EXCLUSIVE: 1951 Chevrolet 4-Door Deluxe

If you ask me, four door classics just don’t get the love they deserve. Sure, I appreciate two doors and their sleek looks, but an old four door can be just as much fun to drive with the added bonus of having extra space for friends and family. Sitting in this barn is a ’51 Chevy Deluxe. It might be a four door, but it could be a sweet driver to fix up or even hot rod! It belonged to reader John R’s brother-in-law. Sadly, Allen (his brother-in-law) passed away last year and his wife wants to see his car go to a good home. So John is listing it for her with an asking price of $1,500 or best offer. It’s currently still in the barn in Clarinda, Iowa. If you would like to give this four door a new home, be sure to message John via the form below.

From John – This is a true barn find. Allen was nine years old when his parents purchased this 1951 Chevrolet 4-Door Deluxe brand-new. The title is clear. This was the car Allen learned to drive and he never parted with his Chevy. For the life of the car it was kept dry in a farm garage outbuilding and was neglected for many years. Allen died in November, 2016 and his widow, my sister-in-law, has a sale pending on the farm. She does not want the car to go to salvage and turned down a $500 offer. Allen’s car should go to a good home. It comes with a lot of the original documentation.

Body Condition: The blue paint has patchy brown patina and much dry dust. The tires are all flat. The car has never been in an accident and is undamaged.

Mechanical Condition: The car does not start and does not run. The Chevy can ride nicely on a trailer. There are a number of spare parts purchased for the Chevy and a parts & repair manual. All parts and documentation would come with the car as well.

Interior Condition: The interior shows some dust and the cloth upholstery seams are loose in several places. The interior has been kept closed. See photographs.

This Chevy is definitely going to need work, but it could actually make for a cool project. You could probably just clean it up and make it a driver without too much work, but given that it’s a four door that doesn’t run, hot rodding it might be a fun option. So what do you think? Would you get it running and leave it as is or would you do something different with it?

John and his family really want to see this Chevy end up in a good home, rather than ending up being crushed. So hopefully we can help them find a new owner quick! I want to thank them for listing it with us. And if you happen to have a classic sitting in your barn that needs a good home, we would love to feature it for you!

Contact The Seller

Fast Finds


  1. Richard Johnson

    I sure do wish I had it. I am 73 and remember when these came out. It would sure have a good home with me and it would remain factory stock and made to look as new as possible and still be a daily driver.
    There are more than enough hot rods and modified Chevys out there and it would be a shame to change this one from original.

    Like 2
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    My ’49 looked a lot like that when it was drug out of the barn. Interior was a lot better than this one but otherwise very similar. I might add that my ’49 only had 19K miles on it at the time. Still amazes me how mine never got any mice inside it….

  3. Howard A Member

    Well, I don’t think you have to worry about it being crushed, but I would clean it up.( personally, the “dusty, as found” pictures, do nothing for me) Does wonders for a sale. And not the insult of $500 bucks, either. That’s terrible. Love the bill of sale. The radio was the most expensive thing at $85 dollars( almost $800 today!) with the heater, a close 2nd at $70 dollars ($655 dollars today). It’s going to need everything, but from what I see here, I wouldn’t sell it for less than a couple grand. Cars with history attached, like this, add a lot to the sale. Best of luck.

    • Kevin Wernick

      Who charges $655 for a heater?

  4. Rod

    If I didn’t have to cross the US boarder I would be on my way just to save it. It should be kept is as because it has the great story and is complete. I don’t think it would take much to get it going. Drive it and enjoy. I agree on the sales pitch these people need to learn how to sell items.
    Can someone tell me what the option porcelainize means. As old as I am I have never heard of it before.

    • Glen

      From what I read, it’s literally to make it look like porcelain.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rod, I believe that was a fancy wax job from the dealer.

    • Warren Westbo

      Porcelainize was an optional liquid application that was dealer applied to protect the paint finish on a car.

      • Rod

        Thanks guys. Proof that you are never too old to learn something. Maybe I will now go out and porcelainize my 66 sport fury convertible.

        Like 1
  5. Kevin Wernick

    I’ve had a lot of experience with old cars stored in the midwest, the humidity and extreme temperatures do take a toll. It helps some if they’re parked on a wood floor. But I think the price is reasonable.

  6. Woodie Man

    As a kid this is just the kind of car I’d love to have found. My bias against 4 doors doesn’t extend to forties cars ! Too bad it’s not in Call. I agree with Howard, it wouldn’t hurt to clean it up a mite though

  7. Steve Park

    It was a paint protection.

  8. Craig

    The question on porcenalizing, it was a paint treatment / protection process.

  9. JBP

    Is it not the same body as a 1. Gen. Rocket 88?

    • Kevin Wernick

      Yes it is. GM brands typically shared the same basic bodyshell

      • JBP

        Thanks for answer Kevin.
        I would love to buy it for my frau :-)
        I must se if it can hang together with ca. 3000$ for shipping to Europe.

    • Keith

      Yes sir they are the same. I’ve had both (a 51 Olds Rocket 88 2 door and a 51 Chevy Styleline Deluxe “Sport Sedan”). Liked the front of the Chevy more and the rear of the Olds more.

      • Jimmy Brad

        Wow all these years I never noticed the connection to the Rocket 88. Learn something everyday, thanks guys.

  10. Rodney

    Someone please save Allen’s dream. One owner cars with complete known history are very rare and wonderful. So little to put this back on the road and make Allen and the rest of us just smile as it drives down the highway.

  11. Chris

    would love to have this. I would keep it all stock and clean it up. Someone took care of this for the most part and I would do the same.
    Hopefully I responded quick enough to be the next lucky owner.

    • Chris

      And only an 18hr drive. I’m so ready to get this.

  12. Kevin Wernick

    Is that the remains of a 2way radio antenna on the left rear?

    • JW454


      I think you’re right. It appears to be the base mount of one of the old whip type antennas.

      • Kevin Wernick

        I thought so. Kinda interesting, usually only cop cars had such things during that era.

  13. Don

    Is it a 3 speed our power glide?

    • Jim

      Don, I don’t believe power glide was available. At least, I have never seen one with it. These old 3sp. on the tree used to lock up frequently. My mom would make me get out at the stop light or where ever the darn thing would lock up, lift the hood and move the linkage so we could move on………

      • Andrew S. Mace Member

        I believe 1950 was the first year PowerGlide was offered, so this car could have had it.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Jim, mom knew what to do. The problem was, as column shifters wore, both shifting rods ( 1st/R, 2/3) would move, and you had to manually bring them back to neutral.

      • Jim Warner

        This car has the 3-speed standard shift, if it was a PowerGlide it would have the translucent plastic (?) gear selector indicator on top of the steering column just forward of the steering wheel, with the letters N,D,L, and R on it. Those first automatics didn’t have a Park position in them, meaning that the parking brake had to be used to keep the cars from rolling off somewhere, back then. Chevy’s first automatics began with the 1950 models, about 10 years after Oldsmobile pioneered them.

  14. nessy

    Someone will save her for sure. Nobody in their right mind is going to junk this car and if they did, the junkyard will save the car anyway.

  15. Ed P

    I love it. My dad had a 2 door like this when I was a baby. What was an option in 1951 is amazing. In this day of a/c and full electronics, this car has the optional heater!

  16. Craig

    My dad had one of these as well, and I still have the original bill of sale similar to the one that was in the pics posted. That car was gone a year after I was born so I have no memories, only pics of it.

  17. mike d

    I actually wouldn’t mind it, would try to get the 6 that is in it running, and if it ran ok to continue to use that.. I appreciate the purists here who wouldn’t change anything, most likely everything would have to be redone so, while u are doing that… either a more modern 6, or a small 8 .. if the small 8, duals and flowmasters , just to give it a nice rumble.. not to hot rod new paint, and we’re good to go , It could be a looker once done!

  18. Blyndgesser

    This would be great with an Art Morrison chassis and a modern drivetrain. Room for the whole family on the Hot Rod Power Tour.

    • Loco Mikado


  19. Dave

    Put new bushings in the shift arms and re-align them, and shift away.

  20. Keith

    Had a 51 Chevy Styleline Deluxe Sport Sedan a couple years ago, actually prefer the 4 door. This one has some rare options (windshield washer, that radio, and backup lights are not common items), and the sunshade is an expensive little gem to find if yours didn’t come with one.

  21. Mark S

    Nice old Chevy, it’s likely that there was some mechanical failure that got this parked, which is the case with most old cars. Very often it was brakes and when small items like a blown wheel cylinder occurred these old cars were considered worthless and they often would get parked or scrapped. Thanks to the rural communities as most of our recovered gems are from this group of people. They had the space to keep them for our present and future enthusiasts, it’s nice to hear in the above comments that the majority of you motor heads still think that this car is worth saving and restoring rather than hot Roding. I often agree with restomods but not in this case I think that it would ruin the driving experience. I guess I’d just like to experience a trip into the past by driving a car like this.

  22. RJ

    65 miles away. Sadly I do not have the extra $$ or a place to keep ot.

  23. whippeteer

    Clean it up, get it driving, have fun. Very fair price.

  24. Duane

    For some unknown reason, I owned 5 of these during high school (+ 1 1952) and can probably still disassemble and reassemble one in my sleep. Bored my 1st one .125, milled head, insert bearings, balanced engine ,split exhaust, aluminum pistons/rods w/chrome crank &3/4-cam. WAXED 57′ chev’s up to 80 mph, but 58′ 348’s were too much for me. Yes, they are a grocery-getter car, but provided me with a lot of fun times. Sure hope someone treats this one right–(BTW-engine was so perfect I threw the fan away, and it never ran hot.)

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