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1934 Grille Verticals

For many years we have heard rumors about the 1934 Chevrolet Master Car Grille. Some have said they came with alternate chrome and black vertical grille bars. Others say they did not. A large piece to this debate was seen at the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America 2016 Convention in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Here, we saw two 1934 Chevy Masters with this grille paint design being judged.

One owner said without a doubt his is correct. His 40 years as an early Chevrolet car enthusiast made him very sure he restored his 1934 grille correctly. He had seen it in various 1934 brochures and it had to be correct.

The attached photos show the two chrome and black 1934 grilles on Chevy Masters in the judging row at the Lake Tahoe Convention.

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1934 Master Sedan – Red Body

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1934 Master Roadster – Blue Body

Editor’s note: One of the 1934 owners describes the process to get the alternate vertical bar appearance in his restoration. A very skilled auto painter gave the total grille a coat of semi-flat black. Then very skillfully wiped every other vertical bar to expose the chrome. A solvent such as lacquer thinner is used. No mistakes allowed or the painting must be started again. What a nice appearance that was not expensive for GM and might have helped sales during the height of the Great Depression! Or did these restorers get their proof on this grille painting from drawings in sales brochures? Therefore, in reality did this alternate grille bar painting actually come on Chevy Masters cars on the assembly line?


As this article section is actually meant to be about GM trucks, the big question is: If the alternate painting actually existed, was it also on trucks?

In early 1934 only two sizes of Chevrolet trucks were marketed, the ½ and 1 ½ ton size. The larger 1 ½ ton had all black grilles. The only debate may be on the ½ ton pickup. We stand by our opinion that GM never took the extra step to create alternative vertical grille bars on trucks. They were made for work and appearance details were secondary. The manufacturers would not add extra expense to a work truck while they were attempting to get the lowest price to encourage sales. The economic future of the US was the major concern to General Motors during the Great Depression. Keeping their dealer network in business was a must. The lowest price to make a sale was the goal.


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