Fred Johnson’s 1928 Chevrolet National Tourer
Customer: Fred Johnson
Lives in: Oregon
Vehicle: 1928. Series AB Touring. 26,973 were produced. Sold at $495.
Purchased in: November, 2007.
Where did you get this vehicle? This car was purchased from Jim Schoffstoll, a member of the Columbia River Region of the VCCA.
I first saw the car at various Northwest Meets. At the Northwest Meet in 2007, I heard that Jim was looking at a 1927 Imperial Landau Sedan to purchase. I told Jim that if he wanted to sell the Touring, I might be interested in it. A couple months later, he called me and told me he had purchased the sedan and wanted to sell the touring. I have a 1928 Imperial Landau Sedan that I got from my Dad, but it needs a lot of work to be restored. I thought having another ’28 to drive in the mean time would be a lot of fun. I was right. We have taken the car to 5 Hot August Nights meets and have had a ball. Most cars there are Hot Rods, but we still have a lot of fun and attract a lot of attention.
What condition was it in when you got it? While this car is not a show car, it is a nice driver. It looks really good from a distance. It runs very well. On our first 4 cylinder tour in the Black Hills of South Dakota, it easily kept up and often passed other cars. And it starts so easy – even after letting it sit a while, I pull out the choke a little and hit the starter and it fires right up. My intent is to maintain it as is, drive it a lot, and have a bundle of fun doing it.
What kind of work have you done on this vehicle? For the most part, all I have done is maintain it. I went thru it doing a general service checking the oil, lubing the chasses, etc. I discovered a few things that were done wrong. The door handles were actually Model a Ford handles – I have replaced them with correct handles. The brake rods were installed incorrectly and I corrected that. The nuts that hold the wooden spokes of the wheels together were also wrong and, after one of the wheels came lose, I just finished correcting that.
Is there any work that you would like to do on this vehicle? The key lock on the steering column does not work and I would like to fix that. The horn was put in the wrong place and I am in the process of getting that corrected. The straps holding in the gas tank are installed incorrectly and I will soon fix that. The radiator shell is incorrect and the bumpers are wrong, and I hope to get them changed also. As I said, it is mostly just maintain it and have fun with the car.
What was the hardest part to find? It has been difficult to find decent correct bumpers. Other than that, I have not had any trouble getting what I have needed.
What other vehicles do you own? Most of our cars are Chevys. While the ’28 is currently our only driver, we have a ’22 490 Touring, a ’28 Imperial Landau Sedan, a ’32 5-Window Coupe, a ’60 Impala 2 dr Hardtop, a’63 Impala SS 2 dr Hardtop, and a ’64 El Camino. We also have a ’15 Studebaker Roadster, a ’26 Buick 4 dr Sedan, and a ’53 MGTD. We also have enough Model T parts to put together at least 5 cars.
What is your next project? Our current project is the ’63 SS. It is close to being finished. After that, who knows what will happen.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about doing a restoration project? Actually yes – if you do not have a drivable collector car, go get one of these first. It is so much fun to have a car to drive on tours, and take to events that it is well worth having one. Then your project, which is guaranteed to take longer than you thought to finish, won’t become over bearing. Having the ability to go on a tour in an old car once in a while keeps your spirit up in doing a restoration project. I wish I had done this years ago. We certainly missed out on a lot of fun.
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