1935 Chevrolet Master Deluxe: It’s A Sign!

NOTE: Another one from Lee Wilcox. -TK

Just west of Huntsville Texas, there is an old coupe still providing a service of sorts. It is unlikely that anything on it will break the way it’s being used and it has been painted in defense against the few straggling Tin Worms that have managed to survive in the area. These days it spends its days as a bar sign, but it’s also a sign of times gone by. Once upon a time, this was a 1935 Chevrolet.

This car is a little further beyond just being a non-runner, more an artifact than a motor vehicle. But it has been “restored” in some fashion. Need replacement parts for a 1935 Chevy? No problem, let’s just head down to Home Depot or Lowe’s! There is no glass with the exception of the headlights and a single taillight; all the other “windows” are gray-painted plywood. On the passenger side, the entire door is painted plywood. The driver’s door has a vent window that helped to identify it, but our faux passenger door does not.

In my opinion, this is not a business coupe. At the time I took the photos, I assumed it was just a run of the mill cheap family Chevy coupe for a couple or small family. You might have originally found a rumble seat for two additional passengers in the trunk. That was a big selling point in the ads of the day. After a little research it appears to be a 1935 Chevy Master Deluxe Sport Coupe, as pictured above. The fenders, roofline and that unusual vent window all match. Our featured car is one of 11,904 Sport Coupes, which could be had either with a rumble seat or a conventional trunk.

It is not noticeable from the street but the rear window is also plywood and the trunk lid is roofing or siding material. No more rumble seat rides in this car. There was quite a change in car design between the Thirties and the Forties. The bumpers on our four-wheeled sign do not appear to be original. Anyone know what they’re off of?

Here’s another ’35 Chevy coupe. It appears to be the very same model as the black and white ad further up. Notice how much car illustrations varied from the real thing back then? Call it artistic license. Still, buyers may have been a little disappointed when they visited a showroom and saw how different the real thing looked. Nevertheless, this was quite a handsome car in its day.

1935 was a big year for Chevy as Master Deluxes were all new. A second series, the Standard, was basically a slightly retrimmed 1934 Chevrolet.

A big selling feature on Masters was a “Turret Top”, eliminating the rubberized roof covering in the center of the roof for an all-steel version. This was a big step forward in car design, and would become an industry standard. Another new feature was Knee-Action suspension, Chevrolet’s new independent front suspension. All Chevys were still powered by the Blue Flame Six, still a spring chicken in those days.

Chevy had a lot of new features in ’35, but that didn’t help sales all that much. While sales of 548,215 was nothing to be ashamed about, that figure was a couple thousand shy of 1934’s figure of 551,371. Part of it may have been the slightly bulbous styling of the Master Deluxes, as sales of the Standard went from 98,959 in ’34 to 201,773 in ’35.

As for our bar sign, it may no longer be a runner, but it reminds us of what once was. At least it’s still here in some form, not something most 86 year old cars can say.

13 Replies to “1935 Chevrolet Master Deluxe: It’s A Sign!”

  1. stingray65

    1935 – still in the middle of the Great Depression although things were looking up from low point in 1932. The US had just under 130 million people, of which the chief bread earner of the family was earning about 50 cents per hour if he had a job, and Chevrolet sold over half a million cars on one basic chassis and drivetrain. Today with over 300 million people and average household income of about $69K Chevrolet sells only one model that matches the 1935 volume – the Silverado pickup and the lowest selling version is the coupe version (aka regular cab). How long before the Biden administration turns its attention to the 20 feet long, 5,000 lb. “gas guzzler” pickups that earn 90% of Detroit’s profits and hold the top 3 spots on US sales charts?

  2. Don Curton

    It used to be quite common for small businesses to take an old junker and slap a coat of paint on it for advertising. Sometimes ground level, sometimes elevated quite high. A local auto repair shop had a 55 Chevy 4-door up on a 40 ft tall post as advertising. They recently took it down after the last hurricane came through, guess they figured it wasn’t safe anymore. I talked to the owner and he said it probably weight a 1000 lbs more than when it was put up due to all the pigeon poop in it. I asked it they parted it out and he just laughed.

  3. John C.

    I wonder what cars/trucks will be used as signs in 85 years? My guess is the current stuff will all be melted down as biohazards, though remember Phillip R. Dick opined that our conquerors will collect Americana.

    • CJinSD

      In China? The SAIC V80 will be a good candidate. In the US? You’re living in a dream world if you think there will still be people to see signs in this country after four years of CCP rule.

      • John C.

        My V90 also occurred to me. I don’t think our 85 years in the future Chinese friends will want to remember Volvo. Between Goldman Sachs financing and European design, it will remind them of a sad period when they were incapable of anything useful on their own. That presumes a future that includes Asian competence?

        My guess is America’s future resembles South Africa’s in 1995. The institutions that made us great still exist, but are occupied by people who only desire bloodsucking, because at some level they understand their limitations.

        • JMcG

          My favorite, so far, of Boughtden’s executive orders is the one which rescinded Trump’s which stopped price gouging on insulin and epinephrine. Presumably to keep Joe Manchin on side, whose daughter is the CEO of Mylan. Mylan makes the epipen auto injectors.
          My wife’s feed lit up today with women screaming about the coming order of magnitude price increases. Mostly the same women who spent the last four years venting their spleen on we deplorables.
          I do feel bad for all the Union pipe fitters who lost their jobs as a result of the Keystone XL pipeline shutdown. Hopefully they’ll have some words, if not actions, for their leadership.

          • John C.

            What scares me is how much the deep state jumped into action with a man from Scranton who will sign what is before him. Imagine if Trump had such power when he was inaugurated.

            I understand from the Rabbi that blessed the inauguration ceremony that we are now to refer to to the barren Indian lady as Mamalla and the fellow from Scranton as the mensch. Please correct me in the future if I forget.

      • John C.

        I see now the Chinese V80 is actually a British designed van. Perhaps better for a long time from now sign, but one wonders why they were not satisfied with Chevy Ventures forever. Wasn’t the last generation just for them? Not by them mind you….

  4. John Gentless

    I am the proud owner of a 1935 Chevrolet master deluxe sports coupe as shown in the above picture.


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