Pick of the Week: World’s Fair-built ’34 Chevrolet sedan

The 1934 Chevrolet sedan is a rare survivor of those built at the Chicago World’s Fair
The 1934 Chevrolet sedan is a rare survivor of those built at the Chicago World’s Fair

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.

The Chevy assembly line at the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair | General Motors
The Chevy assembly line at the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair | General Motors

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.

The vintage Chevy looks to be in primo condition
The vintage Chevy looks to be in primo condition

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.

5 thoughts on “Pick of the Week: World’s Fair-built ’34 Chevrolet sedan”

  1. Looks like an excellent piece of automotive history and one I would like to own, had I the extra money. Of course, I’m Bow Tie all the way.

  2. I think it’s a shame we don’t have a world’s fair anymore. The one in New York was one of my most fond memories. I suspect it may be for the best since there are so many terrorists able to enter this country so easily, it would probably be a prime target for one of their cowardly acts!

  3. I think that is one of THE NEATEST Stories I have ever heard ….”Indeed”…I myself have a”ALL STEEL” 1935 2 Door Chevrolet Street Rod ,It’s a Gorgeous car and NO Kidding what so ever I have wanted either a 1934-35 Chevy every since I was about 14 years young !..Now I;m in my late 50’s …!
    The Best to ya All,
    Butch W.

  4. Absolutely Fabulous! With the 1934 World’s Fair build place makes it priceless. The Beauties from the 30s are true survivors, to find and cherish . I love V8 Fords, but that Chevy is eye catching. I hope there will still be old cars, space for storage and the aging collectors keep and preserve these historic vehicles.

  5. Just read your comments. My dad was 13 yrs old in 1934. He remembers going to the worlds fair in 1934 the century of progress. One of his fondest memories was seeing the chevrolets rolling off the assembly line!

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