As with most car manufacturers, Chevrolet brought back largely the same cars after World War 2, since little money had been spent on development of new models. And the American public was happily gobbling up everything they could produce, even paying huge mark-ups for the privilege of having a new set of wheels after 4 years’ production embargo. And while the wood-bodied Fleetmaster wagons are most popular, and the top Fleetline trim level being more luxurious, the mid-range Fleetmaster gets you most of the experience. And it’s not like you’re foregoing air conditioning and GPS, as you couldn’t get either back then. Check out this 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster for sale for $2995 in Happy Valley, OR.
The car is for sale with a dealer specializing in 1950s cars. The great thing about this car is, it looks like a typical used American sedan might have at the tail end of the 50s – faded paint, slightly battered, blowing a little smoke, but still working hard. The selling dealer suggests it could be a good basis for a rolling project, and while it’s equipped with a heater and radio, neither are functional. However, in a car so basic and ubiquitous (over 500,000 built in 3 years) it shouldn’t be hard to get that sorted.
There’s no visible rust, but with this car, still at the bottom of its depreciation curve, you’ll want to check carefully for body damage – at one point, it was just a used old pile, repairs to which were to be done as economically as possible. While this was a really ordinary car for 1948, it really has presence today, and would probably attract the attention of onlookers and/or valets wherever you go.
The interior is rough at best – those nasty seat covers need to be laundered or replaced, and the cloth weatherstripping around the doors is ragged. Rough does not mean unusable, though – where many of these cars at this level have swathes of missing upholstery and completely warped door panels, this is at least intact and functional.
The 90hp 216ci Blue Flame inline six is probably one of the most long-lived engines ever, and while somewhat crude, it’s probably torquey, durable and reliable. Paired with a manual 3-speed, you should get along just fine in traffic – just plan your stops appropriately. This car has been available for a while with at least a couple of price reductions, so you should be able to pick this up for a song – or are there some solid reasons why it’s lingered?