17 June 2000
This Lot has no reserve
1929 CHEVROLET INTERNATIONAL AC PHAETON
Chassis No. 6AC 18354
Engine No. 373471
Green with black fenders and green vinyl interior
Engine: in-line, six cylinder, pushrod operated overhead valves, 194ci, 46hp at 2,600 rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: front and rear, solid axles with leaf springs; Brakes: mechanically operated four wheel drums. Left hand drive.
As part of the rescue of General Motors after Billy Durant's second ousting, Alfred P. Sloan nearly disposed of Chevrolet in 1921. Instead he installed William S. Knudsen as General Manager of Chevrolet and positioned the brand as a higher quality alternative to Ford's Model T. The success of Knudsen and his management team was matched by the stagnation of Ford. As sales of the now out-dated Model T fell, Chevrolet sales grew until 1927 when they had a million-car year, out-selling Ford for the first time.
In May of 1927 Ford shut its production facilities down, ending production of the Model T and building anticipation for the Ford that would succeed it. The implications for Chevrolet were clear: no longer would Chevy's sales be bolstered by obsolete product from Dearborn.
While the Ford Model A, introduced in December 1927, was an instant success, its production start-up was plagued by various problems and Chevrolet remained the sales leader in 1928 with its redesigned National AB series.
Knudsen countered the Model A in dramatic fashion in 1929 with the International AC. The chassis was essentially unchanged from 1928, but styling was freshened with a new radiator grille, body moldings and bullet style headlamps. The most important change, however, was under the hood. Chevrolet's new engine was a 194 cubic inch overhead valve six giving 46 horsepower. Chevrolet advertising trumpeted: "A Six for the Price of a Four" and Chevrolet again offered premium features at a modest price difference. 1929's Chevy six evolved steadily and remained in production for half a century, propelling Chevrolet into a dominant position in the American auto market.
The 1929 Chevrolet International AC Phaeton offered here was once in the famous Harrah Collection. We understand that the car was sold out of the Harrah Collection in 1984. Though still quite presentable, the Chevrolet's older restoration has now begun to show its age. The paint has begun to show some spidering and blistering in assorted areas including some flaking at the rear of the car. The interior is in fair condition, however, we understand that the temperature gauge is missing its glass. Though not in showroom condition, this six cylinder Chevrolet is ideal as either a driver or a restoration project. Not only is it an attractive and usable Harrah restoration of a desirable open body style, it is an important and intrinsically valuable example of the evolution of the American automobile industry.
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