Curbside Classic: 1935 Chevrolet Master Deluxe – Bare Bones Bar Sign

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. 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. The lines are quite a bit different than the ’41 Dodge Business coupe CC, but then, this is an older 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. See 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, not something most 77 year old cars can say.