1927 Chevy Coupe Found inside Manasoo Shipwreck in Lake Huron
Bringing the treasure trove back to the surface could cost a fortuneby Michael Fira, on
The Manasoo, a ship that sank back in 1928, was finally found this June and it revealed something unexpected: a 1927 Chevrolet Coupe inside the steamer’s hull. While it’s one of the thousands of shipwrecks lying at the bottom of the Great Lakes, it’s surely one of the few to feature a car onboard.
The nearly-intact wreckage of the ship was found this summer below Lake Huron in Canada and, beyond the unexpectedly good condition of the vessel itself, it also nestled a vintage car that survived through the disaster and was found practically undamaged.
The 90-year-old Chevrolet was found inside the belly of the Manasoo
Imagine finding the shipwreck of a steamer that last set sail back in 1928. Granted, it’s been said time and again that the world’s ocean floor is littered with as many as 3,000,000 shipwrecks and that maybe 2% of these have been found and investigated, so finding one isn’t a miracle. What’s more interesting is when the ship you run into is in amazing shape and, moreover, hides a Chevrolet in its cargo that somehow remained intact after all these years.
That’s exactly the story of the Manasoo.
The ship sank on September 15th, 1928 after midnight on Lake Huron, its final resting place being some 200 feet below the Georgian Bay north of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.
The ship started taking on water during a storm that night and never reached the shore, costing the lives of 16 people as well as over 100 cattle on board.
Donald Wallace, the owner of the car that was found below deck, was the only passenger to survive the incident along with three sailors and the Manasoo’s captain. His car, a 1927 Chevrolet AA Capitol 2-door Coupe is an unusual find when it comes to items discovered on shipwrecks.
The Capitol debuted in 1927, the year when Ford switched from the Model T to the Model A which is why Chevy outsold Ford. At the time, the AA Capitol - which was based on the A platform - was touted as being "The Most Beautiful Chevrolet Ever" although it looked similar to the Series V and Series K models of previous years. A total of eight body styles were available for the Capitol in 1927 which helped Chevy sell over 650,000 of them. A popular engine choice was the 2.8-liter straight-4 engine although all engines were fitted for the first time with oil and air filters. A 3-speed transmission was the standard option.
As for the Manasoo, maritime historian of the Great Lakes area, Chris Kohl, talks about the bad luck that hides behind changing a boat's name.
The Manasoo, built back in 1888 in Scotland, was originally known as S.S. Macassa and was used to take tourists between Toronto and Hamilton on Lake Ontario for almost four decades. Then, in 1928, it was bought by Owen Sound Transportation Company and put to work on the Manitoulin Island - Sault Ste. Marie route. However, it never made it through its first year in the hands of the new owner.
“There’s a superstition among sailors that you don’t rename a ship because it will bring bad luck and sure enough it brought bad luck,” said Kohl quoted by MSN. Whether bad luck was involved or not, it’s been determined that the 178-foot-long ship sank after it started filling up with water at the stern.
The question that’s rising now centers around that mussle-covered Chevy. Should it be brought back to the surface and put in a museum? Or should it be left alone as an integral part of the Manasoo which it has been for the past 90 years?