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1928 Chevrolet National 2-Door Sedan


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More inexpensive fun, guys. I'm really trying here! My friend Tony G found this little Chevy in a barn a few years ago. It had been restored in the '90s but not driven very much so he took it home when they were liquidating the collection (I personally bought that all-original '59 Pontiac Star Chief last year from the same place). Anyway, Tony is an accomplished mechanic and restorer around here that likes unusual stuff, so he put this car right. The handsome green paint really shines up nicely and there's a contrasting pinstripe that makes the inexpensive little Chevy look well-dressed. It has a correct long-grain vinyl top and I believe that it's a deluxe model due to the cowl lights, but I will admit I am far from an expert on these particular cars. I do like the headlights, which look like they belong on a submarine or something, and obviously disc wheels are a favorite. It appears that the radiator shell is painted, but honestly it's hard to be sure. It's obviously not chrome, but it doesn't look inappropriate, either. The rest of the car looks pretty appropriate to my eye.

 

The handsome green cloth interior seems very upscale for Chevrolet, and it's a nice place to be. The big wooden wheel is a nice touch that warms things up and the two-door sedan has neat little bucket seats that fold forward for rear seat access. Carpets in the back, rubber mat in the front, as was typical of the era. Experts will note that some of the dash controls are non-stock, including the headlight switch poking through what was probably the clock face, but that would be easy enough to fix. The original ignition switch is buggered so there's a switch under the dash and a little LED to show you it's on (marked IGN--duh). There's also an under-dash heater, nice door hardware, and a matching wooden ball on the shifter. Someone did nice upholstery work and the materials and patterns are quite authentic. Again, not a show car but clean, tidy, and very functional.

 

When Tony got the car, the engine was Chevy Orange, so he set about fixing that right away. While he had it out of the car, he also took the time to rebuild the carburetor and clean up the other stuff around it so it all looks right. The only notable change is the removal of the vacuum tank and the installation of an electric fuel pump and regulator, both of which work just fine with the original updraft carburetor. He looked for a correct vacuum tank for some time, but he wanted to get the car on the road so he did what he could. I'd just leave it alone. The engine looks great and fires up easily with some choke. It think the little OHV 4-cylinder is rated at about 35 horsepower, but it feels torquey and strong on the road and pulls the sedan up to 40 MPH without seeming to work very hard--my only comparison is a Model A Ford and it feels a bit like that. Brakes and steering are era-appropriate (a little wandery and a little mechanicaly) but it works well enough that you can enjoy touring. The exhaust has a non-stock muffler that gives it a bit of an aggressive BLATT when it starts, but I like the sound. It's really clean underneath and has never been rusty or rotted. Oh, and the gas tank was cleaned out so no worries there. It sits on 5.25-21 tires of unknown age, but they look to be in decent shape and I'd only replace them if you expect to do some extensive touring.

 

It comes with an original owner's manual and some minor spare parts and tools.

 

You guys talk about affordable fun being the missing part of the hobby, well, this is a neat little car that's not just another Model A. It's really nice for something in this price class and Tony really is a good mechanic so I have faith in its road-worthiness. For only $17,900 it is unusual but not so far out there that parts are hard to find, and if you're a Bowtie guy, then a Model A just wouldn't cut it anyway. Go on, try to find a nicer little car than this for less cash. Thanks for looking!

 

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Here are a few other inexpensive yet interesting cars I've got coming up, in case you're looking for a nice old car with a low price that's a little unusual--these are both the same price as the Chevy above @ $17,900.

 

1924 Maxwell sport touring with an unusual California top and sliding windows. Rebuilt engine that runs incredibly well (almost silent). Lifetime California car with a restoration probably in the 1960s.

 

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1923 Dodge Touring. Freshly rebuilt engine, coil, distributor, starter/generator, and more. Runs and drives extremely well, ready to tour. Another older restoration with a lot of recent work.

 

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