I’ve always been a fan of old Chevrolet cars. I came by my interest in cars quite
naturally as my Dad was a licensed auto mechanic and Texaco service station operator.
My first car was a 1937 Chevrolet coach which I bought for $90. I wasn’t old enough
for a driving license but still “fixed it up” which consisted of mechanical and body
work plus a paint job and drove it around our household property.
In 1998, I was working on a 1938 Chevy coupe and visited a fellow to buy a radio
head for it. The gentleman also had several old Ford and Chevrolet cars including
the ’32 roadster which was for sale. I wasn’t looking for another car but this one
caught my attention. I had always admired the 1932 styling and I think a roadster
with a rumble seat is the best combination. It had seen an amateur restoration
about 25 years earlier and was still in running order and looked presentable, so
I bought it without knowing much about Chevys earlier than 1937. It turned out to
be a solid car and I have not done much to keep it going over the years. It survived
a 10 year hibernation when I was working overseas and just got back on the road last
year for the first time since 2002.
Tom Burtch's 1932 Chevrolet Roadster
My first car
I’ve owned several 1937-39 Chevrolets (mostly projects) since then but let them go
due to moves and circumstances. I’m now trying to piece together a 1937 Chevy which
is the same model and body style as my first car, but it will be a long project.
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying my 1932 Chevrolet. Hop in for the story...
This 1932 Chevrolet is a Deluxe Sport roadster. The “Deluxe” content includes side
mounted spares, dual horns and cowl lights while the “Sport” designation indicates
that it has a rumble seat.
The rear luggage rack is from the era but not an original Chevrolet brand accessory.
The luggage rack is very handy since the only interior storage is under the seat
(not even a glove box) and there is no trunk space due to the rumble seat. There
was an accessory (Motorola) radio installed in the car when I purchased it. No radio
option was available from Chevrolet in 1932, so I decided to remove the radio, but
the antenna is still mounted on the left side of the cowl to fill the two mounting
holes. When driving with the top up I add a period correct rear view mirror on the
left spare tire since the visibility through the interior mirror when the top is
up is very poor.
The roadster needs a lot of work to be show worthy and many details are not correct
but is perfect for local drives and I enjoy it without worries about scratches or
P.S. - I purchased a nearly complete spare ’32 chassis with drive train from a
hot-rodder. It is now fixed up and ready (even “road tested”) as a replacement for
the tired chassis and smoky engine in the ’32 if needed, but until then it is marking
time in my workshop.