Chevrolet Series M – Origin
You’ve probably seen a lot of Chevrolet air-cooled cars out there, right? But do you know that that the 1923 Chevrolet Series M Copper-Cooled car was the first of its kind. Much of the design credit was given to Charles F. Kettering, who at the time, was the head engineer of Delco, the division of research wing of General Motors in Dayton, Ohio. There are quite a lot to talk about the cooling system of this vehicle as opposed to water cooling system of the cars produced earlier.
Well, you could say that the air-cooling system was much more practical when it comes to its effectiveness compared to the water-cooling system as there was no need for a radiator, or the piping that came along with it. At the time of production of this vehicle, the air-cooling system had already been applied in a number of projects, but was kind of new to this particular scale of engine.
This air-cooling project of the Chevy Series M did not somewhat meet up to the expectations of Charles at the time, the vehicle suffered a dangerous overheating in hot weather, and as result, posed a threat to the life of the drivers. The few of this series that made it to the sales floor ended up recalled and destroyed by the company. if you ask me, I’d say it’s safe to say the Chevrolet Series M Copper cooled project was as good as a white elephant.
Chevrolet Series M – Overview
The Copper-cooled Chevrolet had quite similar looks to its predecessor, with a little modification here and there. You could see from the body style that the vehicle is a two-door coupe. The powerhouse of this vehicle features a 4-cylinder of around 135 cubic inches and a three-speed manual transmission. The vehicle was assembled in Various states in America, some notable assembly states include Norwood, Ohio, North Town Assembly, New York, Oakland Assembly, California, Flint Assembly in Michigan, and many more.
Chevrolet Series M – Controversy
There was a bit of controversy surrounding the production of the Chevy Copper-cooled series car at that time. Allow me to take you on a little journey down memory lane. In 1919, Charles Kettering tabled his idea of the air-cooling system to Pierre S. du Pont, who at the time, was the manager of Du Pont motors. Kettering did a good job in selling his idea to Du Pont, who was very impressed and saw this idea as a means to be rid of the radiator and all the issues and challenges that came along with it. In no time, Du Pont approved the design and testing of the car under the Chevrolet and Oakland automobile testing divisions, and here came the big issue.
During the testing process, the car failed in some of the Oakland tests and suffered a lot of criticism. Kettering didn’t take this criticism on his work lightly who outrightly expressed his dissatisfaction to General Motors. Long story cut short, Chevrolet later appointed a new president in the person of William S. Knudsen. More and more issues arose and the company ultimately dropped the air-cooling idea and returned back to its first love, you got that right, the good old water-cooling system.
Chevrolet Series M – Production
So, let me start like this: in February 1923, production of this Chevrolet Series M copper-cooled was set for 1000 cars, and in October that same year, production was set to 50,000 cars. But in all honesty and due to shortcomings of this vehicle, only 759 of these cars made their way out of production level, and out of these 759, 500 of them were lucky enough to go into sales why the company had the sad choice of destroying the other 250 in the factories. Out of the 500 that went into sales, only 300 of them made it to the sales floor, and from this, only 100 of the Chevrolet Series M copper-cooled made it to the hands of the customers. What a year indeed for Chevrolet 1923 was!
Chevrolet Series M – Price
Given the tragedy that followed the production of this vehicle, it is difficult to ascertain the price of this vehicle but the car sold within the range of 500 to 550 dollars, which is an equivalent of around $7,000 to $9,000 in 2021.
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