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The story behind Sue & Murray's 1929 Chevrolet Coupe.
In 2005 my son, Andrew, located the car near Bunbury south of Perth, W.A. It was part of a deceased estate.
The vehicle had undergone a partial restoration some years earlier in that the motor appeared to have been worked on and some new wood was evident under the luggage compartment. The motor and gearbox were out of the vehicle and in pieces along with several crates of other parts including door parts, electrical and other components so Andrew decided it best to pack it all into a shipping container rather than sending it by car transporter. This was a wise decision because on arrival in S.A. it was discovered that the body had no bolts holding it to the chassis and the mudguards had three bolts each. The whole thing would have blown off a car transporter.
Work commitments prevented any restoration for several years until in 2015 we started on the motor and gearbox which were mounted in a stand. The cylinders and bores looked good and a couple of new valves were apparent so the head was fitted. The oil pump did not seem to be too cooperative when driven through the distributor hole so it was cleaned, faced and checked.
Next came the electrics starter and generator were overhauled with new brushes, bushes and bearings. With the starter fitted the motor started on the stand and ran with good oil pressure. The carby and manifold at this stage was from a 1932 Chevrolet. If anyone in the Club is in need I have quite an assortment of brushes and bushes.
No more restoration work occurred until 2017 when I retired from full time work. The chassis and running gear was done first because that part of the work is not a problem to me as in a past life I was a motor mechanic. Any rusted parts including all mudguards were soda blasted and primed. All shackles, kingpins, linkages etc. were checked, grease holes cleaned and assembled. The shock absorbers were stripped, cleaned and new seals fitted. It was at this time we realised what a lucky find we had because there appeared to be very little wear on all linkages and pins. The vehicle had obviously done very few miles.
Fitting the motor and gearbox to the chassis identified the first of the missing parts. Always an issue when buying a dismantled car. The ball at the back of the gearbox and parts of the universal joint were missing and very hard to locate. John Biddle at Wingfield had a new old stock universal joint and the torque tube ball and sleeve came out of the USA.
Now the biggest challenge was starting the bodywork. I have never done panel beating or auto spray painting and did not know what acrylic paint was until getting the drum from the blokes at Crash Supplies. Fortunately, the body was rust free and only had a few minor dents. The mudguards however had clearly been laying out in the weather separate from the body because they were badly dented and corroded and needed sections welded in. Each guard took me many full days to get ready for paint and in hindsight should have had more work done because as soon as the top coat was applied a myriad of faults showed that had to be rectified. I wasted a lot of gloss black
The doors took a lot of time because of the new wood needed and getting the glass regulators and door latches right. The old glass was replaced with safety glass. The car had a Perspex rear window & I managed to break the windscreen so the decision on safety glass was easy and a good one.
The panel and paint work kept us busy for many weeks but we are happy with the end result and the next one will be better
After talking with many Chevrolet enthusiasts here and interstate we realised our car was a little bit rare being a six wheel equipped coupe with a boot and it was decided to keep it as near as possible to original specifications. This meant keeping it at 6V and replacing the Carter down draft carby with an updraft. Af¬ter many phone calls and discussions, a faulty unit arrived from the USA and one good carburettor was made from two. Originality also called for a honey¬comb radiator and Greg from FTRS in Brisbane helped us out with that. We picked it up on our way back from North Queensland and it fitted perfectly.
On 19/5/18 the body was lifted onto the chassis and guards, steps etc. fitted. The new wiring loom was already partially fitted to the chassis and connected to the body loom. On the 14/6/18 the car breezed through the check at Regency Park Inspection Station and thanks to Bob's paperwork it was registered on 19/6/18. SA number CHV- 029. Next week, 28/6/18, the upholstery will be done.
Parts still needed to finish the project are the stanchions that go under the headlights, some bumper fittings, door dove tail guide and split rims for the spares. . The car made the trip from Glenelg to Regency Park and return without any serious issues and we are looking forward to our next club outing.