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Finish This Dormant Project: 1953 Chevrolet


This car looks like someone’s project that’s been on hold for perhaps 20 years! It’s a 1953 Chevrolet 210 that’s been fitted with Bel Air trim. It’s located in Sutton, West Virginia and is up for auction here on eBay, where the opening bid is $4,950 and there’s no reserve.


Like a lot of finds like this, the Chevy has been used as a convenient shelf for all kinds of things. The color looks a little like the Sun Gold that was original for 1953 Chevrolets, but it’s hard to tell given both the poor lighting and the dust and debris. The seller tells us that there’s a new three-piece front bumper that goes with the car, but they don’t include pictures of the parts that are mentioned in the ad. Based on what I’m seeing, I’m guessing “new” in this case means “it was bought new 20 years ago” and that means we have to hope the parts were stored correctly.


You can see what I think is surface rust in this shot; the seller says there is some but doesn’t feel there are any major rust issues and no holes. At some point, the body was taken off the frame and the frame was repainted, but the seller tells us the paint is flaking off now so that may have to be done again.


The floor is impressively solid, with very little corrosion showing at all. Nice to know the storage has been dry! Does anyone recognize if that’s original upholstery for a 1953? The ad doesn’t have any good interior shots, so we really don’t know the condition of the seats.


Unfortunately, there aren’t any under hood shots either. The seller tells us that the original 235 cubic inch inline 6 is on the floor, there are a set of V8 engine mounts that go with the car, and that a rebuilt Powerglide transmission is in the trunk. I’m guessing someone was planning at least a mild custom and a V8 transplant. Would you put the 6 back in, or source a V8, and if you did put another engine in, what would you install? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Avatar photo MH

    Not worth it. You can buy decent running and driving one for that price. These cars are not very desirable to most people. They would rather have a 57. I personally would rather have a earlier model.

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  2. Avatar photo redwagon

    re: the engines. the original 6 would be nice just for simplicity’s sake. if the 8 were of any value i would consider selling and putting the extra $ into the car.

    the floor shots look good as does the engine bay and what we can see of the jambs and sills. if the rest is as good as these seem to be it could be a good solid start.

    i am liking the gold and beige colors more and more. must be losing my mind.

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  3. Avatar photo MountainMan

    Priced a little high but I like it.

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  4. Avatar photo Rick

    Cool accessory full hubcaps

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  5. Avatar photo Vince Habel

    A guy in high school had one just like this. That was a long time ago.

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  6. Avatar photo RON

    you say it is 210 with BelAir trim. It does have the trim around the windowa and the Quarter panel trim. What is strange to me, and it may be the angle of the shot, but this car looks like a club coupe or a business except for the trim. 53 was the last year for a 150 or 210 coupe the 150 was usually a commercial salesman or business coupe, with no back seat. I know my brother travelled for RJ Reynolds Tobbacco at that time and had the od camel tan 53 coupe. They had a short top and long trunk. In 54 they quit making the coupe and were offered in 150 2dr sedan with no back seat. I saw a 53 coupe last year and sorry I didn’t buy it. If this is a coupe it is a rare car as it was definitely a different car from a 2dr. and a different car from the BelAir Hardtop coupe. odder than that was the 210 hardtop coupe. Would like to know the story on this and would like to have one of the true coupes. I get agitated at so call experts calling 2dr sedans of all makes coupes. Two totally different cars altogether. Guess that is why every other Ford Hardtop from 51 up is a Crown Victoria. 51 was the first year for a pillarless 2dr Victoria . Nothing to do with the 1st year 55 Ford Crown Victoria with the wide stainless tiara band across the hardtp coupe. Then they came out with a band of chrome of stainless over the top of an LTD 4dr sedan in the80s and used the name again and every “expert” has now declared every50 up custom, Customline and Fairlane a “Crown Victoria” All this from too many B-J experts muddying up the market by their unknowing expertise. They we get inundated with the asinine AssMonkey Garage and “Danny the Counts” and the hobby is such a Sham it s unreal.I would love to be the seller of the Junk they supposedly pay 9000 for that I can buy all week 500. I am not speaking of the occasional rare car he buys, but the awful rust bucket 53-54 Ford Customline that they paid absurd money for. The only person on the show with any brains is Sue the upholstery lady.

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    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      Congratulations, you sure know your stuff. I, too, get irritated by all those self-appointed “sidewalk authorities” who call every 1950s Ford hardtop a “Crown Victoria”.

      This 1953 Chevrolet is some BS metallic gold. Sun Gold only came on Bel Airs, and this is at best, a doctored 150 or 210 coupe. Nicely done, to be sure.

      I, too, get irritated with people calling 2-door sedans, “coupes”. I also dislike the phony term, “hardtop coupe”. There is no such thing. Even Dan Mathews was famous for saying stupid dialog like, “They’re driving a white, late-model hardtop coupe,” like every cop in the state is going to what the hell to look for!

      Years ago, I got into a very contentious debate with a Calif. DMV moron, who thought “coupe” meant a car with a vinyl top.

      The public is largely to blame, but the manufacturers shoulder more of the ambiguity.

      Remember, GM coined the totally confusing terms, “sport coupe” and “sport sedan” to describe hardtops. And Ford didn’t help clear the waters any by building the first “pillarless sedan”, which they, erroneously, called “Crown Victoria!

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  7. Avatar photo graham64

    An early 50’s Chevrolet would be something different from the ’55s, ’56s and ’57s which always seem to be the restored Chevrolets from the 1950s.

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  8. Avatar photo Duffy

    Nice vehicle, priced a little to high. I might be wrong.I would buy it for $3500.00 and put it back together hoping to get back what I put into it. It’s a nice vehicle but cannot compare show wise, price wise to a 55-57 chevy. But somebody might like it at the asking price.

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  9. Avatar photo p

    In the eBay description, he says there is a family of rats living in it….

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  10. Avatar photo Love my American Classics

    Good price, nice car. Here in California these cars are popular since we have the new era starting over the Rockabilly look…lol lol…but I’ll buy it for $2500 cash delivered…just a joke…you get allot of phonies trying to use that poker face/strategy that they really don’t want it, when deep inside of them there like little kids at a amusement park…lol lol adrenaline pumping. Funny but true. I tried selling my 1953 Chevy Club Coupe n the people out there that you encounter!!! Man straight circus status lol. But there are few old school legit people out there that play there cards rite n come straight with knowledgeable information on these true Americana Classics, good luck on your sell. Oh by the way the 53 Chevy Club Coupe went for $16,500 :-)

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  11. Avatar photo RON

    UNBELIEVEABLE!!!. Where are these buyers when I am selling Junk!!!LOL I want some of whatever they are smoking or maybe I just need to Post in that Region of the country!!!

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