Untouched 1932 Chevy Confederate Roadster


It still amazes us when we come across a pre-war barn find that is solid after being parked for decades. Take this 1932 Chevrolet Confederate Roadster for example. It is not only solid, but runs and drives. The seller found it in this red barn, pulled it home, and got it running again. It could use some work, but can be enjoyed as is. If you’ve been looking for a pre-war roadster project, you can find this one here on eBay out of Torrington, Connecticut.


There were only about 1k or so of these roadsters built and as a result of their popularity amongst early hot rodders, there aren’t many untouched examples left. This one was last inspected for street use in 1948 and has been parked ever since, which could explain how it survived. It is even still wearing it’s old license plate, which we assume comes with it.


The Stovebolt straight six looks to be the original motor and amazingly, still runs. It might not have the power that some of the straight eights of the era had, but with 60 horsepower it offered decent performance and was dependable. We are sure the transmission’s “free wheeling” mode should make it rather interesting to drive.


Pre-war cars might not offer all the performance and conveniences of later cars, but they can be just as much fun. This one looks to be incredibly solid, but it is going to need plenty of work and money invested into it. We are glad to find one that hasn’t been hot-rodded and hopefully the next owner will keep it as original as possible. If it was yours, what would you do with it?


  1. Art

    Yep, it’s been said before and I’ll say it again, It’s only original once.
    I love it the way it is . I would check the steering and brakes and all the necessary things to ensure a safe trip then drive it everywhere where the sun shines brightly.

    Like 2
  2. scot

    ~ oh, please, please keep it original.

    • ECW

      And if a polite entreaty doesn’t preclude some clueless *%#@ from ‘improving’ it, how about a suggestion that any attempt to Hot Rod or otherwise destroy this car will result in the offender being re-educated at Whoop Ass U……..!

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs

        It’s interesting that there are ads coming out flatly telling potential hot-rodders to keep away. I’ve seen some that ask for references and also require that the buyer be a member in (long) good standing with a registered antique auto club. Of course that doesn’t stop someone from doing exactly what he wants to after the car is sitting in HIS garage. Fortunately we still live in a country where we are (to a certain extent) free to do what we want with our cars. While I like both hot rods and antique cars, I strongly feel that hotrod builders should adhere to what they originally were: a collection of go-faster goodies installed on an otherwise cast-off body, made to look good and perform as good as it looks. I just bristle when I see the likes of Mr. Hawaiian Shirt take a complete vintage car and butcher it into a shadow of what it once was.

      • Tim H

        Don’t mistake love of cars for the right to control other people. That coupled with your total lack of ability to follow through with you threat dose not endear you to me.
        But yes if I had the money to buy it and a place to keep it and a wife that would let me and the time to take care of it and the time to enjoy it then I would leave it stock. But for now I am just flappin my gums just like you.

      • ECW

        Sorry, my satire font isn’t working today.

      • Tim H

        @EWC I got that. I really really like this car Too!

  3. Mark E

    I’d do as little as possible to get it running safely and then preserve it. Lots of shows have an original class. Considering the popularity, I would not be suprised if a ‘barn finds’ class shows up! I know the word patina has been overused IMO but this one looks just perfect the way it is! It’s just lovely…(sigh)…

    Like 1
  4. Paul B

    Give it a wash job, go through the mechanicals with a fine toothed comb for safety and reliability, especially the brakes, suspension, fuel and electricals. Then drive it! It’s a wonderful old survivor that should have a new, productive life without being prodded, poked, and generally molested into becoming a hot rod or show car.

    Like 1
  5. Gene M

    Free wheeling? In the Saab sense? Why?
    I had a ’33 coupe when I was 16 in 1947. Drove it from Iowa to Mexico City to San Diego to Yellowstone and back to Iowa for my senior year. Not kidding. Those were my Kerouac years.
    Slept in the car, ate canned food. Only expenses were a tranny in Mexico and a diff in San Diego. Worked odd jobs.

  6. jim s

    yes, i to think it should be safety checked and then driven. it is now over $10k, more then 5 days to go and reserve not met, be interesting to see where this auction ends. great find

  7. geomechs geomechs

    It would be tempting to give it a good thorough cleaning and detailing, and see if its worthwhile to keep it original. Otherwise a (driver) restoration would be in order. The problem with a lot of these early Chevies is that they still used a lot of wood which naturally deteriorates.

  8. Bob

    Radiator cap is a valuable collector item on it’s own.

  9. Jim

    I personally would bring it back color included, down to the last bolt.

  10. Chris A.

    The approach of Paul B. and geomechs to a driver appearance and safety issues makes sense. As for “improvements” that early stovebolt 6 deserves a complete engine rebuild with updates to bearings and the oiling system. Early stovebolt 6’s had babbit bearings and splash lubrication. Remembering the stovebolt 6 was made to compete with the Ford “A” series, these were built to a price during the Depression. There must be restorers who can convert the 6’s to insert bearings and pressure lubrication to say nothing of a cylinder rebore and new pistons, etc, etc. Externally it would look completely stock, but sure run better and last longer. As for the body, wood rot in addition to rust will add to the problems caused by vibration and actual usage. But it sure is a cute car that deserves renovation but keeps the character.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs

      Actually the babbitted bearings aren’t something to be afraid of. Babbit is softer than precision bearing material and thus tends to embed contaminants down inside where they can’t hurt anything. GM must have seen little need for change as it used babbitted bearings right into the fifties. Conversion to precision bearings would require either use of a filter or else being extremely careful when handling maintenance procedures. I’d tend to leave it with the babbit but get everything balanced. On this engine especially, balancing will benefit because it only has three mains.

  11. Paul B

    I have had a number of old cars that I’ve treated just as Chris A. describes. They’ve looked about stock, but I’ve made detail and engineering improvements to create reliable, enjoyable drivers. In almost every case I’ve kept the old parts and made sure my driveability changes were reversible, in case someone wanted to return the vehicle to totally stock later. I’ve found this a truly enjoyable way to own and actually use an older car. I have a ’60 twin-cylinder Panhard now which I drive all the time. It was a garage find, having been driven two years from new and then parked indoors for some 43 years. I have no hesitation about getting out on the road with it because I’ve gone through everything, and added electronic ignition, an alternator, a rebuilt wiper motor, an oil cooler, new hydraulics, new fuel line, and a modern fuel pump. The engine is strengthened with better pistons and con rods for reliability. They’re invisible. The gearbox is a slightly later full-synchro model for ease of driving in traffic and for its stronger shafts and bearings. I have the original crash box in case someone wants to revert to that. In any case, they look the same. The alternator and fuel pump can be removed at any time for return to total stock. The result: a lovely old car that actually gets me to my destination, and back, with what so far has been total reliability. I bet this Chevy could be made that way too — a fun driver that reminds people of times past.

  12. Chris A.

    Paul’s comment is very important about keeping all the old parts taken off the car so they can go with the car if it is ever sold for a real back to stock restoration. I can recommend keeping a notebook that lists what parts have come off the car, serial numbers and maker names/labels if possible, and noted whether those parts were original or earlier replacement non-original parts.

  13. John D

    If one were to restore it, before final paint work is done, why not pull a fiberglass mold from it. That way hot rodders can be satisfied too.

  14. Chris A.

    The comments from geomechs regarding babbit rod and main bearings v. inserts is workable and effective if other improvements such as balancing are done. What I would want to do is beyond a blueprinted engine and head by using stronger components. I’m not an expert on early stovebolt 6’s, but there are a lot of parts avaliable to add both durability and perfomance. The stovebolt 6 has design oddities that should be taken into acount, especially with early engines. GM addressed most of the issues when they went to a balanced crankshaft. The original connecting rods had the babbit cast integral with the rod and rod cap. Wear clearances were addressed by taking shims off the rod cap and I’ll bet manufacturing clearances wouldn’t be tolerated today. Pistoms went from cast iron to aluminum. The other oddity is the stovebolt 6 has siamesed intake and exhaust ports which leads to uneven mixture and power strokes. Over the decades update, material and manufacturing changes resulted in the later 6’s still being able to serve as a base engine and durable truck/boat and forklift engine. But here the new owner will be dealing with the grandad of all stovebolt and blueflame 6’s.

  15. olgraybeard

    Who said old chevys were cheaper than Fords, looks like auction fever

  16. Charles

    Very Cool!

  17. BradL

    The seller also has an all-original 34 Ford F-100 shop truck with great vintage lettering. A quick check on Google maps finds the old garage still exists. Very cool, indeed!

  18. yhprum

    The other thing to look at is adding pressure lubrication to the crankshaft. I belive they were splash lubricated. That and a filter! Nice car.

    • geomechs geomechs

      Actually I think the mains were pressure fed (sort of) by low pressure (8-15 psi was sufficient). It was the rods that were splashed.

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