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OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: lostbooger ()
Date: February 16, 2013 04:29PM

Ive been doing a lot of thinking lately reguarding my car hobby. I will soon have my 4.3 monza up to a daily driver status but as what often happens with us car guys another car has caught my eye.

So I am wondering what the general consensus is on the 49-52 Chevy Fleetlines? I like that they are reletively light by modern standards (3300 lbs) but still have a good size trunk.

Ive been debating that if I were to get one if I would put a modern powerplant and transmission in it or soup up the old stovebolt 6.

I would likely keep the Rampy if I were to do this so dont worry Corvairs will always be in my blood. grinning smiley

Does anyone here have experience with them?

Thank you

Damian


61 Monza 4.3L V6


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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: Mel ()
Date: February 16, 2013 04:36PM

I had a 52 sedan delivery for a while, in good shape these cars handle,ride and stop well, I put a later model 230" Chev 6 in it with a 194" cylinder head and a 292" truck intake/exhaust manifold and a 4 spd Muncie trans. It was pretty peppy and got fantastic mileage ........30-32 HWY was not hard to getthumbs upI like themsmiling smiley

Orangeville, Ontario. CANADA

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: rnch ()
Date: February 16, 2013 04:38PM

I think the rear quarters of the 4 door fleetline rather resembles a Rolls Royce of the same time period.




thumbs up

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: VairKing ()
Date: February 16, 2013 04:38PM

That seems light for as much iron as those cars had, but it sounds like a great idea. I would definitely put a modern powertrain in, EFI, 6 speed transmission (auto or manual) Good solid reliability. So many engines to choose from I would have a hard time picking one. A 5.3 V8 out of a late model chevy truck would be perfect although the mileage wouldn't be as good as a V6. Keep us posted with what you decide to do, I love this stuff!



_________________________________________
Ryan Counterman (Moderator)
1965 Corsa Kelmark V8 400 HP ///1965 Monza Sedan 110/PG /// Ultimate Corvair Hauler/// Don Eichstaedt's 1965 Corsa Racecar
West Michigan Corvair Club /// New Build! 1966 Corsa GTP Convertible Mid Engine 3.8L Supercharged!

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: February 16, 2013 04:47PM

I had a customer with a '49... 235 2-carb, split Y, twice pipes, 3 on the tree. It was a ball to drive and lots more than just peppy; it was quick. I would 10x rather have that fine "nostalgia" motor than a modern engine.

Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
66 Red Monza 2dr 140/4 EFI 60k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
65 Cypress Green Monza 140/4 4dr
65 White 4-dr 110/AC/PG (parts)



19 Tons of parts in boxes

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: strangecars ()
Date: February 16, 2013 05:14PM

IMHO, Great choice on the vehicle. The engine/trans combo is better determined by your purpose for the car. I really like the style of a restored but also using modern parts and systems for safety, reliability. I also support the inline 6 with an auto trans. Keeping it non-computerized and keeping it as simple as possible. That makes it low cost and easier to get replacements. Camaro sub-frames and rear axles are commonly done thus giving you newer brakes and all of the GM engine combos available to you.

Steve Morton
1967 Monza 110/4spd
Corsa Member Emmett, Idaho

"If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong"

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: irvan ()
Date: February 16, 2013 05:24PM

i sold my 49 Fleetline in september to a guy in Los Angles who was going to turn it into a lowrider, it was a good looking old car but not much fun to drive. Mid 50s and newer are a lot more driveable, i had forgotten the differences in driving a 216 as opposed to a 235, i think it will be very happy in California

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: lostbooger ()
Date: February 16, 2013 06:02PM

Glad to hear they are a well thought of car! My grandfather had one and he LOVED it! "Told me he was the fastest thing around till those dang V8 55 Chevys came out" haha.


I have thought about several number of engines for a conversion if I were to do one. First of all I would buy one that is solid but not too nice. I would hate to modify an original.

I was thinking about the LL8 straight 6 that is in the Trailblazer. 290HP I think.

Of course there are plenty of cheap 5.3 engines too so that is more likely but less unique.

Playing with the old stovebolt looks like fun too. There is a lot of aftermarket support for it. But since Im looking for more of a daily driver I would like as much driveability and MPG as I can get. I know its not too hard to put more modern brakes and suspension on these cars.

I like that they are surprisingly affordable. I have found several descent ones for not much more then what I just sold my Corsa for.

Damian


61 Monza 4.3L V6


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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: Aaron65 ()
Date: February 17, 2013 12:13AM

I have a "list" of 28 or so cars that are OK for me to buy. A '50 Fleetline is one of them ('49-'51 actually)...Great looking cars...I'd keep the 6, but I like old stuff. I'll agree that a nice 60s car is much nicer to drive, but those 50s cars look great too!

1965 Corvair Monza Convertible 95 4-sp.
1965 Buick Skylark
1965 Ford Mustang
1965 Dodge Dart 170 Wagon
1953 Buick Special Riviera

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: Pacerace ()
Date: February 17, 2013 12:25AM

I personally have a soft spot for a car from the 50's. Honestly if I was home, and my car was running well, I would have considered trading it for a '55 Mercury Custom 2 door I found on craigslist with the 292 Y block. Luckily no dark side for me!

________________________________________________________

Chandler
Roswell, GA.


1965 Corvair Monza 110/4sp Coupe

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: February 17, 2013 12:32AM

Lostbooger! I agree that how you modify it should be dictated by how you intend to drive it. I you want to keep the stock apperance and just stay close to home, keep the 216. If you want to look original but do serious traveling, a modified 292 with a modern OD auto or OD manual trans would be a great package. Alternative / vintage engines have been very popular in the steet rod / resto-rod world for several years now and the trend has no sign of letting up. It will cost more to build a vintage engine but the trend got started because people were tired of seeing a SBC in every street rod they looked at. Builders also have found out how sweet running and dependable the old engines were, and also realized that a ground shaking 600 Hp gas guzzeler isn't very pleasant to travel in.

Dan Brizendine,
'64 8door Greenbrier 140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: jimmyo ()
Date: February 17, 2013 03:09AM

I love the Fleetline's, my preference would be a stock stovebolt with dual carbs. If that wasn't possible, I could live with a sbc.

Jim O'Connor
45 miles north of The Bronx, N.Y.
1962 Greenbrier 110 4spd
1964 Monza Convertible 110 PG
"Wherever you go....There you are"


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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: malibusled ()
Date: February 17, 2013 01:24PM

My dad has a '52 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 door hard top.
It's a beautiful car.
It has a frenched in rear antenna, custom '55 Chevy head lights and the trim in the center of the hood has been removed.
I think the two tone "bittersweet" pearl and white pearl looks great.
It also has a custom "bittersweet" interior with pinstriping.

It has the 235 Stovebolt 6 cylinder, with Offenhauser split intake and dual carbs.
It also has fenton split headers and dual exhaust.
Sounds great! It's also "3 on the tree"
It's important to get a later year 235 block, dad's is a '64 engine.
I think the earlier block didn't have an oil pump and was different style of main bearing????
Perhaps someone else could elaborate.

A little tough for me to drive, not being used to a front engine car with no power steering.













Ed Bartlett
1961 Corvair 95 Rampside 110 4 Speed
1964 Corvair Monza Convertible 95 PG
1965 Corvair Monza Coupe 140/4 Speed Conversion - Oshawa Built
1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible 180 Turbo - Oshawa Built
1966 Corvair Monza Coupe 110/PG - Oshawa Built
Bobcaygeon, ON Canada

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: Mel ()
Date: February 17, 2013 01:47PM

Ya have a hard time steering itconfused smiley you better bulk up a biteye rolling smiley. My 1952 235" Chev six had a oil pump and dippers on the ends of the conn rods, the oil pump suplied oil to mains,cam and rocker arm shaft etc as well supplied six streams of oil to the rod dippers. It was a pretty complicated setup but it works wellthumbs up

Orangeville, Ontario. CANADA

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: lostbooger ()
Date: February 17, 2013 01:47PM

Wow thats pretty!

I think your right about the engine needing to be later one. The later ones have more main bearings, better oil control and I think the really early ones did not even have an oil filter!

I think adding power steering would be a must for me if I were to make one into a daily driver. There are no shortage of previously modified ones out there so Im going to look for those first if I decide to do this. Add a Camaro front clip or something.

Strangly my wife is giving me her full support!

Damian


61 Monza 4.3L V6


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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: Aaron65 ()
Date: February 17, 2013 01:53PM

I drive my '53 Buick quite a bit with no power steering--it's not that bad once you get used to it.

1965 Corvair Monza Convertible 95 4-sp.
1965 Buick Skylark
1965 Ford Mustang
1965 Dodge Dart 170 Wagon
1953 Buick Special Riviera

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: vaporloc ()
Date: February 17, 2013 02:05PM

I remember my 54 belair conv. I stuffed a 283 4 speed into it. Turned into a real project. The firewall had two verticle braces that had to be cut off. Had to use 265 exhaust manifolds in reverse to clear the steering box. That way the exhaust came out towards the front of the engine. Next comes the old torque tube drive shaft. It will be easier to up grade the six.

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: malibusled ()
Date: February 17, 2013 02:12PM

It's not that it's hard to steer, I'm just not used to it.
I can almost palm steer my vairs, and I didn't grow up in the era without power steering.
It's a great car to drive, it has gobs of low end torque and works very nice.

I didn't mention, we also have a remote oil filter on it, mounted on the left front fender. It seems to work quite well.

We talked about swapping the front clip and making it power steering, but the cost and work doesn't add up to the advantage.

He really doesn't mind.

Ed Bartlett
1961 Corvair 95 Rampside 110 4 Speed
1964 Corvair Monza Convertible 95 PG
1965 Corvair Monza Coupe 140/4 Speed Conversion - Oshawa Built
1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible 180 Turbo - Oshawa Built
1966 Corvair Monza Coupe 110/PG - Oshawa Built
Bobcaygeon, ON Canada

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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: jimmyo ()
Date: February 17, 2013 02:32PM

I've have plenty of not power steering cars, While making slow maneuvers is the only time you have to muscle them. My friend wants to convert his 62 chevyII to power steering and it nuts what he'll have to go though to do it. There's a 2 door Fleetline near me for sale, It might be a 50. It's has the whole gasser thing going, which doesn't appeal to me. I never stopped to see how much. The rear of the Fleetwood is a thing of beauty, it's hard to resist. Dammit!, now I want one!....ggg

Jim O'Connor
45 miles north of The Bronx, N.Y.
1962 Greenbrier 110 4spd
1964 Monza Convertible 110 PG
"Wherever you go....There you are"


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Re: OT- 51 Chevy Fleetline
Posted by: lostbooger ()
Date: February 17, 2013 02:45PM

Haha Jim you are the second person Ive done that too.

I just really need to drive one and go from there. There are a couple really nice mostly original ones near me that are in my price range. I like the idea of modifying up the stovebolt. Go with that early 50's hot rod look.

Damian


61 Monza 4.3L V6


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