Post-War Patina: 1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe

Chevrolet’s first all-new post-war cars came out in 1949, replacing the previous machines that dated to 1942. The Styleline Deluxe was the top trim level, perhaps the equivalent of the Bel Air in 1955-57. The market was hungry for lots of new stock since there had been no autos built for nearly five years. So, by 1950 Chevy production was up to 1.5 million automobiles and the future was bright. This ’50 Styleline Deluxe 2-door sedan looks like a great survivor with loads of patina (if you like that sort of thing). It’s in good running condition and may only need upholstery work. It can be found west of Omaha, Nebraska, and here on craigslist where the asking price is $5,500 OBO. Another great 1950s tip from T.J.!

As was the case with most new post-war cars, the 1949-52 Chevrolets were lower and more modern in appearance. Taller, flush front fenders blended into the body sides with a lower hood, while pontoon-style rear fenders and a divided windshield were still the norm. Underneath, the cars were largely as before, with carryover box-girder frame construction, a king-pin independent front suspension, and rear leaf springs. Handling was improved due to Center-Point Steering and a lower center of gravity. A 3-speed shifter replaced Chevy’s old and sluggish vacuum shifter. Sales in 1949 almost doubled that of 1948 and increased by another 15% in 1950.

These vehicles, including the seller’s, were powered by Chevy’s 216 cubic inline-6. We’re told this automobile runs and drives great with no mention of any mechanical work having been done. The odometer reading is simply “63” so that doesn’t tell us anything other than the seller wasn’t precise. The body of this old girl looks solid, and the seller tells us the floors and trunk are “almost perfect.” So, dealing with rust isn’t something that’s likely to give the buyer a lot of headaches.

The interior will require some time and money. The headliner and door panels are MIA, and the seats need reupholstering (one of the photos almost catches the front seat). If you like patina, you could try keeping some wax on the metal or going for a lacquer coat over it all. Or simply get the car repainted, which is what I would do. Recent work on the old Bow-Tie entailed new brakes, a water pump, and the fuel-delivery system including the tank (that suggests the car was sitting for an extended period). With demand for the 1955-57 Chevies likely tapped out (a guess on my part), will the 1949-52s be the next group to raise interest?


  1. Bill W.

    Sure seems fair priced to me. Of course, I might be tempted to restomod it…………

    Like 4
  2. Dennis6605

    Somebody else must of thought it was a fair price also. Its been deleted already.

    Like 3
  3. Psychofish2


    Excellent piece, Russ.

    Some repair of the interior, new paint. That would be it.

    I suspect the old car smell is exquisite. It would be a great loss to strip that away for an antiseptic interior restoration, so just some useful replacement.

    ‘With demand for the 1955-57 Chevies likely tapped out (a guess on my part), will the 1949-52s be the next group to raise interest?’

    Go where the others aren’t or you cheat yourself out of a lot of cars: four doors, wagons, hardtop four doors and hardtop wagons, weird option combinations, rarely seen flatheads and unique transmissions.

    Not every bloody thing needs to be a 350/350.

    After 72 years, it’s probably immaterial what the odometer reading is. Who knows if it even works…

    Like 7
  4. Rw

    My Dad had one drag raced in 60s,had a 292 and 4 speed.

    Like 1
  5. matt

    Nice ’50’ Chevy !

    Like 1
  6. Rex Welker

    My first car was a 49 styline 2 dr! had a lot of fun with it!

    Like 1
  7. Charles Turner

    Styleline Special… bright trim around the windshield, side glass or backlight. Seems the Special models are rarely seen today compared to the Deluxe models.

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