whats missing here you compare this to fords when dodges were far better cars all day long, no wood frame bodies, had open drive shafts, hydrolic brakes and more and durants were better cars than this stovebolt!

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