Stored 60 Years! 1937 Chevrolet Master Deluxe

Even though the economy was in turmoil in the early 1930s, Chevrolet was able to introduce a new line of cars, the Master and Master Deluxe. From 1933-42 these would be the bread-and-butter of the division, alongside the many trucks that Chevy produced. This 1937 edition is a recent garage find – literally pulled out this week – and is a one-owner car that’s been cleaned up by the seller. Found in Chickasha, Oklahoma (we think), this amazing find is offered below value at $8,750 here on Barn Finds Classifieds.

The Master/Master Deluxe replaced the Master Eagle. Beginning with these cars, everything that General Motors built until the war (at least) shared a “corporate appearance” as directed by head designer Harley Earl. As an interesting side note, these were the last Chevies exported to Japan as knock-down kits for assembly there. We’re told that Toyota once tore one down to see how it ticked so they could better engineer their own cars. While the Master and Master Deluxe differed largely by trim and equipment, we understand that 1937 introduced independent front suspension on the Master Deluxe.

Production was brisk in 1937 at 825,000 units, with nearly two-thirds being the Master Deluxe. The cowl tag on the seller’s car defines it as a standard 2-door sedan that saw some 178,000 copies built in 1937. We’re told that the seller’s car has spent the last 60 years sitting in a garage with no mention if it has been made to run again, so that privilege will go to the buyer. It looks as though the passage of time has been kind as the only rust we see is of the surface variety associated with the grey paint.

The car is not quite complete, though most of it seems to be there. Missing are the grille, hood ornament, and a few trim badges. The odometer reading is said to be 76,000 which is logical if the car has been off the road since around 1960. The engine in these cars was simple, at least by today’s standards (look how the engine compartment is devoid of things you cannot identify). The heart of this “gangster-era” Chevy is the 206 cubic-inch OHV six-cylinder motor. The seller is optimistic that this car will sell quickly and we hope he’s right. What a great find!


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  1. Pit Stop Pauly

    Hmmm, a 36 Chevy that needs everything for 8750, or a 90 Miata that looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor with only 36k on it for 8250…. I guess the question is do you wanna work on it for years plus sinking another twenty grand in it or drive it now….

    Like 9
    • Alan

      It’s a 1937 Chevy, not a 36.

      Like 5
    • Dougie Member

      I bought a 1937 Chevrolet Business Coupe in 1975 for $300. In significantly better shape. Adjusting for inflation up’s it to $1527.00. Then just for the hell of it triple it. Now we’re at $4600.
      There’s the math.

      Like 5
  2. Bob

    I agree. I didn’t want to sound like a skinflint but I thought the price was very high. Personally, $1000.00 would be my highest offer.

    Like 7
  3. Dave in Arlington, TX

    It’s a Standard. Those are Standard bumpers and it looks like leaf suspension in front. That’s actually good because the Master front suspension was awful. That defroster vent deflector is way cool. I’ve never seen one. Good Luck.

    Like 5
    • Steelman

      Yes, they called it “knee action” and it was bad. I bought a ‘37 Master two door sedan in 1965 for $25 and putzed with it for 6 months and then sold it for $30. I remember having to slide the gas pedal over to catch the starter linkage to get it to start.

      Like 3
    • Terry J

      to Dave in Arlington: The Master front suspension was called “knee action” I think . :-) Terry J

  4. Stevieg Member

    76,000 miles? Come on now. It was 24 years old when it was parked. That’s saying it went only 3,000 miles a year before it was parked. At 176,000 miles it would have went about 7,000 miles a year. I believe that is far more likely. Sure, people didn’t travel around back then like they do now, but they did move around a little bit. Otherwise, why buy a car?

    Like 9
    • Rick

      If I understand correctly, these engines might make make it to 100k without a rebuild. Of course there are exceptions.

      Like 4
    • Terry J

      I’m 73. I remember Ike Eisenhower who is generally credited with the interstate highway system. Before that even the best highways were narrow 2 laners that wound around hill and dale. And the secondary roads? Often not paved. It is realistic that a car in that era would not have 100,000 miles on it, let alone a nearly impossible (for the time) 170,000 miles. :-) Terry J

      Like 4
      • Stevieg Member

        Ya know Terry, you are right. I forgot the “minor” detail that we didn’t have the highway & freeway system back then that we have now. My fault lol!

        Like 2
  5. Kenneth Carney

    The guys got a case of Barrett Jackson
    Syndrome or he’s smokin’ some really
    good stuff. Yeah, you don’t see too many of these nowadays but this car just isn’t that desirable. Used to see these all day long in my hometown and
    they were dirt cheap too. A fella with
    $50 or more in his pocket could drive
    off with one in a lot nicer condition when
    I was a young motorhead in the mid to
    late ’60s. And even though there are
    many of them still waiting to be found,
    you wouldn’t see a young person today
    get their hands dirty on one of these old
    rigs. Me, I’d welcome it with open arms.

    Like 5
    • ‘38 car guy

      My son(a young person)and I both own ‘38 Chevys, His is a Master and mine is a Master Deluxe. His 216 motor was stuck got it unstuck and runs great. Mine is a nice running car as well.We travel together and get a lot of thumbs up. At car shows there is always people asking questions and looking at two bone stock old cars. They run forever with proper care. Both are true barn finds

      Like 4
  6. robert lewis

    lot of wood in that car….i would be afraid of dry rot

    Like 1
    • Bellingham Fred

      ’36 was the last year of all that wood in GM cars. This ’37 has plenty of issues, but wooden inner body structure isn’t one of them.

      Like 6
    • Joe

      No wood, 36 was the last year with wood.

      Like 1
  7. Des

    My Father in Law bought a ’40 last year and drove it home for $4800. I don’t see this thing selling that quickly at that price, but I could be wrong.

    Like 4
  8. Johnny

    Didn,t I see a hole rusted through on the drivers side? Nice old car that needs alot of work and money to get it on the road again. I think he,s been watching to many Barret Jackson auctions again. Plus they burn alot of people their. If he expects this car to be gone soon.He better come way down on the price.

    Like 1
  9. Dale S

    My Dad’s first car was a 1938 Chevrolet (Master Deluxe ?) 4 door sedan. In 1948 he ordered a Tucker. That deal understandably fell through, and he later bought a baby blue 1949 Kaiser, which ironically broke down on the first drive home from the dealership. My dad was a field representative, and probably put quite a few miles on that Chevy over eleven years.

    Like 2
  10. David Cummings

    I have a 1937 Chevy sedan like this that I have had for 26 years. It’s a finished street rod. First, try and find one like this with virtually no rust. Second, 1936 was the last year that Chevy used wood in their cars, no wood in this car. I guess that you guys that haven’t looked for one of these cars have no idea how hard they are to find in this condition. The price asked for this car in this condition is not unreasonable. Wish I could add a pic, so you could see what this car could be!

    Like 2
  11. Bob Member

    I have a ’37 Chevy 2-door sedan – this car. Mine is mostly stock except for a stroker motor. Lots of parts for this car are available from i&i reproduction in Paramont, CA. Not inexpensive by any means, but they deliver quickly and are nice people.
    This car is going to cost a bunch of money to get it looking good and running good. There are only a few left, so hopefully someone can take on the project and not have to pay the asking price.

  12. Terry

    That’s a 216, not 206 cid motor. These didn’t have full pressure lubrication. They used dipper rod caps to splash oil onto the crank and rods. You had to use straight 20 weight oil in these.

    Like 4

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