19-20 January 2017

Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection

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Lot 178

1931 Chevrolet Independence Canopy Express

  • Engine no. K4877629
  • Identification no. 2BB0337050

Sold for $35,200

Series AE. 50 hp, 194 cu. in. OHV inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel internal expanding mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 107 in.

  • Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection
  • A rare and desirable commercial body style, in fine condition
  • Formerly of the famous Ron Pratte Collection
  • Features a full complement of faux produce

Chevrolet’s attractively styled, modern AE Independence series of 1931 was available as both a passenger car and with light commercial bodies in a wide variety of configurations, suiting almost any possible need and purpose.

Among the available body styles was the Canopy Express, which featured a 72-inch long by 45-inch wide, pickup truck-like bed and a fixed frame-like roof with open sides, which could be covered by scroll curtains tucked under the roof. The Canopy Express allowed an owner to drive his truck up to the market, pull up the curtains, and vend his wares—usually produce—directly from the back of the truck, without unloading. It was therefore an economical and attractive choice for small farms.

The example offered here received a high-quality restoration in former ownership, in which its bodywork was refinished in an elegant red-orange, with green synthetic leather upholstery to the driver’s compartment. The wheels are finished in black with blackwall tires, a wonderful utilitarian touch. The dashboard and gauges seem to be original, and the underbody and under the hood show driving use and enjoyment, while the finish of the body is holding up quite well. Completing the “Quality Produce Co.” livery, the bed is fully stocked with an attractive variety of high-quality faux fruits and vegetables, encompassing everything from peaches to peppers, packed into wooden crates and suspended from strings. The offering is very convincing and attractive, and it truly completes the presentation of this unique truck.

Mr. Mohrschladt acquired the “huckster,” as this style is known to enthusiasts, from Ron Pratte’s renowned Arizona collection, known for the depth and quality of its offerings. It has remained a favorite of visitors to his own collection, as it wonderfully evokes a bygone time and age. One can imagine the possibilities of it as an advertising vehicle for one’s business, as a conversation piece, or as the centerpiece serving station of one’s next garden party.


Please note that this truck is equipped with a 1935-specification engine.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more