View Full Version : 1931 Chevrolet 5-Passenger Coupe (Victoria)

07-24-2009, 01:21 PM
I've got a '31 Chevy Victoria that is slowly becoming a street rod in my garage right now. It used to belong to my wife's grandfather, he passed away almost 18 years ago. My wife bought the car at estate auction when it was being sold along with a everything else to pay for her grandmother's care several years back.

Originally, we had thought of restoring it to original, but getting into the project, we found that to be almost impossible. The engine block and cylinder head (plus spare head) were all badly cracked. The wood in the body was eaten away and this is the one pattern that the guys who do wood kits don't have. So we decided to 'resto-rod' this for the most part.

I've already been boxing the frame rails and have a new center section X-member to get welded in. The front end is in place, a new Mustang II suspension. The rear will be leaf springs and shocks.

Engine is a 350 TPI from an '87 Corvette. I'm making a few mods to push a little bit more hp out of it, maybe 300-350 range, rebuilding it completely to make sure it will last 50k+ miles for me. Tranny is a 700R4 from an '88 Camaro, I've got a shop rebuilding that for me.

Biggest part of the project is replacing wood skeleton of the body with steel. It's taking a lot of time, but it is fun. Things have slowed lately as my oldest two kids are in college now and $$ for this has gone away to pay for their education right now. It will be back.

I look forward to getting out there sometimes to work on this--it's a nice break from work and all to get in the garage and weld or grind on the frame or body.


10-03-2010, 03:06 PM
I also have a 1931 Chevy 5 Passenger Coupe, but mine is original and I've owned it for 44 years. You're wrong about the wood. It's available through Jim Rodman (Autowood Restoration) in Hannah, IN. His wood parts fit! PLEASE reconsider what you're doing with the car. This body style was only made by Chevy in '31 and '32.

10-04-2010, 02:30 PM
Hello 5pcoupe,

My wife and I have discussed this extensively and covered all the ins and outs of what is being done to this vehicle. We know the relative rarity of the car, and are considering fully what we are doing versus what was originally desired for the vehicle by her grandfather who passed away in 1991.

We currently own two antique Chevrolet cars, so this is not our only car. We have a 1929 Business Coupe that is stock and running, and I have worked hard to keep it as original as possible, going so far as to return the original headlights and taillight to the vehicle when I found they were incorrect. I've changed out tires on the split rims, fixed a steering wheel that was falling apart, and much more. It needs a new wood kit and when the time comes it will get a full restoration back to original condition.

As for the 1931 5-Passenger Coupe, we spent several years trying to find what we would need to restore this vehicle to original condition. With an engine block cracked in 17 places, and heads cracked in 13 and 24 respectively, we searched for a replacement engine and found that they were extremely difficult to find in any condition that would make them worth restoring. Together with all of the wood issues and other things we found on this car, we spent a lot of time deciding on the resto-rod look for the vehicle.

We want to preserve as much of the original character of the car as we can, down to the point we are going to use the original Boatswain Blue and Jet Black paint for the car. There will be no top chop, no body modifications at all. We even have the trunk rack for the back, I am just looking for an original porter trunk to go on it anymore. What we are trying to achieve is a vehicle that we do not wear ourselves out driving if we have to go to a show that is a distance away.

I've driven the '29 into my work twice now, the first time it cost me a timing gear as I hadn't realized the extent of sludge built up in the engine and the oil pump clogged and starved the engine out. Now fully cleaned out (by pulling the engine apart to replace the timing gear), it runs like a champ. Even so, with the bias-ply tires, mechanical brakes and clutch, and other characteristics of the vehicle, the 25 miles each way became extremely tiring.

The '31 is a family heirloom in our regard, so it cannot be sold in our consideration. My wife and I feel that the direction we are taking will help preserve the original look and feel of the vehicle while giving us something that we can enjoy for many years to come. We feel that her grandfather would have approved. That is our most important concern.

BTW, when Grandpa passed away he had a fully restored '32 Sedan that was passed along to one of his sons. It is still in the family and likely will be for generations to come.

10-05-2010, 11:14 AM
I understand, but it's still sad.
Keep Jim Rodman in mind for any wood you may need for an early Chevy.
As for driving the early Chevys, they can be a challenge. Our fall foliage tour is coming up in mid-October and I'll be putting another 100 to 150 miles on my car that day.

10-12-2010, 01:33 AM
Is it happened before and when. Like to know more detail of of it. thanks for information of it..