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Stan MacDonald’s 1935 CHEVY MASTER

Stan MacDonald’s 1935 CHEVY MASTER


HotRod Hotline is pleased to welcome author Clive Branson to the site. He has interviewed a variety of hot rod owners about their iconic vehicles and over the next few months, we will be sharing some of those interviews and photos with all of you. Enjoy!

If it weren’t for labour disputes in 1935, Chevrolet may have exceeded Ford’s omnipotence in sales with what was considered in the American auto industry as “the most finely balanced low-priced car ever built.” I am talking about the 1935 Chevrolet Master. With the Depression still lingering, Americans were hesitant to spend too much on anything, including a family car, but at $485, the ’35 Master was an incentive that few could deny. In fact, it was one of Chevrolet’s most successful models accounting for 37 percent of the Chevys sold that year. The four-door Master De Luxe was even more successful. Replacing the more expensive and larger 1933 Chevrolet Eagle, the two-door Master Standard was compact and trim thanks to a rounder cast, incorporating GM’s all-steel “turret top” for better headroom and stability. Both the Chevrolet Master Standard and De Luxe spearheaded Chevrolet’s production line till 1940.

Where and when did you purchase this car?
I bought the car in Montreal in 2003.

Why this particular car?
I wanted a street rod and this one was a rare 3-window Master Coupe. I had a ‘56 T-Bird for sale and a gentleman at a car show, who owned the ’35 Master, wanted my car so a deal was made in a swop that left both of us happy.         

What condition was it in when you purchased it?   
It was an excellent shape and no rust.

What engine was in the car when you purchased it? Have you replaced it since?Complete replacement with LS engine 6 liter, 4L 60 transmission. The computer was sent to Detroit for set-up.           

How does it drive?
Drives like a new car.

Who was involved in the restoration of your car?
Johnson Welding Works. Ottawa Ltd.
Prop: Bob Johnson/Bear Restorations, Eganville, Ontario: rear suspension, adjustable 4 link, pan bar and coil overs, Ford 9 inch, also fabrication of hood sides. 
Prop: Barry Kuel/Smooth customs, Greely, Ontario: paint and bodywork. 
Prop: Scott Stanley/Uniglass Carling Ave., Ottawa, Ontario: large brakes, front suspension, engine set-up. 
Prop: George Pezoulas/Carleton Place, Ontario: carbon fiber, last prep for buffing and wax. Interior and Engine detail and cover-all upholster.
Prop: Pierre/Automobile Mecanic Gatineau, Quebec: complete interior with trunk and floor, tires and wheels.
Prop: Hugo Caumartin and Stephane/Midas muffler, Ottawa, Ontario.
Prop: Ron Demers: complete exhaust custom with tips in the center of the back.
And most importantly, my wife Denise, for all the support and understanding. Without her, this would never have happened.      

What is the hardest part to maintain? (I.e. difficult part to acquire, nagging problems, etc.)?         
Body and Paint took the longest to restore.

Have you repainted it? Why that particular colour? Was it the original colour?  
The original colour was a black matte, so I changed it to a two-tone black body with a champagne top, but when I saw what emerged, I told the painters to re-paint it all black. It was costly since I had to pay twice, but the result is spectacular.

Has it won any prizes?
Yes, I’ve won first prize at the following shows:

2014 Sparks St. Mall Car Show
2014 Pro’s Pick in Burlington, Vermont
2001 Pro’s Pick in Lake George, New York during their 50th anniversary.

What reaction do you get from the public when driving it around?
Very positive: a chorus of thumbs up, double-takes and positive feedback.

What is the ultimate pleasure in owning such a car?
Driving it, going to car shows and displaying it to the public. Meeting like-minded fans of classic cars.

Do you own or have you restored other collectible cars? If so, what are they?
A 1965 Corvette Stingray, a 1930 Model A Ford, and a 1956 T-Bird.

What do you intend to do with this car?
Would sale if I got the right price.

Have you given your car a nickname?
On the Run.

Do you have any memorable stories about the car?
Coming back from Lake George, New York, my driver's door (suicide) unlatched at 70 mph. What a disaster! What a shock! What a mess!

How has this car changed you?
I don’t think it has changed me other than made me happy.

If you were able to have another collectible car (money being no object), which car would you wish for? Why?   
1959 Chev Biscayne 2-Doors Post. Nobody has one with a good frame and body.

What does the ‘35 Chevy Master represent to you?
I always liked Street Rods. It’s an extension of one’s personality in the pursuit of happiness and perfection. It represents fun, enjoyment, social events and a high you get without drugs. It also reflects what I have accomplished and camaraderie with the auto world and with your peers.

In your opinion, how do you see the future of classic cars? After your generation, will there still be a demand for them by collectors, restorers and enthusiasts?     
The Classic, Hot Rods and Street Rods will probably fall by the wayside. The younger generation just can't afford these cars as some are approaching over $100,000. The younger generation is going for the “tuner” cars or the “rice rockets”. For now there is still a demand from collectors, restores and enthusiasts, but in my opinion, this will unfortunately all change within the next 20 years.


Mac's Motor City Garage



About the Author: 

Clive Branson is a photography graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York City and has since divided his career as an advertising creative director/copywriter and as a freelance writer/photographer. He is the author of Focus On Close-Up and Macro Photography and numerous articles for magazines and newspapers throughout North America and Britain. Clive lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. Read more here