The 1920-1922 Chevrolet Series 490 was destined for the dustbin. Chevrolet was attempting to get back on an even keel as the Twenties began, but a serious economic depression and management shakeup intervened. GM stock fell sharply, and Pierre duPont ousted William Durant as president. Karl W. Zimmerschied took Chevy's presidency.

1920 Chevrolet Series 490 Touring
The 1920 Chevrolet 490 Touring had a carpeted interior and
a rear-seat footrest. See more pictures of Chevrolet Series cars.

During Durant's tenure, Chevrolet had relied mainly on the 490, gradually discontinuing the larger cars. For 1920, Series 490 underwent little modification, except that reverse-curve front fenders replaced the straight type, and headlights now sat directly on those fenders. Series FB also continued with little change.

Moving into 1921, Chevrolet dropped from third to fifth place in sales, losing $8.7 million. Worse yet, it finished the season with 150,000 unsold 490s. Customers evidently had come to realize that the 490 simply wasn't as tough as a Model T Ford. "Some day you'll own a Chevrolet," advised one ad, but too many shoppers ignored that fantasy, sticking with Ford or turning to other makes.

Dramatic price cuts for 1922 helped stimulate sales, which tripled, returning Chevrolet to second place. A $680 Utility Coupe with a big trunk joined the 490 line, aimed at traveling salesmen, but the long-lived 490 was about to expire, as Chevrolet had a far different idea for 1923.

1922 Chevrolet Series 490
The 1922 Chevrolet Series 490 sold far better
than the 1920 and 1921 Series 490.

1920-1922 Chevrolet Series 490 Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
1920 ­Series 490
1,820-2,160
$795-$1,285
150,226 (approx.)
1921 Series 490
1,820-2,160
$795-1,375
76,370 (approx.)
1922 Series 490
1,435-2,150
$510-$875
243,479 (approx.)

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