Big Fun On Small Funds: 1950 Chevrolet Coupe

Sometimes when watching the collector car auctions on television it’s easy to start thinking that the collector car hobby has left the common person behind. Then I run across a car like this and I’m reminded that there are still plenty of collector cars around that don’t cost a lot of money. Sure, this car is nothing exotic, but I don’t know how much fun those over-restored trailer queens really are. This is a car that can be driven and enjoyed. You won’t have to stand guard over it out of fear that someone might touch it. There are no worries about getting caught out in the rain. Insurance cost would be minimal. It’s a simple, easy to work on, fun car that one could proudly display at local car shows and cruise nights. This 1950 Chevrolet coupe, located in Visalia, California, is listed here on the Jalopy Journal for $12,500.

Some folks are dazzled by shiny paint. Don’t be deceived, many times that’s a case of “lipstick on a pig”. When I look at a car with a fresh finish, I’m inclined to assume the worst. I assume that the car was in rough condition and was patched up and Bondo’ed from one end to the other to bring it to its current state. That’s what I find charming about cars like this. There’s no doubt what you are looking at here. Nothing is hidden. Only the rolling stock is new. The rest of the car is 1950 Chevrolet and in very good unrestored original condition. In addition to what we see here, the seller has fender skirts and a visor that go with the car.

This is the only picture we have of the interior. It would have been nice to at least see a picture of the driver’s seat and dash. What I can see of the interior is right in line with the exterior of the car. It is in original, serviceable condition. If the driver’s seat is tattered, so what. Throw a blanket over it and call it good. That would go right along with the theme of the car. The seller says the stock radio and clock are in place and the owner’s manual is still in the car. The glass is in great shape. The original spare and jack are in the trunk, too.

Like the rest of the car, the under-hood appearance is stock and original. The owner has wisely replaced the fuel line and added a fuel filter. This car only has 51,305 miles so the engine shouldn’t need any major attention any time soon. The repairs needed to make the car roadworthy have been done. The fuel tank has been cleaned, the exhaust system replaced, and the brakes have been rebuilt. The floors and frame are reported to be solid. What do you readers think about this California coupe? Is it a deal? What would you do with it?

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  1. RayT Member

    Reminds me of my grandfather’s ’50 Chevy, except that one was a Bel Air with the wraparound three-piece rear window. I wonder if the shift linkage sticks in first gear on occasion, like his did? Or if the ignition lock is so worn that turning the bezel lets you start the engine…. That was my first ride after I got my driver’s license.

    I’d have to make this one at least as good as his, with a nice, thick Earl Scheib pea-soup green p[aint job and a Pep Boys front seat cover. I’m sure the mechanicals will go on for a long time, at least if you check the oil, which my sister didn’t do. That’s why it went off to the boneyard.

    Nice old cars, simple, basic, cheap, reliable and usable. $12.5K is way too rich for my blood, though.

    • canadainmarkseh Member

      I’d have to agree on the repaint when this car originally left the the factory it didn’t look like this. Rustina is not original so painting it shouldn’t matter. And yes pea green is what I’d paint it too.

  2. Kenneth Carney

    Owned a ’49 4-door sedan in the mid to
    late ’70’s. That thing was a Sherman tank
    on 4 wheels that would take you wherever you wanted to go. Mine was a
    235 6 cylinder/3-speed car that was in a
    bit rougher shape than this one but as long I kept up with the maintainance on
    it, the car never left us stranded. During
    the winter months, I added some snow
    tires, 150 pounds of cinder blocks and
    kitty litter that went into the trunk, and
    I had a pretty good snowmobile. Never
    got stuck–not even on a hill! My ex-wife
    just dropped it in first, gave it some gas,
    and that damned car would climb the
    Center Street hill like a mountain goat!
    In the Blizzard of ’77, we used it to
    rescue other drivers that were stuck in
    snowbanks along the highway that ran
    through our town. Must’ve brought
    more than 20 or more people into the
    National Guard Armory that night while
    the storm raged on. The guardsmen
    at the Armory saw my old Chevy crammed full of people and shook their
    heads in disbelief! Of all the vehicles
    out there, it seemed that my car was the
    only one to make it through with no trouble at all. Seeing this car makes
    me think of my old sedan once more.
    BTW, the Shell Grey paint would look
    better on this car than Pea Green.
    That’s just my $.02!

    • Fred W

      Great story Kenneth! Apparently this guy does the same thing.

    • Gray Wolf

      I too had a ’50 Chevy 4-door, gray and white! Bought it from then girlfriends Dad who bought it new. I needed a car I could take anywhere where I could not take my ’30 Model A. We would take this thing off road in the desert looking for abandon cars. Sold it to a friend who took it to Colorado. Found out ten years later he still had the car with near 300,000 miles on it! No problems and it still was shining like the day it left me. Great car!!

  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    Nice car, and, yes, I’d repaint it in its original colour. Looks like a nice basis for a restoration, with perhaps a few period-correct go-fast bits under the hood.

  4. Ian McLennan

    Great story Ken!! I would just drive it and enjoy it for a while as is, beautiful old girl. Then paint it, freshen the interior and install a split exhaust manifold. These old 6 cylinder Chevies sound great with dual exhaust and glass packs.

  5. Kenneth Carney

    Add some high wind and a bit more snow,
    and you’d be seeing what my ex-wife saw
    when she set out to retrieve a pregnant
    woman who was being brought to the main highway on the back of a snowmobile. The driver of the snowmobile was able to contact my ex
    and arrange a meeting place to transfer
    the woman from the snowmobile to our
    car for transport to the hospital. They .
    did this by using CB radios, a huge fad
    at the time. A lot of folks had them and
    thank God they did. While she was doing
    all that, I was relaying information between the driver of the snowmobile,
    my ex, and Civil Defense Headquarters
    throughout the whole ordeal. We never
    found out about her or the baby, but my
    old Chevy came through when it was
    needed the most. Thanks for the video
    Fred! It sure made my day!

  6. Matt steele

    This car really appeals to me wish I didn’t live in a small apartment and was broke

  7. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Nice story Bobby, you to Kenneth. Bobby, I am curios about your use of two different types of script? While I am here can you have someone turn on the Notify me of new comments via email switch? I have not been recieving any for a week. Thanks, take care, Mike.

  8. Dave

    What would I do? Get a classy dame or two and go hit the town in it.

  9. Dave

    It’s not a Coupe. It’s a 2 door sedan.

    • Uncle Bob

      Please do your research. A sedan has a longer quarter window and shorter rear deck (and I don’t mean the Styleline body or moredoor either).

      • Uncle Bob

        Oops, meant Fleetline rather than Styleline.

  10. Maestro1 Member

    Nice car. My first car was a 50 Chevy. I’d seriously consider it if I had the room.

  11. Denis Flaherty

    whoa! Business coupe….installed a Buick nailhead in one like this ….looooved it

  12. David Trott

    Dad had a 1950 black four door. Bought it brand new and then he was drafted in the Korean war the next day. When he came home in 1954 he had a brand new 1950. He drove it for the next 36 years then gave it to me when I was 16. I drove it a few years then grew tired of the column shift 3 speed and weak engine. He took it back for a few years then sold it for 400 bucks. Wish I had it back now especially now that dad has passed. I remember putting gas in it and it always made a wistleing sound like it was happy to be getting gas….always wondered if they all done that. Thanks for the memory

  13. W9BAG Member

    What a great car ! Still, I’m on the fence concerning the use of the word “patina”.
    It shows the normal weathering of the finish of a car, and I can understand the appeal to some. It represents the time the car has been around, suffering the sands of time, and appears to be no worse for the wear; kinda like me. But personally, I would do a complete refresh; completely clear out the engine compartment, and do a total repaint. I’m from the Midwest, and we like our cars to be shiny. Leave the mechanicals alone. No split manifold, glass packs, ect. Make sure the AM radio & clock work and drive it to Barrow, Alaska.

  14. Unclehotrod13

    This has no back seat i think,, was made for salesmen,, at least i think it is, i had a 49 and a 50 so i know these,, alot of fun, very strong cars!!

    • Uncle Bob

      If you take the link to the actual ad it has a picture of the back seat, tiny pic, but there. Not a “business” coupe as such.

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