If you're tired of seeing the same old fiberglass '32 Ford coupes
and satin black rat rods, this 1934 Chevrolet two-door sedan should
brighten your day. Not quite a rat rod, but considerably more basic
than a restored car, it's a cool and affordable alternative to the
plastic rods and tediously familiar rat rods.
Is it original paint? Maybe. There isn't much gloss left, but it does have a nice, uniform look of age that's quite appealing and the patina means that maintenance is practically nil. Obviously the fenders and running boards have been neatly excised from the bodywork, including the bracketry, so it looks smooth and sleek. They had to attach the headlights to something, so they were bolted right to the frame horns up front, and in back, the taillights were relocated to the back of the bodywork. And so here it is, stripped down and ready to play. No goofy flame job, no WWII bomber art, no over-blown pinstripes, just a simple car taken down to its most basic level. Can you see the appeal in that? I sure can. Looking past the patina, the car's actually in very good condition, offering straight bodywork, no major rust or rot, and decent panel fit that's pretty typical of wood-framed cars of the '30s. No chrome, so don't worry about that, and we're pretty sure that the cowl vent has been reversed; why, we can't say, but it does look kind of cool.
Those bucket seats look like they were taken from an early Mustang, but that's OK, this is about going back to basics. The back seat was covered in the same black vinyl for a consistent look, and the side panels have been replaced with plain cloth that matches what is surely the original headliner. Basic and crude, but that's the point here. The dash is full of beautiful original gauges that proved style was a priority, even on entry-level cars in 1934. They mostly work, save for the gas gauge, and they're framed by the original steering wheel that makes it easy to maneuver this lightweight sedan around. There is no radio, no heater, no power anything, so back-to-basics really is basic here. The three-speed shifter has a satisfying heft to it, and by 1934, Chevy had synchros on 2nd and 3rd gear, so it doesn't feel all that primitive. There's also plenty of stretch-out space in the back seat, so go ahead and bring some friends with you.
With much less sheetmetal to haul around, the 216 cubic inch inline-6 from a 1954 Chevy truck feels downright energetic. Dressed up with a few chrome pieces, it's the same reliable old stovebolt that we've been enjoying for nearly a century, and its turbine smoothness makes this crude rod feel a little sophisticated. Upgrades include modern wiring and a 12-volt alternator, a chrome air cleaner, and an accessory oil filter, but there's not much here to change the driving experience. It starts easily and as I said, it's smooth and torquey out on the road. The 3-speed manual transmission shifts well and with tall-ish gears in the rear end, it's happy to cruise at about 50 MPH. The lighter weight also makes the brakes work better and the stance is reminiscent of a vintage gasser, again, made possible by the removal of about 800 pounds of steel. Plain steel wheels with Firestone wide whites give it a vintage look that really works.
This is a great entry-level car for the guy who just wants something a little different. Call today!