Bagged Barn Find: 1953 Chevrolet 210

Who says hot-rodding is dead?  This slammed Chevy should warm the heart of any enthusiast with a pulse. The 1953 Chevrolet 210 in Franklin, Kentucky rides on air bags, perfect for the tail-dragger look or raise it up for normal driving. With some long road-trips under its belt, this 210 needs nothing except a new owner. Check the fluids, grab a package of Hydrox, and hit the gas. Over 35 bids here on eBay have lifted the market value of this nifty two-door above $6800.

Sure; you could call this a Rat Rod, but I wouldn’t. A unique vehicle engineered and built from a collection of available parts pretty much defines “hot rod,” and the engineering is done on this one, eliminating a ton of question marks. Want to know how it drives? Contact the seller and drive it.

The 305 cid (5.0L) Chevy V8 sports some upgraded parts. Tip your hat to the seller for not only building a wicked 210, but for including key details about what works and doesn’t. A three-speed automatic transmits power rearward. Newer boosted brakes squeeze you to a stop. Six inch ducts offer plentiful ventilation in lieu of air conditioning. Airflow can be adjusted by levers or the pedal under your right foot.

The Western Blanket upholstery attempts to contain toxic spores that would otherwise escape from tears in the seats every time you sat down. Someone’s kid spilled a Big Gulp? Who cares? Dab it up with a napkin or get another seat cover for $20. Tough day at the office? Confess your sins to the dashboard Hula Girl; she won’t judge.

This dour face, combined with the dropped suspension and visor tell other drivers that you are always the perpetrator, never the victim. Whats your top bid on this roadtrip-proven rod?

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  1. bobhess Member

    Built an Olds powered ’54. Similar to this car but in much better condition. No bags, just lowering blocks and cut coils. Always thought this series of cars were very good looking. A little paint and upholstery and you have something fun with this one.

  2. Ken Cwrney

    I agree with you Bob. I’m not a big fan of
    air bag suspensions after having owned a
    ’58 Eldorado Biarritz where the right rear
    air bag leaked constantly. But I’ll give the
    seller a lot of credit for the ingenuity he put into the car to keep it from going to the crusher. And while he’ll get his price,
    I’ll take a traditional spring suspension any time.

  3. Stangalang

    This one was done correct with the airbags imo…ya gotta admit the lead sled..on the ground look will never die. You can’t do that with cut springs and such and still have a comfortable ride. All I would do to this baby is dual exhaust with flames belching!! Again imo..

  4. dabig kahuna

    That is NOT a hot rod. It is a LOWRIDER aka old school Bomba in Socal Chicano speak

  5. local_sheriff

    @dabig kahuna; you’re so right and if one really wants to go this low then bags will be the ONLY way. Grinding header flanges or leaving behind transmission pans is not so cool in the long run…
    Airbag technology has come a long way since the troublesome late 50s OE solutions and today big rigs, coaches and trains utilize airbag suspensions and offer many years of service life. If bags are kept clean from grit and allowed to fully inflate/deflate regularly it’s a reliable concept

  6. Dave

    The 305 and TH350 are certainly a disappointment, but easily swapped out (and disposed of) for a real drivetrain. I’d upgrade the interior too.

  7. Bob McK Member

    Please put the original suspension back in it, paint her and give her a correct interior and you will have a nice car.

  8. bobhess Member

    I don’t have a problem with air bags. When I built my car airbags were political figures, not suspensions….

  9. Ken Cwrney

    Politicians still are today Bob. But aren’t
    they called douchebags too? That still
    doesn’t make me a fan of airbags. Unless they-re all blondes! I’d like this guy more if he used the 4 wheel torsion
    bar setup used on mid ’50s Packards.
    There was a guy who built a Model A
    using the Packard setup. His car looked
    stock outside, but under the skin, it was
    THE most technically advanced car of its
    time. Even today, I still can see what a
    really fine job he did on that car. To each
    their own I guess.

  10. KC John

    This is a lot of cool for not much cash. It’s never gonna be fast so just enjoy the 305. Add an overdrive and hit power tour.

  11. Tom Bell

    Another one bites the dust. Automotive history circling the bowl–just sad.

  12. Eric

    The good news is that cars like this will stay the way they are cosmetically because they’ll be bought and sold by people who appreciate it, for a price that thankfully would be considered too much for the whiners that want everything to look like it just rolled off the assembly line when they were a kid.

  13. Del

    I have a pulse.

    Looking at this does not raise it.

  14. dabig kahuna

    You HAVE to get something like this on the rack to look over the build quality of the mods. On these it can range from unsafe butchery to mechanical works of art. You do NOT want to buy this without the see touch and feel.

  15. JMG

    Fun. Great look as-is. Cool build…. “rat”… “hot”… “sled”… “low-rider”… whatever. People love their label debates. If it had A/C, I might have to get my apologies lined up for the wife!

  16. Chris H

    Eric has a point. This car will survive because the person who buy it appreciates it. Airbags a disappointment? Maybe, but not as bad as rusting away and rotting, forgotten in some field.
    Cool thing about America, when you buy a vehicle, it’s yours to do whatever danm fool thing you want to it.

    All you vdub nuts out there, I know an old lady filled who filled a ’60-something ragtop bug with dirt, painted it all crazy and grows flowers in it. Calls it “art”. Think this car is better off that hers…
    just sayin’…


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