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49-54 Chevy 2 door info req

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by gasolinescream, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. gasolinescream
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 614


    I'm seriously thinking about buying a 49-54 Chevy 2 door sometime in the near future. Those seem to be the years of the cars i like so much. It's that or a PV544 Volvo and from what i've seen i can import a Chevy for no more than a PV and the Chevy is #2 on my list of cars to have and the Volvo #3. The #1 is an A Coupe with a Flatty but thats not happening for a long time. So from all the posts i have read here there seems to be alot of different models and specs.
    Not being from the US i don't fully understand what the actual models and actual years are that i like. Saying that i'd own anyone of them but some seem to have nicer lines, trim etc. I'd like to be able to at least get a short list together. Also from experience here, are any better than others, parts easier to get etc etc.
    Once i actually know what it is i'd prefer i can then go about starting to look for one in the US and get an idea on prices etc. Is there any websites that folks have used that could help me identify models a little better?
    I done searches but not really getting anywhere and getting a little confused. Any advise or info into buying one, what to avoid, what to buy, where to buy etc would really help. Not looking at building a something too wild, just a really clean stocker with a hopped up stock motor and a good lowering job would be the ticket. Love a chopped car but here in the Uk certain mods are getting harder to do and something like i've described wouldn't be too much of an issue.

    Wish i knew more about US cars, feel a little dumb asking but hoping someone can help me make sense of it all.

    Many thanks Dan
  2. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621


    Hey Dan,

    The guys over on are VERY helpful and know pretty much everything about the years you're mentioned. But for a quick overview this will give you some reading

    I'm not sure of the earlier years, but the 53-54 came in three packages, 110, 210 and Belair - and most things, like heat, were options.

    Hope this helps get you started.
  3. robleticia
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,497


    Send the name and some more pics of the girl in your avatar and we will help you!

  4. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    Try to get one that either has had the 53-62 235 already swapped in or is actually a 53-54 if you want a stock powerplant. They are way better than 216s.

    HOWEVER, 53-54 have different motor mounts and trans crossmember. makes routing fenton headers a pain. drivers side mount is in the way.

    By 1953 the models available were 1500, 2100 and 2400, later called 150, 210 and BelAir. These trim packages were available across body styles, sedan, coupe, sport coupe, hardtop, wagon

    Plenty of good and bad opinions on the differences.
  5. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    just google sabina kelley
  6. are you really having a hard tiome choosing between a volvo or a 49-54 chevy ?
  7. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    Maybe not kool enough for Kalifornia.<br>But it looks good enough for me to cruise in.<br>options in the UK aren't as plentiful as the Kalifornia Koastilne.<br>[​IMG]
  8. gasolinescream
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 614


    I do like the size and shape of the PV's and quite a rare car here. Just a shame they have a Volvo badge on them. Mind you i have an early Amazon as my daily so aren't knocking them too much. You guys in the US are spoilt with cool cars and with them seeming to be readily available i can see why a PV wouldn't be your first choice. Don't worry, I've given myself a slap and its a Chevy i'll end up getting unless a mint, cheap PV shows up, hence the post. Just got to work out what year and model.

    Thanks for the replies so far, gives me something to start with but please keep the advise coming.

    Cheers Dan
  9. AntiBling
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 612


    A volvo with a v-8 swapped into it would be killer, and way more original than a 49-54 chevy.

    And I own a 54 chevy...

    I would've came home from Wyoming one time with a volvo if I wasn't supposed to haul a cattle chute on the trailer I was pulling.
  10. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962


    while that choice may or not be a nobrainer to some, consider that he's in the UK and needs to balance import costs, part availability and such.

    OP: Head over to Chevytalk. (I'm also a member there)- and go to the 49-54 car forum, once you've done a little homework- and definitely after you've taken delivery of your car!

    Some things I learned along the way: - also covered ad-nauseum on Chevy Talk.

    '49-'52 Chevys came in all kinds of body styles- but the most commonly discussed are the Styleline and the Fleetline.

    Styleline (specifically, mine- being rebuilt as we speak. slowly.):


    Fleetline (sourced via google, I don't know this car):

    The main differences is in the roofline - the fleetline is actually about a 1" chop from the styleline.

    Within each 'model'- there are two trim levels- Standard and Deluxe. The Deluxe has more stainless steel/chrome and some additional interior options.

    In addition to the Styleline/Fleetline, you can get wagons, sedan deliveries, and in Oz they even have what they call "utes" - think elcamino.

    Full rear quater panels are not being repopped. (The bottoms are though, and I've never seen a '49-'52 chevy where the bottoms of the rear fenders were not rotted to hell and back. I'm sure they exist, but I've never seen one).

    Fenders are not being repopped.
    Hoods are not being repopped.
    Trunklids are not being repopped.
    Neither are doors.

    Doors and glass do not interchange between fleetlines and stylelines.

    These cars all have torque-tube enclosed drive lines- so if you want to put a V8 or a later I6 with anything better than a cast-iron powerglide or saginaw 3 speed, you'll need to replace everything from the engine fan all the way back to the rear end to do it. Some also recommend changing the springs as well (although I'm not personally convinced).

    '51s and newer have bendix brakes.

    '49-50 fenders interchange.
    '51-52 fenders interchange
    '49 fenders and '51 fenders do not interchange due to grill differences.

    The frames in these cars are very strong - it's a 'tophat' design. Find one that hasn't succumbed to rust and it will last you a long time.

    Brakes are underfloor. Standard shift cars use a different brake master cylinder than automatics. This is because the clutch pedal pivots on the master cylinder.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  11. blinddaddykarno
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 121


    Don't forget about the Bel Air, snazzier roof than the coupe, I have one of each in my "to-do" field!!
  12. gasolinescream
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 614


    Sorry for you guys my options may seem a little strange. Even though PV's are rare, parts for them are available and alot of Amazon stuff fits. Amazon stuff is reasonably cheap and that's why i cruise one, i'm a part-time student and money is tight for a while. My cars in my intro, little O/T but still a nice cruiser. Once qualified i want to treat myself after 4 years of study work to be a teacher supporting troubled young adults.
    I really appreciate the advice and hoping that once i get a car, through support here i can help keep it on the road and do some of the mods that i want to. Some great cars here and i came to learn and listen to folks advice.

    Thanks again, Dan
  13. robleticia
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,497


    If you can find a Chevy that would be my choice, however, I have always wondered what one of those Volvos would look like fixed up!
  14. butcherted
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 762

    from hagerstown

    Go for the Chevy.

    Attached Files:

  15. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,454


  16. They do make door bottoms, though, and floorpans, and tailpans, repro. There also is a bottom front fender patch.

    As far as the fender interchange, you can make 51-52 fenders work on 49-50 and vice versa - the newer ones need a bit of trimming, and the older ones may need a piece of tin added to fill a hole if the grille doesn't cover it (and it probably does). A few grille bolt holes could differ.

    Big thing is you have four different sets of glass for these cars:

    Styline/Coupe/Sedan Delivery (except rear window)
    Station Wagon

    Each one is different.
  17. Tin Can
    Joined: Nov 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,096

    Tin Can

    national chevy association shows all the different models.
  18. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    I prefer the Coupes, and specifically the Business Coupes, 49-52. The plainer the better. I bought a 51 Bus Coupe here off the HAMB around 3 years ago. Wound up giving it to my nephew, and we've put a 350 SBC/Built Powerglide, and 4.88 Positraction 56 rear end in the car. The nephew loves it, and we have'nt even begun the bodywork/paint yet. He's already had an offer to sell the car. I even offered him one of my 56 Sedan Delivery bodies to swap the powertrain in; no way! And, 52's also have the "tower" type motor mounts the 53 and 54 have. Butch/56sedandelivery.

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