Magazine Featured AE Independence GMP ZZ4 355 HP V8 THM700R4 4 Speed Auto A/C

  • Price: Ask a price!
  • Condition: Used
  • Item location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
  • Make: Chevrolet
  • Model: AE Independence
  • SubModel: Independence
  • Type: Sedan
  • Doors: 4
  • Year: 1931
  • Mileage: 1
  • Color: Other
  • Engine size: 350 V8
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Interior color: Tan
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

Chevrolet AE Independence 1931 Description


The beneficiary of a 4-year $140K build that was completed in 2014
Featured build at the 2014 NSRA Street Rod Nationals / Featured in NSRA StreetScene Magazine
Original Chevrolet steel body with original wood framing
GM Performance Parts ZZ4 V8 / 355 horsepower
700R4 4-speed automatic transmission built by Phoenix Transmission / TCI Universal Lockup Kit
Custom faux leather interior / Southern Air conditioning / Custom modern audio
Custom PPG paint / Custom leather trunk / Mercedes-Benz roof fabric
Moser 9-inch rear axle / Posi-traction differential / 3.70 gears
Custom suspension / Rack-and-pinion steering / Disc and drum brakes / 15-inch Truespoke wheels
Sale includes build photos, build receipts and a copy of the car's StreetScene feature

Do a quick Google image search for "hot rod" or "street rod" and you'll see two predominant patterns: a whole lot of fiberglass and a whole lot of kits. While it's hard not to love a good custom, authenticity can definitely stand between some enthusiasts and the world of 'glass. And, even if you have embraced the modern and outrageous, it's always nice to see an extremely traditional ride that's exceptionally well done. That's why this 1931 Chevrolet AE Independence is such a refreshing change of pace. A lot of time, money and effort was invested into making this bowtie the coolest classic at the event, and the quality of that plight shows throughout. From its updated chassis and spry ZZ4 350 to its tasteful paint and plush upholstery, the car features the best of everything without drifting in to the dreaded 'too nice to drive' territory. If you're ready to experience a different kind of rod, take a minute to learn more about this killer Chevy!


This clean sedan's solid steel fuselage began life as a run-of-the-mill commuter that was sold through Spencerport, New York's Donn Chevrolet. After a few decades of fair use, the car was traded back to that same dealer, who decided to prominently display it for the next 32 years. When the dealer ceased operations in 1992, the Chevy rolled in to the collector car hobby as a mostly original time capsule. And over the next six years, the car would bounce through a procession of owners that stretched from Rochester to Long Island. In 1995, it received its first significant upgrades via mild restoration. And, 15 years and many miles of happy cruising later, the car rolled in to Hickory, North Carolina's Rutter's Rod Shop for a body-off, 4-year transformation. After 1,100 hours of labor and a $140K check, the Chevy debuted at the 2014 NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky to headline the Builder Showcase. And, eventually, that display won the car a feature in the February, 2015 edition of StreetScene Magazine.

"Unique" is certainly a great word to describe this elegant Street Rod. Named "Stardust" in honor of the eponymous Hoagy Carmichael song that debuted during the year of its birth, the car features a sophisticated trifecta of custom PPG pigments. The Stardust theme is directly referenced by a Stardust Pearl beltline that mixes 7 coats of Mother of Pearl with Flip Flop and traditional Gold Flake. At the sides of that flash, custom Harmony Sage joins custom Golden Champagne to highlight an original wood and steel profile. At the front of that profile, barred headlights and Chevrolet-branded driving lamps frame a polished horn, a polished Chevrolet grille and a polished bumper. Behind those lights, an elegant radiator topper leads a chrome-trimmed cowl, which fronts a smoked greenhouse that's capped with a small visor and premium Mercedes-Benz roof fabric. At the sides of that topper, pinstriped fenders frame traditional door handles, small mirrors and chrome Vintage Wire spares. And at the back of those fenders, Chevrolet-branded taillights and a Lambert Center High Mount Stop Lamp illuminate a small luggage hitch, a second polished bumper and a custom leather trunk.


Take a look under this Chevy's winged hood and you'll find a hot GM Performance Parts ZZ4 350 that utilizes a forged crank, powdered rods, a hydraulic cam and hypereutectic pistons to turn stout 10 to 1 compression into 355 horsepower and 405 lb./ft. of torque. At the top of the smooth-spinning mill, a 600cfm Edelbrock Endurashine carburetor is sequenced behind a color-keyed air filter, stainless fluid lines and a coated Edelbrock pump. That fuel source rides atop L98 Corvette heads and an Edelbrock Endurashine Performer Air-Gap intake. At the back of that intake, an HEI distributor balances a Crossfire cap under loomed Taylor cables. At the front of those cables, billet pulleys spin a chrome alternator and polished AC compressor above a quality Stewart water pump. Cooling comes courtesy of a beefy radiator that's finished with a polished expansion tank, corrugated water tubes and an integrated puller fan. Exhaust makes haste through Sanderson block hugger headers. And, aesthetically, the car's smooth engine bay is super clean, all the way from its glossy firewall and body-matched valve covers to its custom AC lines and body-matched breathers.


Toss this sedan on a lift and you'll find solid floorpans that frame modern aftermarket performance in the clean sheen of Satin Black undercoating. Behind the smooth-revving small block, a Phoenix-built 700R4 4-speed utilizes a TCI Lockup Kit to twist power through a posi-trac Moser axle that's fitted with big, 3.70 gears. Beneath that drivetrain, a completely rebuilt suspension employs a Hellwig sway bar and Eaton Detroit leaf springs behind a Fat Man independent front-clip that's fitted with manual rack-and-pinion steering. A traditional combination of disc and drum brakes provides quick, drama-free stops. Charred dinosaurs float from the aforementioned headers in to a 2.5-inch exhaust system, which positions rowdy turbo mufflers between polished, side-exit tips. Torque transitions to pavement through chrome Truespoke wheels, which spin 195/65R15 Goodyear Assurance radials in front of 255/70R15 BF Goodrich Radial T/As. And everything from the car's chrome flywheel shield and finned transmission cooler to its 19-gallon Rock Valley stainless fuel tank is solid, fully sorted and ready to cruise.


Open this Chevy's doors and you'll find 300 hours of custom enhancements that were executed by Conover, North Carolina's Statesville Custom Auto Trim. Of course, the Independence is already a very elegant ride from the factory; this particular example equipped with optional flower vases, optional robe ropes, optional side curtains, optional rear ashtrays and an optional rear foot rest. Speaking of rest, the driver and passengers rest on original, Chevrolet-branded seats, which wrap hand-sculpted foam in a sweet combination of ultrasuede and faux leather. In front of those seats, a custom, pearl-accented dash hangs integrated speakers and hardware for the car's Southern Air conditioning behind Guard Dawg pushbutton ignition and Haneline 5-in-1 telemetry. At the sides of that dash, stylish, pearl-accented door panels, constructed from 1/8th ABS boardstock, found artistic armrests behind traditional handles and cranks. Beneath those panels, Dynamat Xtreme insulation backs Wilton Wool carpet, which frames a custom embroidered floor crest, billet foot pedals and a small console that's centered on a Gennie shifter. Opposite that rug, an old school Guide Traffic Light Viewer leads the eye to a custom headliner that's fitted with a custom, power-operated shelf that houses the car's Kenwood CD player. That Bluetooth-capable, MP3-compatible head unit controls a barrage of Alpine and Infinity audio components. Everything, from the Haneline cluster to the relocated vases, is bathed in custom green accent lighting. The car stays safe thanks to a Guard Dawg tracker system. And the driver stays engaged thanks to a 2-tone Colorado Custom steering wheel that laps a tilting Flaming River column.


An album of build photos
Build receipts
Component literature
A copy of the car's StreetScene feature
A small showboard

A lot of street rods claim to be the total package, but this '31 Chevy actually backs that talk up. The stout 350 has surprisingly good manners and, paired with the car's smooth-shifting automatic and accessory-heavy interior, serves as the basis for one of the most comfortable hot rods we've seen. Buy it for the bowtie... Buy it for the build... Whatever you do, just make sure to buy it quickly because quality customs like this don't have a habit of sticking around.

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