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1929 Chevrolet - Should I buy?


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Help! I need a little bit of information. A friend of a friend asked me to help sell a car for him. It's a 1929 Chevrolet Coupe with no rumble seat. The car is in rather rough condition but very original and complete. It was placed in this garage 3 or 4 decades ago because it had an engine knock. The only thing that's touched the car since then are the mice eating the interior. I was wondering if anybody out there can give me price ranges for this model car from parts car to good driving original. The owner has a price in his head but he may have to do a little work (like get it running) to get the price he's thinking of. Also, I don't know much about Chevy's of this vintage. Are parts readily available and is it a very common car? Thanks.<P>JW

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to give you a clue i have just bought from australia a 1927 4 seat tourer that had beenrestored 10+ years ago and needs a litle bit of work (paint and interior trim) that cost me $3900 USD but all the work has taken less than a week to do !!!!! hope this helps <P>Greg<P>1923 bullnose moris, 1924 studebaker, 1927 chevy, 1936 rolls royce, 1939 morris 12/4 tha list goes on ......... shocked.gif" border="0

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Guest De Soto Frank

JW,<P>Proceed w/ caution.<P>The '29 was an all-new car, and the first of the "new sixes" that would exclusively power Chevys for the next 25 years.<BR>However, the '29 six was reputed to have bearing problems (it's only a three-main bearing engine) and was "improved" for the 1930 model year.<BR>The info about the bearing knock indicates that the engine would need a thorough going-over.<P>Also, body condition is very critical. These car bodies have a wooden skeleton to which the sheetmetal is attached. All structural elements are wood; therefore, you would want to check the body framing for rot- wet & dry, as well as the roof, which is a combimation of lath, padding, chicken wire, some sort of "waterproof roofing material", and usually lots of "roof patch"!<P>While this car is desireable, in that it's the first year for the Chevy 6, and that it's a coupe (although it sounds like the "base model", no rumble seat or side =mounted spare tires); if it needs major restoration such as new body wood and/or major engine & mechanical work, it will become very expensive quickly.<BR>You don't want to be in a position where you "over-invest", unless this project is the "labor of love of your life", and money is not a big concern.<P>If you can find someone who is familiar with this particular vintage Chevy or cars of this vintage that could go over it with you, that would be to your advantage.<P>Check Hemmings and other old car publications to get an idea of what similar vehicles are going for; beware of the "old car price guides"- they're interesting reading, but ultimately, a given car in a certain condition is worth only as much as someone will pay for it.(A lot of cars offered at auctions with "reserves"(minimum price)don't sell; and often the reserve has to be lifted, or the owner takes the car back home.)Often, "family treasures"-not limited to cars- are valued more highly by family members than they would be on the open market.(And don't get me going about "E-bay!")<P>Your friend may "have an idea of what it's worth", but...that may be more than you have in your "mad money jar".(Consider total cost of project, storage, etc, and what you would be able to re-coup, if you had to sell it)<P>Generally, if it doesn't run, it's a #5 or #6 according to most guides.<P>Also, look for completeness & originality: a '29 should have 21" disc or wire wheels (these were often swapped for more common 16" wheels & tires after WWII), it should also have the original Large headllights(approx 10" diameter headlights-flat lens: "Two-lite" or "Twil-lite" brand?)again, many pre-war cars had their headlights changed over to Sealed-Beams after 1940; engine: the original engine should have an updraft carburetor mouted low on the left side of the engine; interior: if the mice have been "eating it", then it will need complete replacement. The upholstery was usually mohair or wool broadcloth, which is expensive to replace, and best done by an experienced shop...<P>On the plus side, Chevys are "common", there's plenty of "club support", parts aren't as scarce as for some other makes, and when restored, it's a fairly driveable car, at least around town.<P>Ultimately, be sure of your motivation & ultimate goal for the car before you lay down cash; if you "buy it just because it's there", you might be headed for trouble.<BR>Same thing if you're buying it for "speculation".<BR>If you're truly interested in it for a project & commitment, then do some research, examine the car (and your budget & skills) carefully, and if all looks good, make a reasonable offer. <BR>If it doesn't come your way...<BR>there'll be another one down the road wink.gif" border="0 <BR>(took me a long time to learn that one!)<P>Good luck!<BR>(BTW, 15 years ago, My Dad plunked down $2,800 for a 1930 Chevrolet "Special Sedan", the Caprice Classic of 1930,which was original,unrestored, and did run & drive around the farm; when we got into it, we discovered that all the lower body sills (wood) were rotted and needed to be replaced, plus all the cosmetics: paint, upholstery, chrome, etc- there's at least 8,000 to 12,000 dollars worth of resto work to be done to it; to make it a national 1st place winner would probably take $20,000; for a car that would probably bring no more than $15,000, in perfect factory condition.)

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Since this car is wood frame, the condition of the wood is critical to whether or not it is practical to restore(and its value). As far as parts availablity, I suggest you buy a copy of Hemmings Motor News. My experience has been that the vendors that advertise there are both willing and able to answer parts availablity questions, and there are a number that specialize in Chevy's of this vintage. Also a review of the classifieds will let you know what sellers are asking for vehicles similar to the one you're considering.

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It sounds like you are describing a Standard Coupe. It was bottom of the Chevrolet line price wise for closed cars. They are not rare. Mechanical parts and original type upholstery kits are available. Be aware that these car bodies were assembled with a wood skeleton and one of the common faults are bad/rotten wood due to water leaks. The most common failures occur in the main sills, door hinge posts and windshield header/top area. If there is bad wood it is not cheap to restore. Look for sagging doors, loose hinge screws and poorly fitting deck lid etc. A knock in the engine may or may not be serious. It it is a connecting rod, it may possibly be corrected by removing some shim stock at the rod bearing cap or replacing the rod. Check for crankshaft bearing journal damage or out--of-round. It it is a main bearing, this is more serious and you may or maynot be able to remove shims to correct. If not, the main bearings in these engines are poured cast in the block babbitt metal and require removing the engine and disassembly to replace. Then they have to be align bored to fit your crankshaft journals. Of course if you are getting new main bearings then you would turn the crankshaft

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Well, I got disconnected. To complete my statement. If you are into crankshaft work you should just rebuild the entire engine while you are in there. Be sure to check for original type wheels and head lamps and some times the intake manifolds and carburetors were changed from the original updraft type to the 1932 downdraft type. The correct wheel is a 20" size. Available in three styles. Wood spoke (aka artillery) wheel with demountable rims, steel disk with demountable rims and decorative hub covers (often missing). These two wheels utilize the same screw-on aluminum hubcap depicting the Chevy Bowtie emblem with the word "CHEVROLET". The third wheel option was a 20" wire spoke made by Buffalo or Kelsey Hayes which resembles a Model A Ford wheel except it has six wheel bolt holes instead of five. The hubcap for this wheel was a small chrome plated snap in type with just the Bowtie emblem.

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Guest elgin16

in the 2002 C&P price guide<BR>28 Chevy 131 3-pass coupe <BR>Condition Value<BR>6 $600 <BR>5 $1650 <BR>4 $2400 <BR>3 $4800 <BR>2 $8300 <BR>1 $11800<p>[ 02-25-2002: Message edited by: elgin16 ]

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