Stored 38 Years: 1952 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe

This good looking 1952 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe two-door sedan looks like it could be a contender for “Inexpensive Barn Find of 2019”. Actually, I just made that up, we don’t have such a category but maybe we should have? This stylish Styleline can be found here on craigslist in Fairbank, Iowa and the seller is asking a mere $3,500. Let’s check it out.

What a great looking car, eh? It isn’t perfect and the seller says that it has been sitting in a shed for the last 38 years, but it seems to have been spared a lot of the ravages of Iowa winters. There is still rust to deal with, mainly on the rocker panels as shown in this photo of the driver’s side rocker with the door open. I love that original seat fabric! It looks like the gas filler door is missing but maybe it’s inside or in the trunk or somewhere.

Chevy’s ’52 Styleline was used in the movie Hoosiers with Gene Hackman. Not this car, but a two-door Styleline. You can see the Korean War-era chrome isn’t the best but it rarely is on an original vehicle. Actually, this car has had at least one repaint according to the seller so it isn’t original, but it appears to be unmodified. I can see what appears to be a little bubble under the paint and I’d want to check it out in person if possible. They have included a few underside photos which are great to see.

The seller says that the interior is like new and while that may be a little ambitious of a statement, it does look pretty nice inside. The seats appear to have covers on them and it would have been nice to see what it looks like underneath those covers. The rubber flooring could use some work, or maybe some carpet would be in order, and the door cards are stained and both front armrests are torn. All relatively simple things to fix if the floors are solid. The dash looks nice and they say that the glass is all good and the windows roll up and down.

The engine should be Chevy’s 216.5 cubic-inch inline-six which would have had around 90-95 hp. The manual transmission cars like this example got the smaller 216.5 six but the cars with a two-speed Powerglide got a bigger engine, Chevy’s 235.5 cubic-inch inline-six with 105 hp. I’ll take the smaller engine any day if it includes shifting for yourself. This engine is not currently running but it’s not stuck so that’s a good sign. Any thoughts on this good looking Chevy Styleline two-door sedan? Good buy or good-bye?


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  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Quite a find and the price isn’t all that bad. Of course, I would like to see it running just to make sure that a rod hasn’t come loose, enforcing the decision to park it. It’s great to see something original that hasn’t rusted to death (look at the attachment and see how rusty a car can get). My ’49 Chevy was a rare beast in that it came out of the shed with no rust at all. But, knowing the history of it, the car had a gifted life. I hope this gets looked after, gets touched up and driven. They are still thoroughly enjoyable, even at 55 mph…

    Like 1
    • sourpwr Member

      Your link ruined my day ! ;(

      Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        That was a sad situation. I felt as sorry for the cars that were found as I did the victims. But that’s rust if I never saw any before…

        Like 2
      • sourpwr Member

        “Pond Find!” Don’t wash ’em , rare find, needs body work. Yikes !

        Like 2
      • roger Member

        hi may i ask you if you saw the car i was looking at it on the internet. 52 chev coupe i would like to have your feedback on it thank you

    • Bob C.

      OMG, I remember that like it was yesterday. That 51 Chevy and 69 Camaro.

      Like 2
    • Terry

      The one found in the lake after 40 years should be an easy restoration. A little WD here, Bondo there, and no one will be able to tell!

  2. Dave

    Bought one with our farm in 1999..52 Belair 2 tone orig owner car.. the kids had finally removed the gas tank so the old lady would stop driving it.. powerglide too.. we cleaned the points and a new battery ran great.. sold it in 2001 for a farm payment of $3955..sigh’

    Like 2
  3. local_sheriff

    I support that Inexpensive BF of the Year award idea! 👍
    There sure is a lot of trash being advertized on ebay/CL nowadays and many sellers are expecting fantasy prices. However with some sniffing around and searching for alternative models there are still doable yet attractive projects to be had below the magic 10k bar as this ’52 Chevy illustrates

    Like 7
  4. DRV

    Since the best deal is up for conjecture, the most inexpensive BF of the year makes sense.
    This is the exact copy of what was an old driver when I was a kid (now 65) .
    I guess they are bulletproof!

    Like 3
  5. PatrickM

    Wow!! boy, I wish I had a couple bucks and the resources for transporting it back here!! I would really like to have this one. When I was a kid, in the ’50’s, our next door neighbors had one almost exactly like this: 3 speed, 6, green, 2 door sedan. We had a ’51, 4 door sedan, grey. Their son was 3 weeks younger than me. We were best friends from 1st grade through high school. But, i digress… Those cars lasted for a long time. Our families were very happy with them. I would like to go through this one with the necessaries first, then, move on to the things I could afford as time permitted. Detail as I go, etc. I’m sitting here just about to drool over maybe, just maybe, I could get it.

    Like 2
  6. Johnny

    Nice old car,but like alot of people. I can only wish for now. I have more then enough to work on. Hope someone keeps it original. They are easy to repair and alot safe then any of the new ones. Look at all the problems they have with all this electronic now. I wouldn,t trade this for any new vehicle on the car lot. If you have a miss. Its not hard to figure out. A new one. If you have a miss–good luck trying to get anything done throgh the manfacture. if you have a warranty. If you don,t. You better have alot of money for the labor and parts.

    Like 3
  7. Shane in MN

    I was gonna buy it but was too nice to lower it and hot rod it so hoped someone would give it a new life but not far from its old one.

    Like 1
  8. Joe Machado

    Had a 52 Styleline 4 door. Dark blue top and lite blue body. Took my drivers test and was deducted a point for grinding third. Syncro was gone.
    I was going almost 90 when I lost the engine. Memory says they were babette bearings? Spelling? Went to wrecking yard in Harbor City, Calif

    Like 1
  9. IkeyHeyman

    It’s the transportation costs that will skew the affordability equation for cars like this but they’re out there in your local area if you want to look for them. Word of mouth works, it can uncover something that’s not on the market. Even a simple posting on a bulletin board (“old cars wanted, running or not”) can put some wheels in motion.

    Like 2
  10. Ken Cwrney

    Had a ’52 fordor like this one. Paid $10
    for it in ’71. Dad, a family friend, and I
    went one Saturday morning to pick it up
    on a farm outside Lexington, Illinois. We
    took along some tune up parts to put to use in the event we got it running and able to drive home. It didn’t take long at all to get the 235 fired up and running as
    it should. We aired up the tires and when added fresh gas, and drove ot home that
    same day! Mine was a DeLuxe 4-door sedan with just 98K miles showing
    when we picked it up that day. You should’ve seen Mom when Dad and I pulled it into the driveway! She damned near had a cow when we showed up
    as she was having a yard sale. That car
    was covered in dirt, dust, and chicken
    dung about 2 inches thick and ooh that
    smell! Turned out that all that dirt and
    and dung protected the paint–which cleaned up great. I let my sister drive it
    in high school til she spun a bearing trying to get out of a snowbank. I swapped in a 230 cube six from a friend’s
    stripped ’64 Biscayne sedan and then we
    just drove it. It had close to 200K miles
    on it when I sold it. I saw my car in ’86
    at a gas station while filling up my Pinto
    wagon. The guy who bought it put the
    rear skirts on it and even painted it too.
    It had 260K miles on it when I saw it
    before moving to Florida. Wonder if that
    $10 Chevy is still on the road.

    Like 7
    • Lee Taylor

      Ken, I love your story about the four door. And yes I’d be willing to wager she is still out there going strong today😊

  11. Del

    Very nice.

    Already deleted. Some one grabbed it qùick.

    Great deal

    Like 1
  12. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    My father bought a brand new 1953 Chevy (strip model) in October 1952. He also bought a farm and I was born July 1953. Busy year.
    But, when I was 9 – 10 years old, it seemed like we had an endless stream of 1951 and 52 Chevy’s coming and going. Two doors, four doors, even one station wagon. I used to take the Chevy emblems off the hood and trunk. My father would buy these cars for $25 or $50, tinker with them, (he was a mechanic) and drive them for a couple of months then sell them. I’d come home from school and there would be another ’51 or ’52 Chevy in the driveway.
    The ’53? That disappeared after 8 years.

    Like 1
  13. John S

    I’d have bought it if it were still listed… Ya snooze, ya loosze

    Like 3
  14. Jack Pruett Member

    My Uncle Clifton bought a 1950 like this one except his was a Powerglide and had fender skirts and no radio. My uncle took very good care of his cars and kept this car for 10 years and traded it in 1960. I can remember many trips in the car when six adults and one child would pile into it. It was not very fast on takeoff, but once it got up to speed like 55 MPH it was smooth riding. I always thought the green color was attractive and seemed to be similar to the Forest Green color offered on the 1970 Chevelles.

    Like 1
  15. TimM

    These cars seem so under appreciated!! The tri-5’s get all the attention!! This is a really clean nice looking car!!

    Like 4
    • Steve Bush Member

      My dad bought one almost identical to this (it had the skirts); for $300 in Denver in 1960. It survived with little damage being rear ended by a pickup as my mom was signaling a left turn into my preschool in Columbus, OH in 1962. My mom had whiplash and had to wear a collar for a few weeks. My brother and I, in the back seat, were unhurt. She was using an hand signal as the car lacked turn signals. I believe they were an option then.
      My parents seemed to like the car but it was stolen from my dad’s job in the Los Angeles area in Jan 1965.

  16. Terry

    That ’52 Chevy is exactly like one I almost bought while in high school back in 1971. But it needed work since it smoked and the interior was shot. Nice color though! I ended up buying a ’59 rambler American station wagon from a farmer.

    Like 1
  17. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    @Steve Bush

    They were indeed an option back then. A big box on the left of the steering column with a handle and one green light. My father had several of these and some had blinkers, others, not so much.
    I’m glad you and your brother were not hurt in the rear-ender. They were solid cars.

  18. Dirk Mudge

    My uncle Feldi had one with a shiny flask kept under front seat. Sit and sip as he would say. Many drives to DQ in that old thing.

  19. robert dangelo

    Hey Guys just to let you know i purchased it from a guy in Texas who purchased it off craigslist and now its on its way to Australia , !! l plan on restoring it with a V8 and some modern upgrades , thanks and l will give it a great home .

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Thanks for letting us know Robert! We wish you luck and hope for an update in the future.

      • robert dangelo

        Hey Jesse will post future photos of progress Cheers mate.

    • Joe Machado

      Hey Mr Dangelo, say hi, if you know any these 3 Aussie car guys:
      Kim Kader, Alex Szman, or Kevin Monk.
      Kader was in Adelaide.
      Monk had a 1969 Daytona.
      Szman bought cars from us. 1960 New Yorkers. Joe Machado

      • robert dangelo

        Hey Joe i live in the state of Melbourne , and no i don’t know those car guys, the car culture is huge in Australia specially American Cars , cheers and hello from down under , Rob.

  20. roger Member

    is your 52 still available

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