Shown in this article is a very good looking full size 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Sedan.The Chevrolet Fleetmaster was introduced for the 1946 model year right after the war’s end.

48 chevy fleetmaster specifications
1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Four Door Sedan

The Fleetmaster was produced for the 1946 through 1948 model years and was Chevys top trim level at the time. The Fleetline was a sub-series to the Fleetmaster and was offered only in 2-door and 4-door ” fastback ” body styles. The Fleetmaster replaced Chevrolet’s prewar Special Deluxe.

August 14, 1945

As the war progressed there were discussions going on as early as 1944 as to when to restart civilian automobile production. Industry leaders wanted production to begin as soon as possible but the military pushed back. AS it turned out, August 14, 1945 was the day in which automakers could switch their factories and assembly lines to peacetime production. These factories stooped civilian production in early February 1942 so there was great pent up demand for new cars and trucks. During the war, Americans had been urged to save money. It’s been estimated that workers were saving over 20 percent of their earning during the war years. People were working. Unemployment went from about 14 percent prior to the war to about 1.5 percent during the war. No question but World War Two helped FDR get out of the Great Depression.

1948 chevy photosAs a side note, Automotive News reported the following…”One Chevrolet factory in Michigan, renamed the Saginaw Service Manufacturing Plant, produced for all of GM vital replacement parts needed to keep the nation’s privately owned cars and trucks running”.

Postwar Restyling

While Chevrolet civilian truck production officially began on August 20, 1945 while passenger car production resumed on October 3rd. It took American automakers however a few years to roll out new postwar designs. The emphasis was on military production during World War Two so what was produced immediately after the war were warmed over prewar styling with a few cosmetic changes. The 1947 Chevrolet’s were essentially 1942 models new with full width grilles. Chevrolet would go on and introduce their new postwar styling beginning with the 1949 model year. Chevy light trucks however would see a restyle in 1947.

The 1948 Fleetmasters

The 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster was changed very little from the previous year and the previous year model was little changes from the one before it. One difference in 1948 was that the model was given a vertical bar on it’s grille.

1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Specifications

Engine for the 1948 Fleetmaster Sedan was a 216 cubic inch Inline Six producing 83 HP. This engine was used in all three years of the Fleetmaster series, 1946-48.

Transmission was a three speed manual.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Dimensions include a wheelbase of 116.0 inches, overall length 197.7 inches, width 73.4 inches, height 66.1 inches. Curb weight 3,280 lbs.

New car price for the 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Sedan averaged about $1,400.

1948 Chevrolet passenger car production totaled 696,415 units. Out of that number there were 248,750 Fleetmaster units produced.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below…

1949 Mercury Convertible

1947 Chevrolet Thriftmaster Half Ton

Reference material for this article includes..The Hemmings Book of Postwar Chevrolets..Hemmings Motor News by Terry Ehrich and Richard A. Lentinello..Automotive News.

1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Collector Car

One fact regarding the 1948 Chevrolet’s was that they were the last of the prewar designs. The next year would usher in entirely new more modern styling.

1948 chevy carsChances are that in addition to nicely restored original 48 Chevy’s you’ll come across at car shows of some highly modified examples. many with more powerful engines, as well as lowriders.

Currently, you may see asking prices for the 1948 Fleetmaster in a range from about $18,000 to $30,000 depending on restoration, originality, and mileage. Some priced higher and some lower.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)