Turn-Key Survivor: 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe

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Sometimes circumstances dictate that an enthusiast won’t be in a position to tackle a project build. Everybody’s situations are different, and there’s no shame in buying a turn-key classic if that will best suit that person. I always believe that it is better to admit this and buy a vehicle that is ready to go rather than buy a project car that will sit gathering dust and rust for years because the owner cannot tackle the required work. That is what will make this 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe an attractive proposition to some of our readers. It is a vehicle that would undoubtedly benefit from a cosmetic refresh, but it is tidy enough to be driven and enjoyed immediately by its next owner. If you want to be that person, you will find the Deluxe located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and listed for sale here on eBay. Solid bidding has pushed the price beyond the reserve to $10,766, and there is still time left for any readers who would like to stake their claim on this classic.

There is some evidence to suggest that this old Chevy may have received a repaint in its original Fathom Green at some point. If so, I believe that a previous owner may have performed the work many years ago. The paint still holds an impressive shine that would turn heads. There are some marks and chips across various areas of the car, but if the next owner wanted to retain this classic as a survivor, there would be no shame in that. Treating the car to a repaint would have it sparkling like a new penny, but I tend to believe that it would still attract its share of attention and complements if it were left untouched. The panels are straight, with no evidence of dings or dents and no signs of rust. While they aren’t fitted, the owner includes a set of fender skirts that the buyer could install if they felt inclined. There is some slight clouding in the lower windshield on the driver’s side, but it isn’t bad enough to warrant attention at this stage. The remaining glass appears to be in good order, while there are no significant flaws with the trim or chrome.

One aspect of this Deluxe that won’t require attention is the interior. It is trimmed in a combination of black and white, and there aren’t many faults worth noting. There is some slight stretching of the upholstery on the driver’s side of the front seat, but this is still acceptable for a vehicle of this age. The driver’s door trim has some wrinkling, but I do not doubt that this could be stretched back into shape with little effort. The rest of the upholstered surfaces are spotless, as is the headliner. Some large mats protect the carpet, and the painted dash appears perfect. There is some wear on the wheel, and I can’t think of any reason why the buyer couldn’t restore this with a bit of care in a home workshop if they are seeking perfection.

The 1951 model year marked the second where potential buyers received the option of ordering their Deluxe with the two-speed Powerglide transmission. Those that opted for the three-speed manual found their cars equipped with the 216.5ci six-cylinder engine that produced 92hp. If the buyer ticked the box beside the Powerglide option, they automatically received the larger 235ci six that pumped out 105hp. We find this configuration in our feature car, and the owner claims that it is completely original. It is worth noting that Chevrolet viewed the Deluxe as solid family transport, so while the 22.1-second ¼-mile ET may not seem that impressive, it was considered very acceptable in a car that was capable of seating six people in comfort. The positive vibes with this classic continue when we consider its mechanical health. The owner says that it is a turn-key vehicle and that the engine runs like a Swiss watch. It seems that all the buyer will need to do is slip behind the wheel and hit the road to enjoy the classic motoring experience.

There’s a lot to be said for turn-key classics, and this 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe is a great example of the breed. It is not perfect, but that could be part of its attraction for potential buyers. A fresh coat of paint would profoundly impact its presentation, but its current appearance blesses it with bags of character. It also means that the driving experience has the potential to be a relaxed and enjoyable one. If the car fell victim to the occasional paint chip in its current state, that would be disappointing, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. However, if the car was pristine and the same thing occurred, that could cause the owner some stress and anxiety. Personally, I’d opt to leave it as-is and get out on the road for some relaxed fun. After all, isn’t that what owning a classic car is supposed to be all about?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Doug from MD.

    Man I love these cars. I’ve seen these built in stock custum hot rod you name it. Just have a soft spot for these 49- 54 chevys. Great years for GM in my opinion. My bro had a 49 with a 350/350 combo fun car for the early 70s. Wish I could have it but not now.

    Like 3
  2. Fred W

    I prefer to own a car in this condition- presents well in photos and at 20 feet, but far from perfect (like my ’48 Lincoln convertible). I can drive it anywhere and not be concerned with a tiny paint chip that devalues the car $1000.

    Like 12
  3. Malcolm Boyes

    Makes me miss “The Roach” my 53 Chevy 4 door (never did know what real model it was). Drove it from New Orleans to LA and down to Baja loaded with surfboards. These may not be fast but they will happily cruise at freeway speeds and as this seller says”run like a Swiss clock”. That car cost me $475..but it got parked out front by the valets at every restaurant in Beverly Hills ( maybe they couldn’t handle the three on a tree…but I think they realised it was just cool!) I finally traded it for a kitchen remodel when I got my 1956 Cadillac Coupe De Ville..”Maybelline”..think I got my $$’s worth?

    Like 1
  4. ADM

    The dashboard on these years looked pretty good. The ’53 and ’54’s, not so much. I remember reading about a guy who got a screaming deal on a 2-dr sedan, of this vintage, maybe fifteen, or twenty years ago. The original owner had purchased it, brand new, for about $1948.00. The car was low mileage, and looked almost new. As I remember the car being “light yellow,” it was probably a ’52, in “Honeydew.” Even though he offered a realistic price, she would not take more than what she paid for it, even accounting for inflation.

    Like 2
  5. Malcolm Boyes

    There is only thing I would do to this beauty..”The Roach” was a “coffee cream” colour with a brown roof. I think I would paint the roof on this a lighter shade of green..that’s all..and drive it everywhere! And then I see the GT Hawk just up the road..another bucket list car for me..if only I had the room I’d grab both of these!!

    Like 0
  6. Andrew S MaceMember

    Nice car! For whatever it’s worth to anyone, that’s not the original upholstery, which would’ve been a striped grey material. (I know, owning an original ’51 Sport Coupe.)

    Like 1
  7. Kenneth Carney

    My Uncle Claude had a 4-door and it was a great car! That’s where I learned
    to change a set of plugs too. His was
    the same color as this one, and it had a
    216 3 on the tree as well. It also had
    a dark grey mohair interior and fender skirts. Must’ve liked what I saw because I bought a black ’52 just like his. That was in the spring of ’71 and I
    paid $10 for it. After tuning it up, airing
    up the tires, and added fresh gas, Dad
    and I drove it home! Great times!

    Like 3
  8. Gary

    With the standard six, these were wonderful Beautiful to look and and to drive.

    Like 4
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

    “Isn’t that what owning a classic car is all about?” YES, it is. I’m so tired of these flippers and “bottom line” collectors, only in it for the money, and yes, there are quite a few of you on this site. I’m speaking to you.

    One thing about these plain Jane 40s & 50s cars is you put deluxe bumpers on them and chrome trim rings on the dog dish wheels and it immediately snazzy them up.

    Like 6
    • Gary

      When I met up with any number of angels in the near future (hopefully), I hope they are as wise as you.

      Like 1
    • Wayne from Oz

      Just needs the spats put back on . Not much use in the boot. IMO the 4 door has a better silouhette.

      Like 0
  10. sourpwr

    No skirts and hopefully 6 volt, love it !

    Like 1
  11. Peter Storen

    G’day from NSW to BF Writers and Finders ! Allow me to thank and congratulate you for the extremely well-written appraisals , opinions ,attitudes and information you provide for each and every bf. As I’m a 79 yr-OF living down under and the O / D of a ’38 LaSalle Sedan,I will only metaphorically salivate over most of these pre-’55 beauties.Literate folk like you will dig my demographic , and although I’d like to contribute to your financial well-being,I’m not a joiner,but if you send me your financial institution’s ROUTING / SWIFT CODE , I’d be pleased to make a one-of contribution to your bottom-line.Ditto to TOM , another wonderful site !BTW,I enjoy the COMMENTS immensely, especially ones from the would’ve-should’ve-could’ve tyre-kicking set. What a hoot! Keep up your great work and thanks again,Peter

    Like 1
  12. Steve

    I would be very tempted to bid on this car but there is not a single picture of the underside the floor pan, the rockers or the trunk pan. Makes me wonder how much bondo is under that repaint.

    Like 0

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