Friday, July 29

1929 Chevrolet Six Sport Coupe

The reasonably priced six-cylinder
Chevrolet Six Sport Coupe was simple and durable.

The "Stovebolt," so named because of the engine's slotted head bolts, cost only a little more to produce than any of the previous four, but offered 11 more horsepower than the 1928's four. The base price of the most popular model, the two-door Coach, increased to $595, a mere $10 over its price in 1928.
The six was simple and durable. It displaced 194 cubic inches and produced 46 bhp at 2,600 rpm. The "Cast-Iron Wonder," as it eventually became known, employed a solid overhead-valve design in a cast-iron block, inexpensive cast-iron pistons maintained by a non-pressurized lubrication system, and a Carter single-barrel carburetor. Power was transferred via a three-speed manual transmission. Fuel mileage averaged 19 mpg.

1929 Chevrolet International AC Coupe rear
The Sport Coupe, which was introduced at midyear,
would replace the rear trunk with a rumble seat.

The 1929 Chevrolet Series AC International offered 10 body types, at prices ranging from $525 for the open models to $725 for a sophisticated Imperial Landau, which featured a convertible rear quarter. Styled by young Harley Earl, head of GM's newly organized Art and Colour Section, the 1929 Chevy six was clearly inspired by Earl's sensational LaSalle and looked far more expensive than it cost.
The new engine, developed by the Chevrolet engineering department under the leadership of Ormond E. Hunt and, later, James M. Crawford, developed 46 horsepower from 196 cubic inches, giving it a 15-percent advantage over the four-cylinder Ford Model A. Significant advances included the use of a mechanical fuel pump to replace the time-honored but troublesome vacuum tank, and foot-controlled, twin-beam headlamps.
To build a six-cylinder engine was not, in itself, a particularly difficult assignment. But this one had to have overhead valves, in the Chevrolet tradition, and costs had to be kept down to approximately the same level as the earlier four.
Accomplishing that objective required cutting some corners, such as employing splash lubrication for the connecting rod bearings and cast iron pistons in lieu of 1928's aluminum pistons. The latter prompted the sobriquet "Cast Iron Wonder." Applied in derision initially, that name would eventually be looked upon as a term of endearment. So would the nickname "Stovebolt Six," which referred to the engine's slotted quarter-inch head bolts.
A backlog of orders for the Model A enabled Ford to recapture first place in the sales race for the time being, but more than 600,000 six-cylinder Chevrolets were sold during the first five months following their introduction.

The success of the Chevy Six was such that Henry Ford initiated the hasty development of the 1932 Ford V-8 to compete with it. The original Stovebolt would last through 1936, but a continually improved six would remain as Chevrolet's only power-plant for three decades. In that time Chevrolet would become the major player in the low-price field.

1929 Chevrolet International AC Coupe interior
This two-seat Coupe came with most available
options, including a spotlight.
Chevrolet general manager Bill Knudsen and General Motors design director Harley Earl redesigned the Chevy to give the 1929 International Series AC a lower, more modern look. Tire size was reduced from 30 inches to 20 inches. Styling changes also included a more rectangular radiator, fewer louvers on the hood sides, new one-piece crowned fenders, new bullet-shaped headlamps, and a wider single bodyside molding. The restyle rode on a 107-inch chassis, introduced a year earlier on National Series ABs. This chassis was suspiciously long for the small four-cylinder powerplant used in 1928, foreshadowing the introduction of the six.

1929 Chevrolet International AC Coupe gauges
The AC Coupe was said to get
about 19 miles per gallon of fuel.
The two-passenger Coupe received a new steel rear quarter sans ornamental landau irons. The Sport Coupe model was introduced at midyear; it replaced the Coupe's trunk with a rumble seat.

The featured 1929 Model AC Sport Coupe is owned by Lew Dark of Portage, Michigan. Its original base price was $645. But it sports the most popular option, bumpers; some rare options, wire wheels and a single sidemount spare; as well as running-board step plates, a radiator-cap hood mascot, and a spotlight. Dark purchased his Chevy in 1963 as a "basket case." He restored it himself and put it back on the road in 1971. He has shown and driven the Chevy throughout the United States.

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