Right Hand Drive: 1950 Chevrolet Fleetline sedan

These early 50’s Chevrolet Fleetlines are great looking cars with rock solid engines in them. But this Chevrolet is far, far away from America. This right hand drive Fleetline was discovered in Newcastle NSW, which is located in Australia. With an appealing patina, and a very nice interior, this Chevrolet has a great look, and an interesting interior layout with its right hand drive configuration. This would certainly be a cool one to bring back to the states. With 5 days remaining, bidding has reached AU$12,500. Find it here on ebay out of Haigslea, Ipswich, Australia. Thanks to reader Adam T45 for the far out submission!

The 215 cubic inch inline 6 is a familiar sight, despite the foreign dash layout. This Fleetline has a manually shifted 3 on the tree, and I can only imagine how obtuse that would feel to shift. The engine bay and the engine itself are relatively clean, and organized. The engine has been extensively serviced, but has some oil leak concerns that need to eventually be resolved.

This is the sight that would put so many folks in disbelief at car shows, and cruise in events. Seeing a pre-1970’s American made car in a right hand drive configuration seems as easy as finding a needle in a hay stack. Looking inside of this Chevy reveals a very nice, well-kept interior. There are some neat rear window louvers installed in this Chevrolet as well.

The patina has a lovely quality to where this Chevrolet almost appears as a rare stone. With Various surface rust, and paint, this Fleetline looks to be rot free. The floors had some minor concerns upon the seller purchasing the car, but the floors were dealt with. The chrome bumpers and grill, are rough, with much of the chrome peeling. The body looks quite straight, and this car is described as fully operational. Aged like a fine wine, with an array of interesting features, this Chevrolet is certainly a unique and cool machine. Who is ready to ship this Chevy across the pond?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Not sure why, but this really grabs me! Might be because a “normal” (LHD) ’50 Chevy coupe was one of the first cars I drove….

    Driving a right-hooker isn’t all that difficult, Brian; most that I’ve driven had floor-mounted shifters, which are probably easier to adjust to, but my biggest issue was always looking at the inside rearview mirror. Always seemed to be in the wrong place!

    Gotta wonder if the right-drive Chevys of this vintage stuck in second gear when the linkage wore out!

    Probably not worth shipping to the U.S. But yes, it would freak out the gawkers at a local car show! I’d have to repaint it, though; I know a lot of people think that’s just “patina,” but I can’t adjust my thinking to see it as anything but curable deterioration.

    The seller’s verbiage is well worth reading!

  2. DAN

    PATINA………..na,old car coated in light oil slim, or ugly clear coated,lol
    hate that
    love rhd though.
    had 3, drive fine

    • Adam T45 Staff

      I suspect that you’re on the money there DAN. Having previously raced speedway, I used to coat all of the mechanicals (engine, differential,etc) with WD40 after I’d completed the post-race clean-up. This prevented corrosion between meetings and during the off-season. This looks like the same sort of thing to me.

  3. rusty

    Crikey.!

    Don’ya flamin’ yanks know anything about downunder.

    we coat all of our cars in Emu Oil..yeah thats right look it up..Emu Oil

    Good for what ails you. Have you ever seen a crook Emu. [crook means sick]

    By the way its pronounced eemyou not Emoo. hee hee.

    ps: he has another yank tank for sale as we call em that we never got here unlike the car above.. 1966 FORD FAIRLANE 500 2 DOOR FASTBACK we never cottoned onto 2 doors here till the late 60s . This is a big deal here being 2 door. But we are now swamped in LHD imports since our dollar was on par & higher with you guys..Now every yank tank for sale seems to be LHD here..until 10 years ago it was rare to be LHD now they are like Drop Bears…everywhere.

    [Drop Bears ya’ better look that up too… Struth!]

  4. Rustytech Member

    I’m pretty sure this is not a 1950 it’s a 1949, in 1950 they did not have the vertical divisions in the lower grill. still a nice car. It brings back memories, not all good. Experienced my first accident riding in one of these. We were heading to school one morning when my brother hit a patch of drifting snow. We very quickly found ourselves getting intimately involved with an electric pole. Car was totaled, fortunately even with no seat belts, none of us was seriously injured. In any of the cars built today things may have been very different.

    Like 1
    • Adam T45 Staff

      You may well be right on the model year Rustytech. It may be showing as a 1950 on ebay because in Australia it could be considered a 1950 model. It may have been manufactured in the USA in 1949 and shipped to Australia as a new car. If it arrived during or after December 1949, it would be considered a 1950 model. Confusing eh? we have the same issue here with models like the Customline, where some of the models are out by a year compared to the US.

      • Evan Hix

        It’s not a Fleetline either. It’s just a normal sedan. Doesn’t have the fastback roof line. And yes, that is a ’49 grille.

    • Al P

      I agree, it is a 1949 – the trunk trim also confirms a 1949 configuration (at least in USA market).

      Like 1
  5. Chuck

    Yup, its a 49

    Like 1
  6. D

    Would it be maybe a 49 in USA and 50 in AUSTRALIA?

  7. AlanB

    I suspect you are correct, D, the car was probably registered in Australia as a 50 – using 1949 trim.

    Like 1
  8. Rustytech Member

    Did it take a year to ship one from here to there? No, seriously I guess if it was built down under, it’s possible they may have been a year behind on model year designations. Good question for researching.

  9. rusty

    Yes our American cars that were built here were always behind year models..Often had different features or older features.

  10. Wayne

    $12,500! Really? A buddy bought a black two door here in Melbourne for $2,500 about a year back off an old fella that just wanted to see it go to a good home. It was a lot cleaner than this thing.

  11. Woodie Man

    I get a headache looking at the dashboard. Cant imagine trying to drive it. Its like the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and the gang meet the Seinfeld doppelgangers……….looks familiar but something is slightly off.

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Imagine how we feel when we encounter a left hand drive car! Anything that came from the US or Continental Europe was the same for us.

  12. geomechs geomechs Member

    It isn’t a ’50; it’s a ’49. The ’50 didn’t have the vertical bars in the lower grill. Plus the taillight lenses on the ’50 are raised slightly at the tops. It’s also a Styleline; the Fleetline is a fastback.

  13. Larry Grinnell

    Due to the low sales volume of the bigger “yank tanks” in Australia and elsewhere, model years were often extended. I’ve seen pictures of ’59 Fords from Australia branded as ’60 models. Likewise I’ve seen pictures of ’54 Plymouths (and “Canadian” Desotos) registered as 1956s or 1957s if memory serves. If they were shipped CKD (completely knocked down), an excessive number of cars might have been shipped, and I assume that rather than scrap or send back, they were built, and then registered at the time they were assembled in the current model or calendar year. It could also be that it was in the plans from the start to take a particular product and sell without change (or minimal change) for longer than a typical US model year. The high cost of tooling and converting these cars to RHD was probably also a factor.

    When did Australia stop requiring imported cars be converted to RHD?

    These kind of oddballs (oddballs to American eyes, to be clear), have always appealed to me, like some of the “interesting” Canadian variants of US models seen so often in the 1940s through the late 60s.

    I remember seeing a picture in an automotive reference book of some kind of a ’58 Buick Limited that had been imported to Australia. The book’s text indicated that the car, by law, had to be converted to RHD before it could be certified for road use. Now that’s gotta be a sight!

    • Ed P

      As I recall, Chrysler had a contract builder in Australia. When the 55-56 cars were restyled for the US, the old dies were sent Downunder. What GM did, I haven’t a clue.

    • Ricochet

      Just so you know, in Australia
      the only left hand drive cars we can import have to be built before 1989
      They’ve done this to protect us from buying a car we can’t buy parts for.
      Also you can’t license a lhd car in all states

  14. Larry Grinnell

    Also makes perfect sense.

  15. charlie Member

    I drove a RHD MG in the US for several years, an SA, a big car, had outside rearview mirror mounted on the spare in the left fender well, not great rear visibility – with the top down, the folded top made the interior rear view mirror almost useless, and with the top up, the small rear window was not a lot better. I stayed on the 2 lane roads where pulling out into another lane was not an issue. pedals were the same as US LHD, floor shift pattern was the same, my left arm had no trouble shifting it. Gas pedal was a little wooden roller on a shaft connected to an arm which eventually connected to the throttle. Not easy without shoes.

  16. kel

    GM ,Pontiac and Chev stopped bringing cars to Australia in pieces from Canada in 1969 when Aust GM Holden bought out its own larger Luxury Car the Statesman ,

  17. glennmat1

    wow one of the most iconic cars of the early 50s that everyone recognizes pre55 and its so rare that it has right hand drive. awesome

  18. Tacoma, Washington USA

    I’ve always liked the 1949-53 Chevy cars. This one must’ve been sold in either Australia, the UK, or somewhere else where people drive on the wrong side of the road (the left side of the road). I’d buy it if I could find all the parts to upgrade it and personalise it.

  19. GRAY WOLF

    Add left hand steering non-op and throw them a “dilly”. Yes Sir Officer, she is driving!!

  20. Tony C.

    Up until last year GM Holden in Aust. built American Chev LHD Police cars based on the Holden Commodore and shipped them to the US, they were completely fitted out with all the ‘bells and whistles’, stuff that we don’t even get on our own ‘cop cars’ a mate of mine used to deliver 7 at a time to the port for loading. The local Chev car club has one donated by GM Holden for it’s club displays, it’s a 2004 with the mesh screen, handcuff anchors in the floor and a solid plastic rear seat, no inside rear door handles or window controls. I think it’s done less than 1000 Kms. it’s never been registered.

  21. Loco Mikado

    Think about it, the majority of the people are right handed, so a left hand drive is more intuitive than LHD. Just as a previous poster mentioned it is more natural to look to your right than your left if you are RHded. The same with operating shift controls, I would say a RHded person would be able to operate the shifter with their right hand than left. The only time your traveling on the left side of the road is an advantage that it would be it allow you to draw your sword on an opposing directly without crossing yourself. Of course if you are left handed it doesn’t work that way, So RHD is a holdover from the times of medieval warfare which has no rational basis in the modern world unless you plan to draw your sword on an approaching motorist and do battle with them

  22. rusty

    I like your thinking….. except in the real world it is extremely easy to shift with left hand.

    I am right handed and left shifting is a breeze..Also if you are stronger in the right hand then it stands to reason in an emergency while shifting I would rather my right hand that is stronger being in control of the wheel.

    No matter how one represents one better than the other infact either is not.

    I just depends where you live…

    Now where’s my sword. Or is it pen?

    • Ed P

      What feels natural is the way you have been driving for years. I’m sure the Aussie’s feel as comfortable as Americans when driving. As for skill, every place on the planet has people that cannot handle a shopping cart.

  23. rusty

    yep exactly

    Oh I wish I had my Messerschmitt back..it has central seating..no one can complain about which side you are driveing from…

    Exceptttttttt…there are different models for when you drive on right or on left even though the seating is central….ironic.

    never a perfect world. Thank god we dont have George Jetson cars…now there is a controversy for which side you drive on..

  24. ELMER TURNER

    o m g, $12,500 for a 4 door 1949 chevy. you have to be kidding. also,labor costs and parts must be enormously high when it costs $800.00 to rebuild a starter. hahaha. i know where an electric starter/ generator/ alternator rebuild business is i use near me that does it for way less than $100.00 american. maybe you should change your mechanic.

    • rusty

      Elmer

      This is the ridiculous cost of living in Australia..

      The lucky country they call it…lucky for the rich..Our head of our government Post Office takes home $5.6m yearly [disgusting] compare that to $800,000 say in Briton. Here the kids cant afford to own a house because affordability has gone thru the roof.

      Thats why one of the reasons I only restored cars by replacing parts with good second hand parts or did it myself. Now my health has declined and I am not able to weld or spray i couldnt afford to pay someone here what I used to do myself. Restoring here is out of hand. Its beyond a hobby now when everyone has there hand out tooooooo far..

      I’d say he is honest about the cost of the starter. [I dont understand it myself just a bit of rewiring, a comm skim and new brushes] and in my mind about right on the car value without looking at his advert too closely.

      American cars here always got/get good money ever since the old days. To own an American car in those days was a mark of “you,ve made it”. Up till recently every second Aussie car nut wants a yanky car because of that elevated status American cars continually had thru the years. That thought added value to the American car here..

      But recently regarding collectability Aussie made cars finally out shone American cars in the want/cost factor. But Still American cars bring high money..it doesnt matter what. He is not out of line here I reckon. The market is far different here because of the rareness of American cars and that inbread appreciation and want the American car indoctrinated in Aussies.

  25. Smittydog

    Leave it there.

  26. Anthony Bult

    I believe that the car is a 49 since it has split frond windshield

    • AlanB

      50s also had split windshield – in fact believe the first Chevs with the unitary curved windshield were the 53s

  27. ELMER TURNER

    rusty, be that as it may, why would anyone in another country, especially in the u.s.a, pay $12,500 plus shipping charges ??? also, who in australia could, would pay that kind of money /// so i guess he is sort of stuck owning the chevy. incendently, in 1962, my first car was a 1952 chevy deluxe red convertable including a radio and fender skirts. now that is what would be worth restoring today.

    • rusty

      Elmer

      true but I don’t believe he is trying to sell it overseas.

      Remember this is just a blog where writers find stories all over the globe.

      There is no mention of him recommending an international sale.

      Most car ebayers here are only selling here

      hmm a convertible lovely we never got them I am sure

  28. ELMER TURNER

    rusty, i,m sorry that i was,nt thinking that it was a blog and not the owner which said— this would be a cool one to bring back to the states. my sincere apologies.

  29. rusty

    Nothing to apologize for Elmer.

    It’s easy to mix up the blog writings with the sellers writings.

    It’s still a worthy car being it’s a runner.

  30. rusty

    Gee this blog has got the car on my Ebay watch list damn.
    I’m not really interested but hey the power of a blog…eh!

    It has 1 bid and reserve not met…

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