Prohibition Survivor: 1931 Chevrolet Coupe

31 chevy coupe

Here we have a clean and original 1931 Chevrolet 2 door coupe. It often doesn’t always sink in all the way that cars this old can still be original survivors, even after 85 years of life. The condition of this Chevy is phenomenal, and the price isn’t bad for this Chevy’s survivor condition. When we find cars like these we can only imagine the colorful history they have lived and how they managed to be maintained in such a condition for such a long time. You can purchase this Chevrolet for $15,000. Find it here on craigslist out of Orlando, Florida.

31 chevy coupe 3

It is obvious from the ad that the condition of this Chevrolet is awesome. The interior is in nice shape, but the seller seems honest and has mentioned some wear from usage over time. But we would expect some wear even after 8,000 miles and 85 years. It is claimed the car has a little less than 8,000 original miles. The car certainly seems to reflect the age and mileage. It has obviously lived indoors most of its life, and even in climate control at some point. The underbody has surface oxidation and surface rust, but nothing that is an issue. The paint appears shiny and clean, looking as if it’s never seen rain or even a wash down in its life. The engine and the engine compartment look very clean and well maintained over its long existence.

31 chevy coupe 2

This Chevrolet is a fantastic example of a survivor, and is priced reasonably for all that you are getting. I think we all would love to see this car preserved as is, but it would be great to own and also to rent as a prop for movies that really need that level of originality. What would you do with this classic Bow Tie?

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Comments

  1. dj

    It’s an early 31. Somewhere in 1931 production they went to down draft carbs.

  2. Cebo

    We call those sedans where I come from

    • Bill

      Actually this would be a coach. A sedan was a four door and a coach was a two door. A coupe had no back seat area inside the car.

  3. Tom P.

    This car looks great. Not a lot of wear. I’d leave it just the way it is and enjoy it.

  4. fred w.

    Worth every cent if it is what is advertised. Problem is, a very well done older restoration (or partial restore) could easily pass for original if not inspected with a fine toothed comb. It’s hard for me to imagine 85 year old upholstery and carpet looking like that. But I suppose if it were kept in a car showroom or heated / air conditioned garage and virtually never driven, it’s possible.

  5. RayT Member

    Not certain this hasn’t been restored at some time in the past. The engine photos seem to show a blue firewall — a bit strange with a black exterior — and the engine itself looks to have had fresh paint at some point. Whatever was freshened up appears to have been done well.

    Is that bad? Not to me. Just makes it easier to look at the Chevy as a driver-quality car, which I prefer to don’t-touch-it, all-original survivors.

  6. James D

    I’m not sure if that firewall is actually blue, it looks like some varnish or white material over the black making it look faded. Couldn’t that be heat related or gasoline related damage?

    • RayT Member

      I went back to the CL ad and looked again. I still think it’s blue paint….

      • JW454

        Ray,

        If we’re starting a debate, I’ll be among “The firewall is blue” side. I think it looks blue too. It’s a very nice car overall. I like it.

  7. dj

    The firewall is blue. So that tells me that the car was blue with probably black fenders. So at some point they painted it all black. The surrounds on the headlights are supposed to be chrome instead of black so that shows the head lights were converted over at some point. The only way to know the correct color is to look on the inside frame sill by the drivers foot. There’s a number stamped in the wood telling the paint code.
    I sold a 30 2 door sedan that was this color blue with black fenders and the optional wood wheels. Wood wheels were optional in 1930. LOL

  8. Justin Gassaway

    I don’t see a transmission hump

  9. brakeservo

    You just gotta wonder how many times in it’s life it’s had only 8,000 miles! I have a hard time believing an original low mileage car would have a had sealed beam headlamp conversion like this appears to have.

    What on earth do sellers really think they’re doing when they make outlandish and unsupported low mileage claims? on an 85 year old vehicle, does it really matter?? All the seller accomplishes by making such an obviously untrue assertion is let me know I can’t rely on anything he says!

  10. Slotblog

    Headlamps seem to have sealed beam conversions, almost certainly.

    Methinks the price is a little steep, but not by much. IMO these cars, even with the six, are not as good as a Model A, and with the wood framed body are nowhere near as durable. And that may be the hidden problem with this car, even with the claimed low miles. That wood framed body can bite you in the posterior.

    Didn’t read the Cl ad, so maybe my concerns are addressed there.

  11. GRAY WOLF

    Just drive and enjoy and drive! You won’t see many of these on the highway, especially stock! The price is right on, great way to get into a vintage vehicle! I was in a Vintage Chevrolet Club and didn’t see but a handful at the national meet!!

  12. Slotblog

    Yeah, with the wooden body structure, their survival rate is pretty bad.

    Not really overpriced, but I’m seeing a lot of Model As for sub-$10K asking, though not many with the claimed low mileage on this car.

  13. Joe Haska

    A COUPE?
    Its not a coupe! A 5 or 3 window-no back seat with or with-out a rumble seat (def. seat in the trunk), also only count the side windows and back window, never the windshield. Its a 2-door sedan, it has a back seat. A Victoria no, a Victoria has, a trunk, or at least a butt that looks like a trunk, no rumble seat ever, 2-doors and a back seat. B-400 Ford 2-doors, back seat, roll up windows, a top that goes down. A 4-door sedan, 4 doors and back seat, but coach may or may not have 4-doors, it might be a Stage Coach which is a whole different thing. Roadster side curtains, no roll up windows, no back seat, maybe a rumble seat. Roadster P/U, same no trunk, pick-up bed. Roll up windows,2-doors, a Cabriolet, top goes down, now called a Convertible, could have a rumble seat. Sport Coupe, 2-doors, soft top, roll up windows top doesn’t go down, could have a rumble seat. 4-doors-side curtains, top goes down, a Phaeton. 4-doors roll up windows, top goes down, a Convertible sedan. 2-doors no side windows, rear door, passenger car, Sedan Delivery. Same but truck body Commercial Delivery, Panel Delivery. What about station wagons, 2 or 4 doors, wagons with wood, convertibles with wood? Woody’s, Sportsman/ Town and Counties, What about Sedans with wood?
    These definitions pertain to Fords in general, but also cross over for Chrysler and GM with the coach generally GM. These are also mostly pre 1950 definitions.
    Now we have SUV’s, Hard Tops, Hard Top Convertible. Sports Coupe, Sports Sedan, Compact Sedan, Compacts in general, Full Size Sedans, Fast Backs, Grand Touring Sedans and I just can’t think of any more, but I’m sure the list is so much longer and growing all the time
    I don’t know how I got started on this “RANT”, but I just couldn’t stop, I guess its just a pet peeve when I hear someone refer to a car incorrectly. I’m definitely a Grey Beard Hot Rodder, and it used to be that everyone that didn’t know called our cars roadsters. Then of course there was Pots, Kemps, Ride, Wheels, Jalopy, Hot Rod, Glows, and again more than I can even name.
    Another reason for this “RANT” that I’m sure no one will read is: My daughter works for a major advertising company on Madison Ave in New York City, she is a Creative Director and was working on an large ad campaign for a Major Car Company. She called the car, a Sedan, and was told by the car company,they did not want to call it a sedan. She called me and asked what she could call it, and I said I didn’t know, seemed like it was a sedan to me. I don’t really know what she ended up calling it, but when I find out , I should add it to the list.

    • brakeservo

      In England, what we call a sedan is a saloon, in Italy it is a Berlina.

      • Joe Haska

        brakeservo, You are so right, every since I want off this tangent, I have been thinking of all names we call styles of cars. Its almost endless, but it does seem there are some basic rules, and its fairly easy to know the difference between a coupe and a sedan!

  14. Fast Eddie/Old Eddie: take your pick!

    Amen, Joe. These people should look up a pic of a coupe before they touch finger to keypad!

  15. moosie Craig

    I wonder how they faired against a Model A ?,,,,,,,,,,,,, performance wise ,4 cyl. versus 6 cyl.

  16. Slotblog

    Here’s the sales numbers, according to Wikipedia:

    1928: Ford – 607,952; Chevrolet – 1,193,212 – last four cyl Chevy, first year of Model A
    1929: Ford – 1,507,132; Chevrolet – 1,328,605 – first year of six-cylinder Chevy
    1930: Ford – 1,140,710; Chevrolet – 640,980
    1931: Ford – 615,455; Cherolet: 619,554

    I don’t recall ever seeing a performance comparison between a Model A and the same year Chevy six-cylinder car and found nothing along those lines via search. I suspect the Model A was a bit faster as I believe most of them were lighter than the wood-framed Chevys, but that’s really just a guess.

  17. brakeservo

    I once advertised a 4 door Bentley as a Coupe, but in my ad I said ” Now you may wonder, how can it be a Coupe with four doors??” “Simple I said, because it looks like chickens have been living in it!”

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