Classic Car Overview
1949 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe Chevrolets new post-war line of 1949, The Most Beautiful Buy of All, included, at its peak, the Fleetline DeLuxe, a continuation of the 1942 1948 Fleetline that included two upmarket body styles, a two-door and four-door sedan, both with a streamlined fastback roofline. Buyers responded to the Fleetline DeLuxes gorgeous, flowing styling by buying nearly 312,000 of them. It is amazing, then, that they are so rarely seen today where did they all go? For consignment a 1949 example of the Chevrolet Fleetline 4 door sedan. Like the Yucca Moth Pupae, this car has just emerged from long term storage, and had the once over to fix any issues that arise with said storage. Now all buttoned up showing nicely in its pontoon styling, and an all original un-modified or rodded look (which is very popular with these cars), a fine example with low low mileage (78K) and looking fabulous to round out the forties. Exterior Mayland Black paint which was an earlier respray has some of the issues of long term storage in the form of some chipping, dimpling and just a few dents, but remains shiny overall. A nice patina which surely will pass for an older restoration but retains its original charm. One of the points of this car that can be dealt with or left alone and either would be a good decision. Chrome is all looking very nice, mirror-like with no dimples or signs of any rust. There is definitely not a straight line on this car, and all the trimmings are closely adhered to the original steel body, that shows no real rust. From its toothless front grille wrapped in big chrome and fashioning the 3 tiered grille with wrap around bumper below, to the red plastic rocket styled hood ornament with Chevrolet badge, and the ever-present trim spear that starts just behind the headlight bezels and dies in the middle of the front door shes really showing off that great designers pen. In the rear quarter a rounded bump out fender complete with a chromed mid trimming and stainless plate in front of the bump-out, the usage of fender skirts keeps the rocker line straight and level from front to rear. The pontoon styled curved rear is sculpted with the fenders and appears to have the car in motion, even when sitting still. On the back, a large bumper protects all this curvaceousness, small tail lighting, trunk handle and badging. Bowtie badged dog dish style wheel covers cover a black painted wheel with some extra edge dishes in chrome to be wrapped in thin white sidewalls on modern radial tires on all 4 corners. Interior With a swing of the doors we see tan broadcloth door panels that show some water staining. Knobs, pulls and cranks all are looking shiny. Inside a two-tone light tan and slightly darker tan broadcloth with a ribbed pattern covers the front and rear bench seats. These sit within upholstered tubs which are solid tan broadcloth and are bordered with dark piping. The metal dash remains like original and sports a dark brown dash front, and tan dash top, all adorned with plenty of chrome ribbed accenting, and nicely aged bakelite knobs. An original steering wheel with 2 tone to match the dash, along with a chrome half circle horn ring fronts this nice dash. On the floors is some thin ribbed dark gray carpet in front and some slightly worn tan carpet for the rear passengers. A mohair headliner showing extensive water damage is above and remains tight to the ceiling. Drivetrain Under the hood an unrestored inline 6-cylinder engine in 216ci size is topped with a 1-barrel carburetor and has a 3-speed manual transmission. A new radiator, water pump, fuel pump, rebuilt carburetor and generator, and a complete tune up have this car running nicely post storage. Undercarriage Plenty of surface rust, although all is structurally sound for the frame, body hangers, floorpans and rockers, as well as the wheel wells. Independent coil springs are upfront, and leaf springs are on back with drum brakes all around. A new exhaust snakes its way from front to back. New wheel cylinders and a new master cylinder have been upgraded recently. Drive-Ability This car cranked right up, and on the test track performed beautifully. It ran smoothly, shifted nicely, and had decent braking for non powered hydraulic drums. All was functioning well, and it was a great cruiser, able to get up to highway speed and feel stable. For the Chevrolet enthusiast who appreciates clean, well-maintained, and beautifully kept originality, this example of post-war streamlined design would be hard to beat. It would be a surefire head-turner in the Antique Automobile Club of Americas Historic Preservation of Original Features class, and a fun driver for this pre mid-century torpedo design car.