Frame off build
GM LS6 V8 (400hp)
GM 4-speed automatic
Ford 8-inch rear end
Air ride suspension
Power disc brakes
The automotive scene can be a fickle place. Trends come, go, and eventually cycle back twenty years later after they've been deemed officially "vintage". Some builders strive to create cars that offer the flavor of the day while others simply look on from a distance, pick the pieces they truly like, and create one-of-a-kind cars like this 1931 Chevrolet five-window coupe. While it features plenty of modern must-haves like air ride and a Corvette LS6, choices like the unique graphics and custom interior underscore the fact that this bowtie marches to its own beat. The beneficiary of a frame-off restoration, this Chevrolet offers a quality build consisting of only the best parts. If you're looking for a fun, comfortable, and totally unique hot rod to hit the town in, this 5-window is for you!
To answer the most obvious question - yes, it's an original body. Survival rates for these cars are relatively low thanks to GM's "composite body" construction which paired hardwood and steel together under the guise of safety. Thankfully, styling was handled a bit better. This coupe remains in its original proportions but there are a few noteworthy body modifications to mention. For starters, the door handles have been shaved for a cleaner look. The hood has been louvered and the running boards have been smoothed and widened to accommodate the side-exit exhaust. The mostly-stock lines present better than ever thanks to some quality body work and a seriously bright top coat. The base color is an attention-grabbing shade of red topped by custom yellow and orange graphics. The paintwork shows well and ensures this coupe will never get lost in the crowd.
Like any good street rod, a closer inspection reveals plenty of interesting details throughout. The front end remains true to stock form with a mirror-like chrome grille topped by a falcon hood ornament. A pair of large round headlights perch atop an arched cross-member while, below, a factory-style chrome bumper shows as new. The split hood is still in place, dressed with some fresh hardware and the aforementioned louvers that grace either side. A visor caps the greenhouse, shading a new windshield matched by new glass all around. Power wipers maintain that windshield while a faux rag top adds some style to the roof. The rear window has also been modified to roll down for some extra ventilation. Aside from the yellow and orange graphics, the profile remains fairly straightforward - even the Fisher Body tag is still present. The sloped rear is capped by correct Chevlite taillights which offer space for dual satellite radio antennas. At either side, a two-piece chrome bumper frames the styled fuel tank cover.
In 1931, Chevrolet had a distinctive edge with their Stovebolt Six. Displacing 194 cubic inches, the engine utilized 5.02:1 compression and a single Carter one-barrel carb to produce 50hp and roughly 120-lbs. ft. of torque - significantly more than their 4-cylinder rivals. This '31 retains the upper hand thanks to an LS6 V8 that has been fitted between the frame rails. Based on the beloved LS1, the all-aluminum small block starts with a cast aluminum block filled with a hollow steel cam, cast nodular iron crank, powder metal rods, and other lightweight pieces. It's then topped with aluminum heads, a composite intake, and sophisticated fuel injection which help the modern V8 achieve 405hp and 400-lbs. ft. of torque. At the front of the engine, billet pulleys turn a modern accessory drive which includes a chrome alternator and air conditioning compressor. The firewall has been modified and smoothed for clearance while details like chrome flex hoses, a chrome throttle body, stainless and aluminum brackets, and braided stainless offer worthy surroundings for the LS motor.
Take a look underneath this coupe to find even more high-end hardware. The foundation is a boxed and painted frame which has been updated with a tubular X-member. All lines are run neatly along the frame rails and look new in every way. In the center, a GM 4-speed automatic transmission spins power back to a Ford 8-inch rear end. Around the drivetrain, the suspension has received all the best modern updates. The front end sports painted tubular A-arms which work in conjunction with a pair of air springs to offer a fully adjustable ride height. The rear end is equally malleable thanks to a painted tubular 4-link and a second set of air springs. The air ride setup is controlled by a digital interface on the dash. All tanks, compressors, and air lines are tucked neatly out of sight. The steering is especially adept thanks to a manual rack-and-pinion unit while four-wheel disc brakes rein in the LS6 with ease. At the corners, a set of 15-inch Boyd Coddington wheels meet the road through fat 215/65R15 and 295/50R15 BFG Radial T/A tires.
Pop open the doors to find a luxurious custom leather interior full of modern components. The most obvious starting point is the bright red steel dash which features a full set of sleek digital gauges. To the left of the instrument cluster, controls for the air ride setup stay within easy reach. To the right, a digital interface offers control of the heater and air conditioning system. In-flight entertainment comes courtesy of a Pioneer head unit which sends signal to speakers throughout, including two JL subs mounted in the trunk. Control of the front wheels is offered by a Grant steering wheel which tops a brushed aluminum tilt column. The aluminum is matched by the trim found on the pedals below. Seating for two is provided by attractive bucket seats wrapped in tan leather and divided by a custom console that flows from the dash, terminating beneath the rear window. A B&M shifter extends through the floor, offering authority over that transmission below. At either side, a custom leather headliner matches leather door panels for a cohesive look throughout. Behind the passenger compartment, the sloped decklid conceals more custom leather work matched by tan carpet below.
Looking over the spec list, its hard to not be impressed by the sheer amount of cool pieces incorporated into this Chevy. From the LS6 to air ride to the attractive leather interior, someone has invested a lot of time and effort in creating their street rod vision. If that vision aligns with yours, clear out a space in your collection and don't miss the chance to bring home a fun comfortable street rod to enjoy all year round!