The purpose of this Blog

This blog is to detail my 43 years (1973 - 2016) with a 1928 Chevrolet tourer, affectionately called "The Red Chev".

The acquisition, restoration, improvements and my experiences over the years are covered in as much detail as I can remember.

Some of the later postings include car club outings and other vintage car items that I hope will be of interest to people.

If you have the time, scroll back to where it all began in 1973 and follow the journey so far.

Thanks for dropping by.

Regards Ray Dean


See my new section "The Red Chev - Repairs, Improvements, Maintenance and Technical Details" located on the left hand side of the screen.




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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

HOW I GOT INTO OLD CHEVROLETS – Chris Osborne, Australia.




When I was about 18 (48 years ago) I modified a 1959 Holden and this sent me down the motoring road. Around this time a work college of mine was boarding at my mothers home, and he was restoring the remains of a 1916 T Ford. As I had done a lot of work on the Holden motor (improved the horsepower from 72 to 151) I offered to have a look at the T motor, and this is where my interest in old cars started. A couple of years later I bought a 1928 Chev tourer for the princely sum of $20. I still have a modified car and a
race car, but my main interest is the old Chevs.

Now 48 years later I currently own 4 Chevrolets, 1915 Amesbury Special, 1928 Convertible Sport Cabriolet, 1928 coupe and 1934 Master 4 door sedan.

Over the years I’ve had many Chevs and/or the remains of Chevs, 27 tourer, 8 x 28 tourers, 2 x 28 coaches, 28 4 door sedans, 28 roadster, 28 truck, 29 spt. Roadster, 34 Master sedans x 2, 34 std roadster, 35 std roadster, 35 std tourer, 35 Master sloper. One of the ‘remains’ car was a 14 Baby Grand but very rough.  

BTW closed Chev 4’s in Aus. are extremely rare. Eg. In 1928 we had around 13,000 Chevs, 98% were Holden bodied, only 167 of these were coaches.

Now to introduce my current Chevs.

1915 H3 Amesbury Special.
 
 
I bought this car from the Gene Ford Chevrolet collection about 8 years ago and shipped it from California to Cambelltown Australia, an outer suburb of Sydney. My car is number 8828 and the body number is 201 and is stamped into the LHS wooden seat front frame. It has 2 of the 3 options, Houk No. 4 wire wheels and electric start etc.

It hasn’t got a speedo but does have the drive and bracket on the RH front wheel. (I’ve since sourced and appropriate speedo which will be fitted later). It also has a RM style hood which I believe was ordered when purchased. Very early an era correct hand brake replaced the cumbersome original system.

 From research it was always a California car, unfortunately I don’t have any other information. US early Chev historian and good mate, Ken Kaufmann has all the 1915 California records, but unfortunately one month is missing, and guess what, mine is in that month.

 The 1st Chev I rallied was the 1934 Master way back in 1976, and now owned for 37 years, and driven it just on 100,000 miles. It was a one owner very original low mileage unrestored car when I bought from deceased estate, it still is and will remain that way for my next generation. My wife Heather drove the car as her daily driver for about 10 years and brought home both of our children in a basinet on the floor in the back, when coming home from hospital when they were born.
 
Both of my children, Belinda and Lee drive my Chevs regularly whenever they can. Belinda will inherit the 34 when we pass into Chev heaven. Lee is a keen Chev man, owning a highly modified 1962 Chev and an imported 1964 ‘ute’ (Aus. for pickup truck).

 The 2nd Chev I rallied was the 1927 tourer, a two owner car that was repainted and trimmed before I bought it. We did approx. 10,000 miles in that Chev over about 6 years. However, as I was carrying out the restoration of a 1928 tourer we sold the 27 tourer to invest the money into the 28.
 
The 1927 tourer and 1934 Master at the 1987 VVCAA 20th Anniversary Rally.
 
 
Me and my wife Heather at the VVCAA 10th Anniversary Rally in 1977 
                      
 
A library archive photo taken 1938



As a lot of us do, I wanted to own every model of the 1928 Chevs, so I started looking. In Australia closed Chevs are extremely rare, eg. in 1928 we had approx 13,000 Chevs with 99% of them having “Holden” bodies and the number of closed cars was less than 1000. Due to our bad roads in those days, a poor economy and our climate, not many survived. At the time there were less than 20 known to exist, so finding a closed car was very difficult. I eventually found the remains of a 4 door sedan in very poor condition, which I bought for $10. Over the next 10 years I basically hand made all the missing panels.
 
 
Then I heard of a 28 coach in Idaho, USA. I bought all the panels and a lot of sundry bits for $100 and had it brought to Australia. These two projects as well as the touring were taking too long, so when good mate and keen Chev collector, John DeBrincat suggested I sell of my projects and buy a running closed car for USA. That 28 4 door has now been finished by someone else.

 Soon after a low mileage unrestored 1928 coach was bought from St. Paul Minneapolis. I rallied this car for 19 years.

Unfortunately it which was written off in a massive accident; one in which I nearly died. My body broke the roof and the drivers door.  Note the damage to the front of the chassis. The RH rail was pushed out about 9 inches, by the cross member.



I restored it back to as original looking as I could. I replaced the chassis, had the 25% of the timber replaced and managed to keep it as close to what is was before the accident that I could. Unfortunately 2 years later it was written of again in an horrific trailer accident. My family wouldn’t let me fix it again so I sold it to a good mate, who is now restoring it.
 
The 1928 coach at a Chev 4 cyl. Tour as restored after the 1st accident.

 
 
After the 28 coach was written off, and as I couldn’t live without a 1928 Chev, I remembered there was a 1928 Convertible Sport Cabriolet stored away in a shed, so after protracted negotiations I purchased. It had been restored by a professional restoration business in 1981 to win concourse, which it did on a couple of occasions.
 
It was purchased 2 years later by the man who I bought off. It had been stored for 27 years as well as tinkered with, and few bits missing. It took me 6 months to get it ready to use. I’ve owned it now for just over 3 years and drive it regularly averaging over 1000 miles a year. It didn’t come with the factory bumper bars, but when I sold the coach I kept the bars, restored them and chrome plated them. An interesting point is that when they were stripped for plating, it was discovered that they were never plated.

The photo below was taken at our recent VVCAA 45th Anniversary rally, where it won 1st prize in the Chev 4 section of the show and shine. It is as original as I can possibly get it. As it was restored 32 years ago, it is showing its age, but is a car that is driven regularly. Eg it did 3 club runs last month.
 

 My son in law Michael is keen on driving it and has done on many occasions. As he was heavily involved in the running of the 45th Anniversary rally, as was I, he has now joined the VVCAA. So! It was time he had one of his own. 

 Cars like the CSC above where fully imported RHD Fisher bodied cars. There is no evidence of a 1928 coupe coming to Australia. So with the help of a good mate and long time Chev owner, John DeBrincat was visiting the US, I asked him to find me a 1928 coupe for Michael to use.

 The photo shows the 1928 coupe for sale in a CA dealership. It was a Monterey car and some restoration had been done. As it is basically an original car with a little bit of restoration done, it will require a fair bit of work to get it ready for using.
 
 
The photo below is a second 1928 coupe, again from CA, I paid $3000US for it.

 

Being passionate about my Chevs, I have been collecting early Chev memorabilia and have recently set up a mini museum in my garage, maybe one day I may be able to share some of this with you. I’m also heavily involved in collecting petrol, oil and car related automobilia as well.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Trafalgar Holden Museum - Update


Working bee at the Museum today. Plenty done, much more left to do. There is a real air of excitement around the place. Just a reminder we do not open until 18 October as we are in the building phase. THM Committee.