Owner: Chris & Donna Geiger
Where do you live?
Vehicle: 1938 Master Deluxe
5-Window Business Coupe
How long have you owned this vehicle? 26 Years
Where did you get this Vehicle? Columbus, OH
What is the story behind the vehicle? I sold a 34 Ford street rod and wanted to move up to a larger, better car. I looked for over a year to find either a 37 or 38 Chevy coupe. In 1996, I drove with a friend to Columbus Ohio to the National Street Rod Association show to look for a car. I had $25,000 cash on me and scoured the fields until I saw this 38 coupe with a for sale sign. After a test drive and some negotiations, I was on the road driving the 38 back to New York.
The owner of the car had no intentions of selling it when he drove it to the show but while there, heard a car he wanted had just come up for sale. He wrote up a makeshift for sale sign and was a bit taken aback when I pulled out a roll of 100’s. He was more than happy to use some of that money for a rental car to return home in. I spoke to him a few months later and he regretted selling the 38, seems the car he bought rode horribly.
What condition was it in when you got it? The car had been turned into a street rod back in the 80’s and then sold to the person I bought it from. The second owner added air conditioning, a new interior and basically finished what was started in the 80’s. The car presented well but the paint had some issues that I planned on correcting while enjoying the car. That time was pushed up when while sitting at a traffic light, the car in front of me backed up and took out my grill and right front fender.
What kind of work have you done to this vehicle? Within the first few months of ownership, the 38 was in the body shop being stripped, sand blasted, straightened and all previous repairs redone properly. I located 2 NOS front fenders and after a long search, a grill suitable for rechroming. I had the frost white upgraded to a pale yellow pearl coat that literally glows in the sun. A new set of Billet Specialties wheels and Goodrich tires completed the exterior. After a few years I decided it was time to upgrade the drive train so I pulled out the tired 327 and had a 350 roller motor built to 400 hp specs. The turbo 350 trans was replaced with a Gear Star 200R4 overdrive transmission backed by a 10 bolt posi rear with 3:70 gears.
What was the hardest part to find? The hardest part to find was an original grill in good enough condition to rechrome. After looking for months, I found a nice looking grill at the Carlisle swap meet but it was not perfect so I decided to have to redone. After the accident, I decided to buy as many 38 grills as I could find, I now have a backup of 4 grills!
What other vehicles do you own? I own a 1968 Corvette that I bought in 1974 and a 1932 Chevy 5 window coupe that was the VCCA best of era winner in 2016. The 32 was restored by my father and I became the caretaker of it after he passed.
Do you have any other projects that you are currently working on or plan to start soon? At this point I am busy just maintaining all three cars, each one has a list of things to do that keeps me busy whenever I have free time. I have been looking for a 1965 Chevelle SS 4 speed for quite some time but have not found the right one yet. My first car was a 65 SS and I would love to have another one sitting in the garage.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about starting a restoration?
As Director of the Long Island Region of the VCCA, people call me from time to time asking advice about restoring compared to purchasing a completed car. My advice to them is before getting into a project, check out the price of a fully restored car. Many people have no idea what a restoration costs until they have $100,000 invested in a car worth $40,000.
Are there any interesting stories that you can share with us about your experiences with this vehicle?My 38 and I had a bit of a rocky start, after just 2 months of ownership, while stopped at a light the car in front of me backed up for no apparent reason and took out my grill and right front fender. While waiting for an opening in the body shop, I was working on the 38 in my garage with the engine running. All of a sudden the car started to roll out of the garage and when I tried to stop it I realized it had slipped into reverse. It would have made it cleanly thru the garage door opening except the driver’s door was open. The impact ripped the door nearly off the car as I chased it down the driveway. Luckily I could jump in it and throw it in park before hitting anything else….I literally cried !
The 38 now has well over 80,000 relatively trouble free miles and has toured all over the northeast to many National Street Rod Association show and on vacations. I can always rely on the Filling Station for the high quality parts I need on both my 32 and my 38 Chevrolets.