A new shopping center opened in the Summerlin District during the depth of the recession. Some of the Village’s promotional efforts include a very attractive car exhibit. It was here this writer stumbled onto a 1938 Chevrolet Coupe which was so red it hurt our eyes, even at night. The car is a product of Patrick and Mary Knight of the Sunrise Mountain area, across the Las Vegas Valley. This is their story.  

1938 – ‘a very good  year’

The business like engine compartment of the ’38 now contains a small block Chevrolet power plant with fully functional amenities--heater, defroster, vintage air conditioner and custom aluminum radiator which keeps the motor cool, even in Las Vegas.

Yes, 1938, Chevrolet produced the last of their freestyle autos, prior to the switch to all out World War II efforts. The ’38 ‘bowtie’ coupe took its place along with the ‘blue oval’ 1932 Ford coupe as two of the best-selling ‘iconic’ coupes of the twentieth century.

Pat and Mary obtained this nearly unused classic car in their hometown of Las Vegas, several years ago. Since that time, Pat said he had ‘plenty of elbow grease’ in the restoration of the coupe to its present streetable condition.

Indeed the Chevrolet mill is a ZZ4 350 cubic inch ‘crate’ motor, brand new from General Motors. You Tube states the following: “ZZ4 350 (24502609) -- The original high-performance 350 Chevy crate engine. Using L-98 Corvette aluminum heads and a cast-iron 4-bolt block, this small-block Chevy delivers 355 horsepower on pump gasoline.” 

It is coupled to a T-350 Turbo Hydro three speed automatic transmission. Fuel is fed to the engine through a Demon 650 cfm carb which is fired by a vacuum advance type original ignition. From the transmission, power is directed to the street through a ’67 Camaro 10 bolt rear axle, which has performed flawlessly. To obtain superior ride and handling, the suspension is a Heidts IFS with Alden coil over shocks and rack & pinion steering.