The origins of the Chevrolet Master 85 Coupé can be traced back to 1928 when Chevrolet started to switch from building four cylinder motors to six cylinder motors.
In 1933 the Master series was introduced as an above base (Standard) range of vehicles and in 1937 this series received an 85 hp 3.5 litre / 216 cui six cylinder motor from which the marketing department added the 85 to the Master Series name.
A ‘tiptoe-matic’ diaphragm spring clutch aided smooth changes between the three forward gears in the gearbox.
In 1939 the sealed Dubonnet inspired ‘Knee Action’ independent front suspension was abandoned in favour of coil springs and wishbones.
In 1940 a little known 29 year old Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio, who had started making a name for himself racing a Ford Model A, and his friends modified a Chevrolet Master 85 Coupé for the demands of a 5900 mile race from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Lima, Peru and back.
Juan managed to average 53.5 miles per hour on some of the worlds roughest roads traversing some of the worlds most isolated regions to win the race. He backed up the performance with back to back Turismo Carretera Series championship wins in 1940 and 1941 which was enough to secure backing from the Argentinian government in 1948 for a trip to Europe that would herald the arrival of the worlds first 5 time World Champion.
The copper pipe clearly seen on the wing / fender of Juan’s Master 85 above acts as an oil cooler.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘5900 miles to Fame And Fortune edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when GALPOT will feature a Ferrari 458. Don’t forget to come back now !