My First Car: Remembering the 1931 Chevy Berline
The 1931 Chevy Berline was my first car, but after selling it in the ’70s, I never imagined I’d once again have the opportunity to restore this classic to its former glory.
Photo: Alan Coulter
The Story of My 1931 Chevy Berline
My first car was a 1931 Chevy Berline. I drove it for quite some time and eventually sold it to my brother-in-law, Wes, in 1974 or 1975. He stripped it down, painted the frame, and then built the car back up again, fixing what needed fixing along the way, from the springs to the windows.
Years later, he had a triple bypass heart surgery and decided to sell the car to some guy for $5,000 or $6,000. I reminded him that the old Chevy Berline had been my very first car—I had even passed my driver’s test in it—and would rather keep it in the family, if at all possible. So, I offered him $10,000 for it, which he accepted.
This was about two years ago, and since then, two friends of mine, Tom and Mike, have done a lot of work on the car, including running new wiring; adding turn signals; refurbishing the roof; and prepping, priming and painting the body a sharp-looking black. They did the majority of the work, with me helping out wherever I could; for example, I repainted the wheel rims and spokes a bright red, the colour they had sported when I first owned the car as a young man of 15.
There’s still work to do, but even so, several people have expressed interest in the car. Now that I have her back, though, I won’t be letting go of her anytime soon!
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