The Pick of the Week is a remarkable piece of General Motors history, something that has been largely forgotten in the intervening 80 years despite its singular magic.
Not too many people know of GM’s Century of Progress exhibit at the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair. Nor do they recall that fairgoers could order a new Chevrolet at the exhibit, and then actually watch it being manufactured on a 420-foot, double-sided assembly line that GM constructed as part of its World’s Fair display.
Hundreds of people would stand on catwalks above the assembly line to see the workers begin with the basic parts, put them all together, then drive the newly built Chevy out the door. The owner would pick up the sedan and drive it home. The price tag was reportedly $495, but the experience would have been priceless.
One of the few survivors of the World’s Fair assembly line, a lovely dark-blue 1934 Chevrolet four-door sedan, is being offered on ClassicCars.com in an ad that states that the car is one of just eight World’s Fair Chevys known to still exist, and apparently the only one with all its original parts.
The World’s Fair cars had unique VIN identification that started with the letter “C,” and this car has the number C832, the seller notes.
It also bears the special dashboard plaque that came on the car, stating “Chevrolet Built at Century of Progress, Chicago, 1934.” The seller says the car’s history is fully documented.
Though it’s unclear in the ad whether the sedan has been restored or is in amazingly preserved condition (I’d say most-likely restored, especially seeing the pristine state of the engine compartment in the ad’s photo array), the Chevrolet looks ready to be enjoyed or cherished as a super-rare collector’s item.
The $25,000 price tag may be somewhat higher than what you’d expect to pay for a 1934 Chevy sedan (the NADA price guide has it pegged at $17,600 for a sedan in top condition). However, it seems like a fair price for a vintage car with such wonderful provenance.
And just think of the great story the next owner would have to tell at the local car show.