The Chevy has always boon multi-marque General Motors’ best-selling brand in the USA, and the Master was an honorable contributor to this rule during the 1930s. This popular public choice replaced the Master Eagle in 1904 and came in various styles – a four-door limousine, four-door sedan, two-door coach and two-door convertible, though these dropheads were soon abandoned.
There were also improved Sport and DeLuxe versions for those willing to spend a little bit more. It was the senior vehicle in the twin-model line policy adopted by Chevrolet in 1933, its smaller sibling being the Standard.
The Master followed a trend for American cars of the period to have something of a European look. Buyers responded enthusiastically, to such good effect that the new model proved to be a runaway success, with the coach option outselling every other Chevrolet in 1934.
So the low-end Standard was abandoned and Chevy’s twin-model offering became the Master and Master DeLuxe, with the latter doing best in sales terms. Each came in a choice of six body types – with the two-door town sedan proving the most popular. But owners of early models soon learned that the Master’s revolutionary ‘knee-action’ shock absorbers designed to provide fewer rattles and a smoother ride were disastrous, frequently collapsing soon after meeting their first rough country road and leaving the front of the vehicle rubbing along on its suspension. Happily, the problem was soon remedied and early Masters remain a popular and affordable choice for enthusiasts who restore and drive 1930s American cars.
But Chevy didn’t rest on its laurels. Although the established Master name was retained, the range was completely revamped by top designer Jules Agramonte in 1937.
The designer of the stunning 1934 LaSalle completely changed the Masters look.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
1934 (until 1936)
3.5 I (216 cid) Straight Six
Top speed of up to 85 mph (137 km/h) depending on model
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Chevrolet’s chosen slogans for early Masters included ‘The most finely balanced low-price car ever built’ and ‘The only complete low-priced car’ – posing the question of just what it was that vehicles supplied by the mass-market competition (especially Ford) failed to bolt on.