THE GOOD OL' DAYS
1934 Chevrolet: Larger, More Powerful, Independently Sprung
THE 1934 Chevrolet six is a larger car with a wheel-base of 112 inches instead of 110, the engine has been placed 2 inches farther forward, and body interiors are 4 inches longer. Sleekness and length have been further accentuated by carrying the fenders down further at front and rear and by running the hood almost to the windshield. The streamlined louvres enhance this impression.
The new cars are vastly improved in riding quality by the adoption of "knee-action" front springs. Conventional leaf springs and axle have been abolished in favor of a coil spring and lever arm arrangement. The wheel spindle is attached to a lever arm which runs forward to the front end of the coil spring housing, and it is the pressing of this lever arm on the coil spring which supports the weight of the car. The coil spring housing is pivoted from the kingpin and therefore the whole assembly swings as the wheel is steered. The upper end of the coil spring housing has a two-way hydraulic shock absorber built into it, and the whole interior mechanism operates in shock absorber oil. The kingpin is supported by a heavy steel cross member riveted to the frame.
With this new spring suspension it is clear that not only may the two wheels act independently but also, since the coil springs used are much softer than leaf springs, a much more comfortable ride results. Also, it should be noted that the coil springs have nothing to do but support the weight of the car, while wheels are maintained in position by the rest of the structure. Thus steering is much more solid.
Although Chevrolet cylinder dimensions have not been changed, being 3 5/16 by 4 inches, the engine develops 15 more horsepower, or 80 h.p. at 3300 r.p.m. instead of 65 at 2800. Torque between 800 and 2300 r.p.m. is 100 pounds-feet. It is understood that the new car has a maximum speed of about 80 m.p.h. although this figure is not official.
The greatly increased power is due to engine refinements, including less angle to intake and exhaust valve seats, higher compression ratio (5.45 instead of 5.2), improved intake and exhaust manifolding and push-rod and valve-rocker action. Water jets playing directly on the water side of the exhaust valve seats assist in cooling them at full load.
Full details concerning the car had not been received at time of going to press but it may be stated that other engine changes include an improved oiling system. The octane selector and downdraft carburetor are continued. The free-wheel has been discontinued. Brakes are an improved servo-action design with cable operation.
This article was originally published in the January 1934 MoToR Magazine (Trade journal for car dealers). Reproduced by permission. Visit www.motor.com