A Modified 1950 Chevrolet Fleetline

New post war design Chevrolets were a bit late out of the starting gate after World War Two. General Motors came out with new designs for all their brands by 1948 with the exception of Pontiac and Chevrolet.

1950 Chevy Street Rod
1950 Chevy Street Rod

The Chevrolet Fleetline saw it’s debut in late 1941 just months before the Pearl Harbor attack. When civilian automobile production was halted in February 1942 the Fleetline was put on hiatus until 1947. When 1942 production was halted a little over 100,000 Fleetlines were built.

The 1950 Chevrolet Fleetline street rod featured in this article represented the second year after the new Chevy designs hit the streets. Chevrolet’s entire line up was redesigned for 1949. The Fleetline’s were sub-series under Chevy’s Special and Deluxe models and prior to 1949 were sub-series cars to the Chevy Fleetmaster.

Fleetline Deluxe and Super Models

During the 1949 to 1952 Chevy series the Deluxe model was Chevrolet’s upper end car. The least expensive deluxe was the Styline models selling for about $1,500 to $1,700. Deluxe models were offered in both the Fleetline and Styline series. The Deluxe models offered a Powerglide transmission as an option. Powerglide was a pretty big thing at the time since it meant no shifting and offered in lower priced autos. Special models sold for about. $1,400

The 1950 Chevrolet Fleetline Design

To be sure, the series of Chevys that were produced beginning for the 1949 model year were radically different and quite modern compared to the pre war models. Harley Earl, GM designer, initiated some basic changes. Characteristics of the 1950 Chevy Fleetline would include pontoon fenders and full width bodies. These cars are one of the best representatives of Americana you’ll find and for the years 1949 to 1951 were built in both two door and four door models. The four door version was last built in 1951.

1950 Chevy Fleetline
1950 Chevy Fleetline

The 1950 Chevrolet Fleetline is among the last of the “torpedo” Chevrolets’s with the fastback design which was very popular.

Some people see a real similarity to the Bentley R-Type Continental when you view the rear three-quarters of this vehicle. There is no doubt a big likeness in the pontoon fender rear quarter of the Chevy as well as the sloping of the trunk down to the lid. From the front door forward the similarity is non existent but very much so in the 1950 Chevy’s three quarters back section.

For 1951 the design changed very little. Probably the biggest change was in the dashboard

1950 Chevrolet Fleetline Specifications

This particular modified 1950 Chevy comes with a powerful 350 cubic inch Chevrolet engine. The original 1950 Chevy Fleetline was built with a 216 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine. This engine delivered 90 horsepower. There was also an option from 1950 through 1952 of a 235 cubic inch inline six delivering 105 horsepower with a Powerglide transmission.

1950 Chevy Street Rod 350 Chevy engine
1950 Chevy Street Rod 350 Chevy engine

The car’s wheelbase was 115.0 inches and it’s overall length was 197.5 inches. The vehicle’s width was just a hair under 74 inches.

Front suspension were coil springs with rear suspension being semi-elliptical springs with independent axle.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Total Chevrolet Fleetline production for the 1950 model year was  a  bit over 380,000 vehicles. Out of this total 314,000 were Deluxe models and 64,000 Special models. The largest seller was the two door Deluxe similar to the car featured here.

Chevrolet as a whole saw a record sales year in 1950.

Compare the 1950 Chevy Fleetline to the car’s on our articles below…

1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark Convertible

1951 Studebaker Commander Convertible

Also, see our article on Classic and Antique Serial Numbers

The 1950 Chevrolet  Fleetline Collector’s Car

As you can see from the photos in this article, the 1950 Chevy Fleetline makes a Street Rod. Install a big engine like the 350 cubic inch Chevy, a beautiful paint job and the car’s low riding look and you’ve got yourself a head turner.

1950 Chevrolet Street rod
1950 Chevrolet Street rod

As unmodified collector cars, the 1950 Chevy Fleetline, while popular, hasn’t been the price appreciator over the years you might expect. For collectors, the plus side is that you may have the opportunity to add one of these 1950 Chevys to your collection at a relatively low price.

You might very well find asking prices for mint showroom condition restored unmodified 1950 Chevy Fleetline sedans in the $35,000 plus range. With the 1950 Chevy Fleetline originality means a lot.

As of this writing there are several not entirely restored models in the $16,000 plus range. If you’re fortunate to find a 1950 Chevy body shell without too much rust, or at least the kind of rust that can be replaced economically, you’ll see prices of a few thousand to perhaps $5,000.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)