Despite having been in production for a scant three years, from 1934 to 1936, the original Chevrolet Master is one of the most recognized and iconic cars of the 1930s. Produced by Chevrolet, always General Motors’ best-selling marque, it billed itself as an affordable, complete and well-balanced car, which it was, in all honesty. Except for a ill-fated attempt at introducing ‘knee-action’ shock absorbers, which had a tendency to collapse at the first sign of real work to be done, the Master was a surprisingly reliable car. It was available in a variety of body styles (six of them), including a two- and four-door sedans, a convertible, a limousine and more. The two-door sedan (pictured below) was by far the most popular model, and remains today a favorite of antique car restorers and hot-rodders.
Although it was certainly complete, for the price, the Chevrolet Master was no speed demon in its original incarnation. It was powered by a 3.5-liter, straight-six engine, and could reach a top speed of about 85 miles an hour, depending on the model chosen and thus the weight of the car. That being said, a top speed of 85 mph was nothing to be embarrassed about at the time; it wasn’t the speed to win you races, but you certainly wouldn’t have been the slowest thing on the road!
As I mentioned earlier, the original Chevrolet Master remained in production until 1936. For 1937, it was completely redesigned by none other than Jules Agramonte, the designer of the 1934 LaSalle. The 1934 Chevrolet Master allowed Chevrolet to consolidate its place and its reputation as a reliable mass-market car manufacturer, in the face of strong competition by none other than Ford. You can learn more about the Chevrolet Master right here.