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1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible Barn Find

Purchased by the second owner in 1954, this Chevrolet was driven until 1980 at which time the engine was rebuilt. Placed in storage around 1980, it has only been recent that this Chevrolet has come out to see the sunlight once again. Very complete, and relatively solid, this Chevy is currently bid up to $7,600! Check it out here on eBay out of Mira Loma, California. Thanks to Ikey for sharing this sweet drop top!

Thought to have been rebuilt around 1980, the 216 inline 6 engine is renowned for its reliability, so hopefully this engine still holds some life after long term storage. There is a fair amount of surface rust on the engine and it’s accessories, and there does not appear to be any rot in the engine bay. Not currently running, I am sure the drive-train, as well as the fuel and brake system will need assistance to get this Chevrolet rolling again.

Minus some surface rust on the dash, the interior is very nice and has stood up to the test of time. The dash could be gently cleaned and polished to improve its appearance. The exact mileage of this Chevrolet is not listed, but based on the interiors appearance; I would feel inclined to believe this is a lower mileage machine.

Despite the surface rust, there is still a lot of remaining paint on this Chevrolet. Repainted once in its lifetime, this Chevy isn’t as rough as it seems. There is some rot to contend with, but nothing severe. The spare tire well is rotted, and there is some rot along the rear apron of the car near the license plate. Despite the weathered appearance, the convertible top has held up remarkably well. Again, I think a good cleaning and polishing would reveal a finely aged jewel that could become a fair weather driver. The question is, would you restore or preserve this Chevrolet Deluxe convertible?


  1. Avatar photo Maestro1

    One of my earliest purchases was a 1950 Chevrolet Convertible. I love these cars, very sentimental about them so if I had the room I’d buy it.

    Like 11
  2. Avatar photo j liu

    Extremely original and a lube sticker attests to potentially low miles. She needs to be fully restored to her original condition. I love this era of Chevrolets, just handsome, honest cars. What a gem.

    Like 12
  3. Avatar photo Eric G

    Getting running. Road worthy. DRIVE HER

    Like 10
  4. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    First of all I hope that the hood and deck lid are just filthy and that isn’t surface rust. If it’s rust, then there’s little choice but to sand it all down and give it a respray. I might add that when my ’49 came out of the shed after its long slumber it looked this bad, but a good wash and detailing made it into a completely different car. Maybe this one will shine through too. These were good cars, some of the best that Chevy made. A lot of people trash the old babbit-pounder but Chevy ran it for many years, and the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” rings true. I saw a lot of those engines put through some hard use in big trucks and the problems were few…

    Like 12
  5. Avatar photo Mountainwoodie

    Up to 13 grand and climbing! I think there’s a lot more rust and work than even the esteemed Geomechs sees. But then I am ocd about decrepit metallurgy.
    Nevertheless, another car I would have no problem paying for in its present state..as long as I had another 25 grand for the down the road work to come..
    Gonna be sweet when restored and judging by the bidding others think likewise.

    Like 6
  6. Avatar photo Will Fox

    Uh, it’ll take a bit more than ‘gentle cleaning & polishing’ on that tired metal to look anything even close to original. This will need to be taken down to the metal, and put on a rotisserie to do a complete frame off. I wouldn’t settle for anything less. It appears solid, and Im sure the spare tire well rot can be fixed. While the west-coaster would love to make a low-rider out of this, I can only hope someone sane buys it, and give it the TLC it deserves. `49-`52 Chevy cvts. like this do NOT fall out of trees these days.

    Like 10
  7. Avatar photo jw454

    Restore it, paint it yellow, and you could pretend you’re Steve McQueen in his 1980 film “The Hunter”. I like the ’49~’52 Chevies.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo geomechs Member

      Yeah, JW, great minds think alike (and simple ones seldom differ). I was thinking the same thing. Turning this into a clone of McQueen’s convertible. I always liked that car and wanted one just like it…

      Like 5
  8. Avatar photo James Somonds

    This car should be restored. These are great cars. I had a 50 2door deluxe. Fastback, or what we called torpedo back. If this car is NOT restored, I would either replace the 216, with a 235. Or if you want to build a really fast car, go to a crate v8. I still think the best would be a total re-store. A great car..

    Like 6
  9. Avatar photo jack

    By the looks of the quarter panels, could it be 1952?

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Duaney

    The apparent rust looks like a Wisconsin or Minnesota car, or stored next to the Pacific Ocean salt air. Terrible storage for such a neat car.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo r s

      That was my thought. This unfortunate car was very badly stored.

      Like 0
  11. Avatar photo JP

    When I was growing up my dad had a few ’49 – ’52 Chevys & they were great cars.Hopefully whoever buys this one will professionally restore it back to original & not ruin it!

    Like 3
  12. Avatar photo charlie Member

    Restore as is. You are not going to want to drive this at 75 mph on the freeways anyway. The green of those years was a great color. Around town, or on the “blue” highways, top down, a great ride.

    Like 4
  13. Avatar photo moosie

    Just 1 question, what are rear fender chromed mohawks? Could be a very nice car if it’s properly restored.

    Like 1
  14. Avatar photo Tort Member

    moosie, they are the stainless on top of the rear fenders that apparently resemble a mohawk haircut. I believe they were a one year thing fortunately. Always like those years of Chevys and remember well when a schoolmate had a 52 Chevy red convertible with “lil pierre” nicely done on the rear of each quarter panel.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo moosie

      Thank you very much

      Like 1
  15. Avatar photo Steve S

    If the car has low miles didn’t anybody read that the second owner bought the car in 1954 and drove it from the time they bought it in 1954 until 1980 and then had the engine rebuilt and then put it into storage

    Like 3
  16. Avatar photo Franko

    To restore this car would take away what time has done for it. Clean it up make it mechanically sound, once it is restored you can’t go back.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo moosie

      I agree with you pretty much except for the last statement, just park it in a damp barn for 25 , 30 years with pigeons , chickens ETC & you’ll have the same car all over again.

      Like 1
  17. Avatar photo moosie

    The reason for storage was because of failure to maintain proper oil pressure. Reading comprehension people !

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo geomechs Member

      Improper oil pressure? On a 216? I’m curious; 8-15 psi hot is lots. Was this lower than that?

      Like 0
  18. Avatar photo MarkP

    A closer look at front plate indicates ‘WASH 63’. Looks like it spent sometime in Washington state prior to storage.

    Like 0
  19. Avatar photo twistednipple

    geemany Christmas people , does everything have to be “restored “ to be enjoyed ? Just go thru the mechanicals, put some new rubber on it, some soap and water and a pressure cleaner if you must and then drive the darn thing. No worries about getting caught in the rain or a door ding at the grocery store parking lot. Take it to cars and coffee, park next to a pretty one and guess which car the people will enjoy looking at more. If you need to “get your polish on “ then look in your driveway, your daily driver needs attention…. it’s filthy.

    Like 6
  20. Avatar photo Bob

    My grandfather and a 51 hardtop when I was a kid looking at the pictures of the dashboard brings back a lot of memories for me. I would rebuild the engine and drive it as is. They’re only original once.

    Like 2

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