1931 Chevrolet AE Independence Tourer
|Engine||194ci in-line six-cylinder|
|Colour||Coffee cream, whipcord tan guards|
Marketed as “A Six for the Price of a Four”, Chevrolet's all-new overhead-valve motor was introduced in 1929 and would go on to power the majority of the company's cars until the 1950s. Developed in response to the threat posed by Ford's new Model A, the so-called ‘Stovebolt’ motor displaced 194-cid, developed 46 horsepower at 2600 rpm in its initial form and was fed through a Carter single-barrel carburettor. The 107-inch wheelbase chassis had four-wheel mechanical brakes and a banjo-type back axle, while drive was taken to the rear wheels via a three-speed gear change. Chevrolet continued improving the model into the 1930s, adding a slanted windshield and hydraulic shock absorbers for the Universal Model AD of 1930 and a new radiator and wire wheels for the Model AE Independence the following year. Chevrolet’s Model BA of 1932, dubbed the Confederate, saw a host of innovations, from the synchromesh gearbox to a counter-balanced crankshaft, plus selective freewheeling and a reinforced frame. Styling changes included a longer bonnet, deep crown front wings and an integrated radiator grille, along with 18-inch wire wheels and a built-in sun visor. A Carter downdraft carburettor saw the Stovebolt six’s power output climb to 60 horsepower, while the model range was split between Standard and Deluxe versions. Having taken top spot from arch rival Ford the year before, Chevrolet consolidated its position at the top of the sales charts in 1932, building just 323,100 cars as the Great Depression began to bite.