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Chevrolet Series C Classic Six (1913)

Chevrolet Series C Classic Six – Origin

The Chevrolet C Classic Six is the first automobile ever produced by the renowned American car manufacturer Chevrolet. The Chevrolet C classic was among the first automobile made while Swiss race driver Louis Chevrolet and William Durant were at the helms of the company.

This particular Chevy piece was larger, more powerful, stylishly built, and more expensive than its successors, and was particularly Louis Chevrolet dream car at the time.

The focus of the company shifted from this vintage automobile to more affordable vehicles later in 1914, which caused Louis Chevrolet to resign from the company in 1915 as he disagreed with Durant’s policy and went on to start a race car company with his brother Gaston Chevrolet.

Chevrolet Series C Classic Six – Overview

Being the first of its release, the Chevrolet C Classic was simply called the Chevrolet, since there weren’t so many models to confuse it with at the time until 1914 when the L and H Models were released.

The vintage masterpiece features a 6-cylinder engine up front with a cone clutch and a three-speed gearbox at the rear axle. Other Chevrolet series that followed were much cheaper with 4-cylinders which was more of a competition with Henry Ford’s Model T at the time.

Some notable attributes of the car include a performance speed of 65mph, with a 29 cubic-inch liter displacement, and was good enough for competition for other high-performance cars at that time.

Standard equipment that comes with the car include four doors, a starter, cow lights, tool box, and electric headlights. The 1914 classic was in essence, a slightly modified model of the 1913’s.

Chevrolet Series C Classic Six – Design

Etienne Planche designed the Chevrolet C Classic, under the direction of Louis Chevrolet. The Chevy had a design that has quite the resemblance with the European cars (with its low running boards).

The radiator shell and the Chevrolet nameplate on the dashboard had a polished metal appearance, while the body, chassis and wheels were plain Chevrolet blue. The fenders, hood and splash aprons were painted black, with light gray stripping on the wheels and the body.

Chevrolet Series C Classic Six – Engine

Chevrolet’s first engine had a T-head design configuration with power strength of 40 Horsepower. The T-head engine differs from the L-head engine by the valves placement, the intake and exhaust valves are on opposite sides of each other, making dual camshafts necessary. The 299 engine was very large at that time, and was the only engine in the C series.

In 1913, the ignition was a Simms magneto with a compressed-air starter, and gradually progressed to Simms High Tension Magneto ignition and a Gray & Davis starter. This was the biggest Chevrolet engine until the middle 1950s where the powerful V8 was manufactured and claimed dominance.

The first prototype of the vehicle appeared in late 1911, and was tested by Louis Chevrolet himself on the back streets of Detroit. A lot of refinements were made to design throughout the whole of 1912, and later in the same year, the modified form of the C Classic- the 1913 model was released during the New York Auto Show event.

Chevrolet Series C Classic Six – Production

There’s a bit of conflict when it comes to exact numbers of the automobile that was actually made. The total Chevrolet produced in 1913 was 5,987. This figure, however, included vehicles from The Little Motor car Co Production and could have also included all the 1914 models that were produced in 1913. Given the high price of the car, it is likely doubtful that many of this model were produced and sold.

There are only two models of this vintage automobile known to exist: the 1913 model, with serial number 93, and is located in the Reynolds-Alberta Museum of Canada, and the other piece, also a 1913 model with serial number 323 located in Flint, Michigan at the Alfred P. Sloan Museum.

Chevrolet Series C Classic Six – Price Range

The base price of the Chevrolet Series C Classic was sold for $2,250 in 1912 to 1914, which is anywhere around $61,000 to $64,000 in today’s market.

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