Stalled Hot Rod Project: 1959 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery

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There was a time when auto designers went to great lengths to get multiple models from a single platform – a trend that is not as common today. Looking back you could find two-door hard-tops with several different roof-lines, two-door sedans, four-door sedans, four-door hard-tops, convertibles (both two and four-door), two-door station wagons, four-door station wagons, pick up truck variants (El Camino) and sedan deliveries like this 1959 Chevrolet example, located in Glendale, Arizona and available here on EJ’s Auction & Appraisal with a current bid of $4,000, nine bids tendered so far.

At a time when manufacturers only offered a single platform, this was a sensible approach (Chevrolet had only their “B” platform with a X frame and the separate Corvette chassis in 1959). This trend was probably most notable with the Chrysler “K” platform which was stretched, shrunk and cajoled six ways to Sunday. There is a continuing trend today with singularity of platforms, even those that can accommodate front-wheel or rear-wheel drive and accommodate multiple wheel-bases. All that said, let’s take a closer look at one of the more unusual variants of the ’59 Chevrolet platform.

This sedan delivery has gone the route that many from the fifties have, it has been hot-rodded. There is virtually no detail surrounding this vehicle just a blurb regarding it’s a “Chevrolet V8 with headers, four-speed with air conditioning and it’s a rust-free barn find.” If I had to take a guess regarding the engine, I’d call it a 327 CI V8 of unknown provenance. Of note are the camel-back large valve cylinder heads attached to an old-style breather-tube intake manifold featuring a Quadrajet carburetor so that helps to narrow the engine’s origin’s down a bit – late ’60’s. The motor appears to have been converted to electronic ignition but the distributor is missing. There is a pair of needle-nose pliers resting on the passenger side valve cover and judging from the dust accumulation, I’d say they have been there a long, long time. A/C-wise, there is Frigidaire A6 compressor present which appears to feed an aftermarket, under dash unit. Connected to this small-block V8 is a very desirable four-speed manual transmission. There’s no word on how any of this power train may work, assuming the engine had a distributor. It’s a question to ask but I wouldn’t be certain that there is a definitive answer.

The exterior is hard to really view due to all of the dust covering the body. My thought is that the seller should give this sedan delivery a sorely needed bath but I guess that’s not in the cards; you can assume for yourself what that might mean. There is some trim missing like the rear eyebrows for the fins and the hood emblem and upper grilles, just to mention a few pieces. Front end trim is shared with other ’59 Chevrolet models so finding replacements shouldn’t be too difficult but side and rear trim is sometimes unique to the model at hand or maybe includes the station wagon too but that is not a commonly found ’59 body style either. Additionally, the main radiator grille appears to be an aftermarket or custom tubular affair. The seller claims this Chevy is rust-free and I see no evidence or corrosion or accident damage but again, a cleaned up exterior would really benefit the promotion of this Sedan Delivery just by giving potential bidders better visibility of what they are pursuing.

The interior is really two different spaces, a delineated front and the rear. The front, or passenger compartment, has bucket seats of some origin installed that are in need of recovering. What can be seen of the floor looks OK but even with super-zoom on the auction website, it’s hard to tell the real condition. The dash is painted another color which makes me think it was probably the original exterior color too. It looks to be non-cobbled with the instruments in place. There some added gauges and loose wires visible but nothing of alarm surfaces.

The rear or cargo transport portion of this Sedan Delivery screams the 1970’s with its various vinyl and pleated textures colliding. It has a real, “If this van’s a rocking, don’t……”, well you know the rest of the saying. Someone had big plans for this Chevy, probably back when full-sized vans with shag carpet and rolled & pleated interiors were all the rage.

This Sedan Delivery is up for auction, with a closing date of January 18th. I have always thought these were fantastic vehicles for the hot-rod or resto-mod set; I have to admit that I never saw their true utility for hauling stuff. A small van always seemed to make more sense and that’s the way things ultimately turned out. I’d like to know more about this Sedan Delivery’s history, modifications and condition and an inquiry to the seller may be helpful. I see potential here, how about you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Joe Machado

    Whats up with the 59 Impala convert next to it?
    Had a 59 Impala 2 dr ht. 348, 4 bbl and Turboslush. Lite blue metallic body and white top. That was in 1968. $200. Very nice car. Zero rust, no dents. Gorgeous interior. Only problem, trans. I repaired and drove it. My fav year Chev, 59. I will be at Barrett-Jackson Thursday. Never know what we bring back

    Like 7
    • Steve P

      When I turned 16 in ‘66, I bought a 59 2 door ht, think it had a 283 in it. Don’t know the official colors, but mine was brown or bronze maybe with I think a cream colored top. Wish I still had that car.

      Like 10
  2. sir mike

    Been decades since I last saw one of these.Make a great driver/resto mod type car.You would be a hit at local car shows.

    Like 10
  3. george

    i was going to bid but they want a 20 percent buyers fee. never seen one that high. what a joke.

    Like 18
    • Mike

      20% for phone bidders, 15% for in person bidding. Fly down to AZ and save 5%?

      Like 10
  4. 8banger daveMember

    All jokes aside, still a way-cool ride!

    Like 7
  5. bobhess bobhessMember

    My memory bank doesn’t even have one of these in it. What a neat machine! The bidding fees really suck.

    Like 4
  6. Tim

    My first car at 16 years old. A hand my down from Dad. Put a 327 4 speed in it with a quadraphonic 8 track for tunes. I painted it midnight blue lacquer in Vo- Tech. I had the same wheel and tire package, Gold shag in the back. Actually thought this was my car at first. Wonder what the parents of the dates I had thought when I pulled into the driveway? At 19 I had a 59 El Camino and the Sedan Delivery on the road at the same time. Sold them both to go racing. Think I wished had them back?

    Like 12
  7. ccrvtt

    While the ’59 Cadillac fins are probably the most iconic the ’59 Chevrolet had the most daring and radical. The fact that there were so many more Chevies built made them a bold move by General Motors. The General was at the time characterized by an amazing dichotomy of blatant hubris and overpowering creativity.

    Unfortunately the hubris eventually won out and America was blessed with Toyotas and government bailouts.

    This sedan delivery could make a dynamite commercial vehicle to attract attention to a business.

    Like 5
  8. TomMember

    I have wanted one of these for many years. Recession bought my 59 El Camino. Not in a position to buy it this year, UGH !! Not happy. 4 sp with AC. Very cool. You either love them or hate em.

    Like 4
  9. Joe Haska

    I live in Phoenix and I might go look at this car. I would want to make it a station wagon, l think it would be east to do. Of course that’s IF you could find a donor car or the parts. Good luck with that, chances Slim & None!

    Like 0
    • moosie moosie

      Turning this into a station wagon would be like putting arms on Venus de Milo, or a mustache on Mona Lisa. A big part of this cars allure is the fact that it is a sedan delivery,, it should stay that way.

      Like 27
    • stillrunners

      Yep – two door wagons – for the glass are just as rare – the metal side is not removable but part of the body – so good luck with that.

      Like 4
  10. A Kepka

    It screams; “Chop the top”!!!

    Like 0
  11. stillrunners

    Well this beats my 1959 sedan delivery all to hell. This was a nice ride – built most likely during the murals hippie van time in the late 70’s. Seems to have been built nicely….see it going for close to 10 grand and then going oversees.

    Like 0
  12. stillrunners

    Funny the convertible is listed in about the same mechanical shape but is only sitting at about $2500 bid.

    Like 0
  13. Jim from FLMember

    Another lazy-butt seller, can’t even clean it up prior to pictures.
    Then wants a 20% ADP (add’l dealer profit) to boot.

    Like 7
  14. Burger

    Stock Steelies, dog dish hubcaps, stock size blackwalls, and a commercial paint job for “Acme Diaper Service” or Town & Country Cleaners. Too many of these have already been turned into clown cars.

    Like 1
  15. CaCarDude

    These are a rare model and having been in the ’59 Chevy hunt for years I have only seen 3 in 20+ years. I had a chance to buy one of the 3 about this condition some 10 years back, the guy wanted $10 large, I passed. So I had 2 El Caminos and had a lot of fun with them over the years. Somebody asked what these were good for back in the day,.. well for one I had a morning paper route back in ’59 and ’60 and my route manager would drop my paper bundle each morning about 5:30 and he drove a new ’59 SD. It sat low in the back but got the job done.
    There was a guy from Redding, CA that used to drive a beautiful restored 59 SD painted fire engine red to Hot August Nights each year, it was a total restomod beauty!

    Like 1
  16. Dave

    My dad had a 59 biscane 2dr. 6cyl and 3 on the tree. Learned to drive on that beauty

    Like 1
  17. Gene

    Drop spindles/dropped coils/disc brakes. Scrub it clean and drive it.

    Like 1
  18. felixx

    The local mortuary used one of these for years and was bought by a fellow high school student for $150 back around 1970.. Pristine with the logo still painted on the side. Of course he tore it up.

    Like 2
  19. PaulG

    At 12k with auction ending soon. Rare car that would be interesting to see where and how it ends up…

    Like 1
  20. TimM

    These cars are so cool and there never seems to be very many of them!! The 59 two door seems like one of the nicest ones!!!

    Like 0
  21. Mark J. Soderberg

    No master cylinder?!

    Like 0
    • moosie moosie

      Its there, rusty looking item to the right of the wiper motor and above the steering column. if you can blow up the picture you can even make out the brake line coming out of the right side of it and going down amongst the clutch linkage.

      Like 0
  22. Mark J. Soderberg

    After posting, I did just that! Little sucker. Lol!

    Like 0
  23. james j talis jr

    Chevrolet produced 5,266 Sedan Delivery vehicles in 1959 and even less in 1960. I have one that I bought as a daily driver in 1971 for $10. Six cylinders and three on the tree. It burned more oil than gas until I dropped a built 327 and a four-speed in it. It is now undergoing a complete frame-off restoration with many options and accessories that I have been collecting since 1972 including a correct 283 three-speed with an overdrive. As a kid, I painted it 3 times. The last one was Sunflower yellow with LACE stripes on the hood and side panels.

    Oh, the things I destroyed as a kid. I stripped down an RS Camero and threw the headlight door operators in the garbage…DUMB GUY, DUMB GUY 68 and better educated I hope.

    Like 0

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