El Cerrito Street Sighting - 1951 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe
One of the great candidates for a budget '50s custom is the 1949-54 Chevrolet. They come in several body styles, have a classic look to them and are relatively easy to come by. They still have a vestige of that fat-fendered style and a good amount of chrome, and they support a range of themes from hydraulic lowrider to chopped and dropped lead sled. Sure, there's no factory V8 to speak of, but that never stopped any hot-rodder worth his salt.
The 1951 Chevy DeLuxe was the top trim level in the regular sedan lineup. Notchback coupes and sedans were called Styleline while fastback two- and four-door sedan models were Fleetlines. The hardtop coupe was named Bel Air. A pillared Sport Coupe, Business Coupe with no back seat, and a two-door sedan with a longer roof were offered; this one is the latter. All '51 Chevys came with six-cylinder engines, either a 216 cubic inch Thriftmaster or 235 "Stovebolt". A Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission was a convenience option in place of the standard three-speed manual box, and as far as I know, Powerglide cars were all paired with the larger 235 engine.
This car has some accessories and options, including Powerglide (a $156.00 option), a metal windshield visor ($17.50), dual spot lights, reverse lamps ($8.90) and hood ornament ($7.80). Custom touches include dual exhaust, headlight eyebrows, chrome lake pipes, baby moon hubcaps and fat whitewall tires. Paint looks like an older job in a pale mint green and white with some tasteful pinstriping. I like most of what's been done here and it's a nice budget cruiser. The license plates are a hint as to when the work was done, since the style is from the late '80s to early '90s. It's still a "Cool 51", and with a bit of freshening up it'll look even cooler.
California Streets is a blog that celebrates the history of the automobile in California. We feature old, interesting and often rare cars and trucks found parked on public streets and roads around the state of California.
I'm a delivery driver by trade, but I'm also a freelance artist and hobby photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area with a healthy interest in cars. I love finding and documenting fascinating old vehicles wherever I go.