The purpose of this Blog

This blog is to detail my 43 years (1973 - 2016) with a 1928 Chevrolet tourer, affectionately called "The Red Chev".

The acquisition, restoration, improvements and my experiences over the years are covered in as much detail as I can remember.

Some of the later postings include car club outings and other vintage car items that I hope will be of interest to people.

If you have the time, scroll back to where it all began in 1973 and follow the journey so far.

Thanks for dropping by.

Regards Ray Dean


See my new section "The Red Chev - Repairs, Improvements, Maintenance and Technical Details" located on the left hand side of the screen.




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Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Forgotten Chevy - 1928 Chev National AB Coach

The incredible journey of a 1928 Chevrolet National AB Coach, purchased new, parked in a garage and not driven again until 1993, some 65 years later.

During the 39 years that I have been a fan of Chev 4's, there have been a lot of great cars and great stories, but the story of "The Forgotten Chevy" is one of just a few that have all the ingredients to capture the imagination of any serious car enthusiast.

A great 1928 Chevrolet National AB Coach.

and

A story with a history to support the car.

So, after having this site on my favourites list for some time, I read it again and decided it justifies a separate posting highlighting, the car, its history, and Art the current owner who is preserving the 28 for future generations.

After contacting Art, I have been given his permission to present  "The Forgotten Chevy" as part of my blog using details from his site.

Enjoy

Ray




The following is from The Forgotten Chevy

You can contact the proud owner Art at artp@cbs-inc.com

The Story so far:

Few stories in automobile history can match the events of this restored 1928 Chevrolet. Purchased new on April 28, 1928 it was parked in the owner’s garage with 12 miles on the odometer, never to be driven again until 1993-65 years later. In 2000, 72 years later, it was sold to its final purchaser with 18 original miles.

The 1928 Chevrolet was a milestone event in the history of Chevrolet products, and became the first car to outsell Ford’s Model T. It paved the way for the historical competition between Chevrolet and Ford for the hearts, minds and wallets of American automobile drivers.

All of the information contained herein was obtained from documents and statements of people who had a role in the ownership, sale, or preservation of this vehicle, and are true and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time written.


Chevy Logo
 
 








 

 
The vehicle had 12 miles when parked by Nolan Six in the family garage after being picked up at Downtown Chevrolet.
 
 Nolan Six, the husband of Helen Six (registered owner of the 1928 Chevrolet), was described as an eccentric inventor, who drove the car home, raised it off the ground on blocks, removed the tires, drained all fuel from the gas tank and water from the radiator. Periodically he would rotate the engine with a hand crank to keep the oil circulating in the engine.
Copy of Original Letter from Nolan Six’s Cousins-April 9, 1994


Handwritten Letter


Letter Typed

Helen and Nolan Six

Helen and Nolan Six
(date unknown)


 Helen Six disposed of the car to a family attorney (identity and sale price unknown), but she may have given the car in trade for legal services on her husband’s estate. The attorney apparently did nothing with the car during 2 years of ownership. Eventually, in 1974, it was sold to a Mr. Omalia, the owner of a local fireplace store in Indianapolis. The store is still run by Mr. Omalia’s wife and sons.

1 Repaired or replaced with original 1928 Chevrolet parts.
 
Mr. McElfresh and Mr. Badger located a 1928 Chevrolet that had been converted into a “street rod” by its owner in Tacoma, Washington, and had all of the original 1928 Chevy factory parts. He shipped these parts to Mr. McElfresh and Mr. Badger to be used to restore the vehicle to its original state.

Messrs. McElfresh and Badger sold the vehicle to Jim McMullen in 1997, and the vehicle had approximately 15 original miles at that time. Mr. McMullen sold the vehicle to Ken McGee, an automotive book store owner and car dealer in Ontario, Canada. On August 10, 2000 he sold it to Willard Brunkow of Nelson, Wisconsin with 18 miles on it.

Ownership Genealogy

Newspaper Clippings





22nd September 2012
Good afternoon Mr. Przybyl,

I received your envelope today in the mail. Thank you very much for sharing the information regarding the Chevy.

I am planning to write a summary of my knowledge and experience with Mr. Six to share with you. However, it will take a few weeks as I want to do it right. I plan to do a little preliminary research in order to be able to answer the questions that you posed concerning Mr. Six and the car.

I enjoyed our telephone conversation of last Thursday. As I noted in our conversation, your research of the "Forgotten Chevrolet" really solved my curiosity of "what happened to Mr. Six's Chevrolet".

Below is a copy of an email that I sent last Wednesday to several family members and friends who had heard my story many times over the past 45 years about the 1928 Chevrolet with 12 miles on the odometer. It was always the one that "got away".

-------------------------

You may recall me talking about a 1928 Chevrolet that had only 12 miles on the odometer when I saw it in a carriage house back in 1965-1966 when I was out seeking an antique car to purchase.
The Chevrolet belonged to a man who was first an acquaintance and who subsequently became a friend. His name was Nolan J. Six. Mr. Six lived in a house facing White River that was located on 2130 E. 75th Street just west of Keystone in Indianapolis.
The Chevrolet was sitting in the southeast corner of the carriage house behind a 1923 Model T Ford, which was sitting behind a 1939 Nash. Sometimes when I visited Mr. Six, he and I used to take trips to the grocery store in the Nash.
Unfortunately, I was never able to buy any of the cars. Mr. Six always said that the cars were to go to his nephew and unfortunately I had to respect his wishes.

After about a year of trying to buy one of the cars he told me that he had a couple of motorcycles. A 1908 Indian, single, battery ignition, and a 1912Harley-Davidson, single, battery ignition.
The Harley-Davidson was not put together. It was a pile of parts. He had wrecked the Harley-Davidson in a run in with a new just off the assembly line "Cole" automobile at the intersection of E. Washington Street and S. College Avenuein Indianapolis by the Cole factory.
Over a period of about six (6) months of weekly visits he gave me the parts to put the Harley-Davidson back together. Each time I visited, he would give me another part and tell me exactly where the part went and what each nut and bolt was for.

Mr. Six was the original owner of both cycles and I became the second owner. When I purchased the cycles, Mr. Six only asked that I not sell them and make a profit. I promised that I would honor his request.
I have kept that promise and still have the cycles in unrestored and running condition. All of you have seen the cycles at some time during the past several years.

Back to the car....for years, I have often wondered what happened to that 1928 Chevrolet automobile with 12 miles registered on the odometer. Today, I found the website www.theforgottenchevy.com quite by accident while doing a Google search for Nolan Six of Indianapolis.
Take a look and you too will find out the story of Nolan Six and the 1928 Chevrolet.

My curiosity is now satisfied. (Mr. Six's grand-nephew does have the 1923 Model T Ford.)

Thanks to all those people who were responsible for preserving Mr. Six's Chevrolet.

------------------------

Sincerely,

Les Gordon II



Based on the above additional information is now known about Nolan Six:

  • The current address where he lived and stored the Chevy #
  • He was a motorcycle rider
  • He owned several old cars that he passed on to family members.
  • Mr. Gordon got to intimately know Mr. Six during his weekly visits over an extended period of time, and derived much information about The Forgotten Chevy, which confirms previously reported information, but which also adds new information.

 Mr. Gordon’s information will be included in a revision to the detailed report on The Forgotten Chevy, and the website.


#  Over time the house address has changed, and does not agree with the original vehicle documents for Nolan or
Helen Six.

All Documents are Scans of the Originals

Upon Mr. Brunkow’s death in February 2008 possession of the Chevy transferred to his daughter. Her husband undertook a year long search of its history. He contacted previously living owners or their surviving family members, and was aided by original documents that remained with the Chevy when purchased by Willard Brunkow to identify and locate those who played a part in this car’s history. Following are a few of the original documents relating to this vehicle

Indiana Motor Vehicle Title [Front]

Title Front

Indiana Motor Vehicle Title [Back]
 

Title Back
 
 
Nolan Six Indianapolis Drivers License [Front]
 

Drivers License Front

Nolan Six Indianapolis Drivers License [Back]
 

Drivers License Back

Indiana Drivers License Envelope for Carrying License
 

Drivers License Envelope

There are many other documents relating to this vehicle that are not included in this summary, but are shown in the full report on the vehicle.

Acknowledgements

 
The history of this vehicle would not have been possible without the contributions of many people. Each of the living owners , or their surviving family members, provided information and details that proved to be invaluable and should not be overlooked. Detailed profiles on each are contained in the full report on this vehicle, and includes:

Mrs. Terry McElfresh, whose husband co-owned & worked with Harold Badger on the car’s final restoration.

Mrs. Helen Omalia: Her husband was the first owner to attempt serious restoration of the vehicle after acquiring it from the Six family. Her contributions were invaluable in tracing the original ownership.

Mr. Jim McMullen, for providing information on the car’s previous ownership.
It is also necessary to give special thanks to one individual whose contributions went above and beyond the call of duty, and continually provided extensive information.

Our Special Thanks To

Mr. Harold Badger: As one of the co-owners, with Terry McElfresh, responsible for final restoration of the vehicle Mr. Badger provided many original documents and historical leads:
  • An original newspaper (new condition) of the Indianapolis News dated 1994 describing the vehicle.
  • Photos of the vehicle during its restoration.
  • Photos of the McElfresh and Omailia families with the vehicle.
  • Leads and information on prior ownership as well as documentation regarding the vehicle.
  • Hand written letters describing events in the vehicle’s history.
Mr. Badger retained some of the original items removed from the Chevy during restoration, such as the oil, upholstery from one of the seats, and has pictures of the vehicle during restoration.

From The Author:

The 1928 Chevrolet was a milestone in automotive history, and this vehicle represents a small glimpse into that history. As such it represents more than an antique vehicle. From a purely collector value standpoint the 1928 Chevrolet is neither the most valued or desirable in comparison to Cords, Auburns and Duesenbergs of this era. However, from the view of mass transportation the 1928 Chevrolet was an automotive icon. At a cost of $585 it provided affordable transportation, and was the foundation for future cars.

Many people do not know that it was lengthened by 6 inches over the 1927 model to make way for the new 6 cylinder engine that was soon to be introduced. It was also the first year that Chevrolet outsold Ford with over 1 million vehicles sold.

Considering the depression of 1932 when vehicles were often sold to raise money, it is beyond comprehension as to why this one vehicle was not driven or sold. The fact that it survived largely intact over several owners with all original owner documents is also amazing. Few cars of any type or variety have a history comparable to this vehicle.

It is a privilege to own this vehicle, but it is also a sacred trust to ensure that it is preserved for future generations.

There are many other 1928 Chevrolet's in existence. There are many low mileage 1928 Chevrolet's in existence. There are many fully restored 1928 Chevrolet's that are better than the original. But there are none to our knowledge with this degree of originality, low mileage and documentation of this vehicle. This alone makes it unique in the annals of antique car collecting, and gives this Chevrolet a value that is beyond estimation.

It has been a truly interesting and joyful experience to have performed the research on this vehicle to determine its history of ownership.

Accessories


The tool kit below was acquired on January 15, 2012. The tools and contents are currently being vetted to determine if they are an "original" tool kit for a 1928 Chevrolet National AB Coach.




Description from Ebay Merchant.

For your consideration is a vintage General Motors tool kit.

This kit includes:
1 x ignition wrench with feeler gauge (for delco)
1 x adjustable 9" wrench
1 x 10-1/2" hammer (marked Vlchek)
1 x pair of 6-1/2" pliers (made in USA Vlchek)
1 x open end wrench labeled "drop forged" and "made in USA" that is 1/2" x 9/16"
1 x open end wrench labeled "drop forged" that is 11/16 x 19/32
1 x hub nut wrench 1-7/8 x 1-1/16 x 15/16
1 x sparkplug socket 13/16" (fits into hub wrench)
1 x socket 7/8" (fits into hub wrench)
1 x 7-3/4" flat screwdriver
1 x Schrader tire pressure gauge and original leather case
1 x alemite grease gun
1 x copper/brass grease gun
1 x 3 5/8" gem oil can
1 x Mazda headlamp case
1 x canvas and leather tool pouch.
 






1 comment:

  1. Great write up of a lovely story once again Ray....

    ReplyDelete