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1950-1954 Chevs, which would you choose and why?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by oldrelics, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. oldrelics
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,727

    from Calgary

    Which year out of the 1950-1954 Chev's would you choose to build a custom car out of and why? Just by looks or are there other advantages between the different years, like parts availabilities or better suited to modifications?
  2. 2racer
    Joined: Sep 1, 2011
    Posts: 960


    1954 as i was born that year, would be a traditional hot rod not a custom
  3. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,732


    50-52 cause the look better. Plus you might score a Fleetline. But the 53-54 grille is keen.
  4. ugotd8
    Joined: Dec 8, 2010
    Posts: 52

    from Denver

    I've had both and I'd say aside from looks they are about equal in regards to parts availability and difficulty to modify.

    I like the 54 grille and front bumper, nothing in those years comes close. My ideal car from this group would be a hybrid, 49-50 fleetline with 54 front end. Yeah.

    Also, you are more likely to run into a 53-54 with a running 235 that you could drive around for a bit and still have a little resale value on the motor. The general consensus on the 216s (49-52) is that they are boat anchors due to the lack of an oil pump.

  5. Cliff Cordova
    Joined: Apr 28, 2013
    Posts: 8

    Cliff Cordova

    I found my 53 randomly but now after looking at all of them I think the 53 grille is the shit for kustomizing. I took the teeth out just to see how it looked a couple years ago and they might stay out. The kool part about the 53 is it has a natural "fishmouth" around the grille that most of us on here love or at least we've all seen done on early kustoms. But you can't beat 54 tail lights....mmmmmboyyyy.......I did put those on my 53. way prettier than the 53 light...
  6. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962


    I scored my '51 after years of research and thought. Well, it was more like an hour. Okay, 15 minutes.

    If I had done my research, I may not have bought it. This thing does NOT want to be built. Don't know why, it's just a slow slow road. LOTS of fabrication, not a lot of aftermarket stuff (like a 40's ford or a '55/6/7 chevy). Lots of scrounging. Lots of swap meets.

    Still, I love the look. For a hotrod, or a very mild custom.
  7. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,692

    from Kent, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    each has its pros. but I like the look of the 53 grills with extra teeth but using 54 taillights (lee lenses) if it is a hardtop. I like the 49-50 coupes if you plan to chop
  8. Forty61
    Joined: Jul 29, 2013
    Posts: 35

    from DFW

    I got a '51. Not quite the aftermarket I thought there was gonna be but that's half the fun of owning something isn't it? Finding that one part that's impossible to locate.

    Also, my fiance freaking loves it. Lol.
  9. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,565


    53 or 54 . owned three53 s and one 54. like the 53 grille and 54 tailights with lee lenses.
  10. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,432


    If you''re doing a full on build, it's a matter of taste.
    I would consider body style more important than year.

    If you're keeping it relatively stock, there were some slight improvements over the years.
    In 1951, the brakes were upgraded, from Huck style to Bendix.
    In 1953, the 4:11 gears in straight drive cars were replaced with more highway friendly 3:70's gears.
    Most importantly, as has been mentioned fully pressurized oiling systems were introduced to Powerglide equipped cars in 1953, and in all 1954's..

    I own both a '49 Fleetline and a '50 coupe, both with souped up 216 motors.
    Finding speed parts has been challenging, and that has made it fun. The '49, BTW, wears '53 grille teeth.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  11. Cliff Cordova
    Joined: Apr 28, 2013
    Posts: 8

    Cliff Cordova

    They did use the early oil slinger system on the 235 into 53 on the stick cars. That's what came with my 53. 54 motor lives there now..
  12. If you are going to build a full custom, I think the 50-52 fastback would lend itself better to that genre. The 53-54s are too boxy unless you chop the top and lay it down pretty good in the back. If going custom, the aftermarket availability of parts is a moot point.
    My 2¢
  13. Carguy365-24-7
    Joined: Mar 25, 2006
    Posts: 909


    The 49-50 has it!!!
  14. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,247

    from Michigan

    You forgot the '49.

    Looks-wise, I agree. the '49/'52 has a smoother, less boxy look than the '53/'54, and the '49/'50 is even smoother looking than the '51/'52. It's mostly to do with the rear fenders. The rear portion of the '49/'50 rear fenders has more of a slope than the '51/'52...more french curve-like.
  15. Driveway builder
    Joined: Jan 17, 2013
    Posts: 510

    Driveway builder

    My vote is the 52... here is my 54 parked next to my 52. I like the 54, but I think the 52 has better lines. Just my 2 cents though.
  16. xhotrodder
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,618


    53 because of the grill, but put 54 taillights on it with the red molded lens.
  17. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 894

    Dave Downs
    from S.E. Penna

    I have a '49 Coupe, in the past a '50 2-door, '51 2-door, (all Stylelines) and a 53 Hardtop - would choose a '54 Hardtop today, just like the looks...
  18. MEDDLER1
    Joined: Jun 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,590


    Choose the one you can afford, they are all great cars to begin with. I chose the 54 because it was in our group of friends for years and I had always wanted it anyway. A deal was made and its almost drivable now.
  19. chevy54man
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,683

    from NC

    Honestly love them all but would choose a '54 hardtop as a mild custom!
  20. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    I wanted a car as old as me, and it had to be a Business Coupe of 1951 vintage. I bought it right here off the HAMB classifieds, but have since given the car to my nephew; along with the mild 350, beefed Powerglide transmission, 56 vintage, 4.88 Positraction rear end, the big and little Cragar S/S wheels, and the list goes on and on. It's got a Street Gasser look to it. We built it mostly with what I had on hand, the nephew bought the new bucket seats from Amazon.Com, and the chrome engine dress-up kit from PEP Boys. I don't have a son, and my nephew's always been close to his "favorite uncle" (can't figure why on that one???); that's why I gave him the project. Needs body work-paint, and the interior finished, but mechanically, everything is new or rebuilt. So, definitely a hot rod-drag car 1951 Chevrolet Business Coupe, AKA, The Chicken Coupe. Butch/56sedandelivery.
  21. Mr Lucky
    Joined: Jun 15, 2010
    Posts: 54

    Mr Lucky

    How about a 51 Coupe with a 53 grill shell, 54 Vette teeth, and 54 rear quarters. The best of all.
  22. 911 steve
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 640

    911 steve
    from nebraska

    1954, when I started rodding again after retiring I had 54 Chev sedan delivery. I got it for a great price and all the work was done. It was bright yellow, chopped 6" & windows were 7" high, made wife very claustrophobic. 59 Plymouth tailights mounted vertically, Buick Grand Nat'l turbo V6 drivetrain. 79 Monte Carlo instrument cluster. Sadly it caught fire & got totaled but that allowed me to buy a 40 Ford like the one I had in 1972.
  23. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,680

    from Bryan, Tx

    I like them all :)

    Attached Files:

  24. 49styleline
    Joined: Nov 1, 2012
    Posts: 507

    from oregon

    I gotta say a 52 coupe. The coupes look reeaaly good chopped and slammed And I like the rear quarters for the 51-52 cars if its going to be bagged. But I'm happy with my 49 moor door c-Dan :)
  25. 49styleline
    Joined: Nov 1, 2012
    Posts: 507

    from oregon

    Man that chopped 4 door looks sharp.. Tempting..
  26. Hotrodhog
    Joined: Aug 11, 2011
    Posts: 169


    All a matter of taste...I've seen 'em done a hundred different ways and whatever floats your boat is the best way...'54 is my favorite
  27. fordsum
    Joined: Mar 22, 2012
    Posts: 124

    from SO CA

    I like the 49 because it was the first all new model since the end of WWII
  28. johnny two tone
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 27

    johnny two tone
    from nj

    51 chevy delux because it looks kool with a chopped top all the 49 50 51 mercs have every idea done to them those old chevys have endless potensHAL AND MY 51 ONLY COST 150 DOLLARS LOVE THE TRUNK AND HOOD
  29. EZ Cool
    Joined: Nov 17, 2011
    Posts: 261

    EZ Cool
    Alliance Vendor

    My '50 Sedan Delivery found me through Craigslist. It was a deal I couldn't pass up. It was a one owner in need of a drive train and I had a nailhead and sp400 that needed a home.

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