The 1931 Chevrolet Independence Series AE represented the third year for the iconic “Stovebolt” six-cylinder engine and another step in the revolutionary and attractive styling offered by Fisher Body. The new Chevrolet was coming closer each year to mirroring the styling offered by Cadillac, but in a more economical and easier to maneuver package. Even today, the striking styling of the Model 3AE Four Door Phaeton, including the example offered here, demands attention from all who see one.
As with all General Motors cars at this time, the four-wheel drum brakes were internally expanding and mechanically operated. The 109-inch wheelbase chassis rides on standard 19-inch, red-painted, steel-spoke wheels with whitewall tires. The engine is the reliable Chevrolet 194-cubic-inch, overhead valve, Stovebolt six-cylinder developing 50 horsepower at 2,600 rpm. Backing the Stovebolt is a three-speed manual transmission with floor shift sending power to the rear wheels through a live rear axle with a standard 4.10 gear ratio. Parallel semi-elliptic leaf springs support front and rear axles, offering unexpected comfort and fine roadholding for a car of this era.
This stunning automobile is one of just 852 Four Door Phaetons produced by Chevrolet for 1931. It is attractively finished in tan with brown moldings and black fenders with a tan Haartz cloth top. The radiator, higher than that of the 1930 models, is wrapped in a chrome-plated shell fitted with an accessory chrome-plated stone guard, and the hood features multiple vertical louvers on raised panels. The chrome-plated headlights are mounted on an arched tie-bar, drawing yet another similarity to Cadillacs of the day.