Jerome Solberg found this 1950 Chevy that looks more like something one might expect to see in the ’70s or ’80s. It’s a time capsule of a different sort. I hope it’s not too distressing to some of you.
The body looks to be in reasonably good shape, but that’s not too surprising since this is in California.
The dual exhausts strongly suggests a V8 has been implanted. Of course it’s possible someone hopped up the old six.
It looks to have retained the three-speed column shift. I’d forgotten about those vertical radios in these. Let’s take a closer look.
Thos white buttons are showing a bit of aging.
When I lived in Iowa City for the second time (1971-1975), these were a popular cheap used car, as there were old farmers who still had these (and the same era Chevy pickups), and one could pick them up from estate sales when they passed away. They were tough, simple, and the Stovebolt six was hard to kill.
I remember the stuffing coming out of the seats too, although that wool mohair or broadcloth was pretty stout stuff. A bit itchy in the summer on bare skin, though.
Just needs a rattle can primer paint job, then it would really look vintage ’70s.
I always thought the early 1950 GM cars were much nicer in their design than the contemporary Chryslers and the shoe box Fords.
I don’t mind the rattle can exterior, but the bare springs under the driver’s upper legs could be a tad uncomfortable.
Where’s that old multi-colored horse blanket when you need it.
I also wonder if the tachometer mounted to the left of the shift rod still works.
Most likely if that tach still functions, it registers in quick jumps up to around the 687 rpms that old babbitt bearing six was able to regurgitate.
Poured bearings of this wonderful material had the shelf life of approximately 2 years, 4months, 6 days before a-rat-tat-tatting themselves to the bottom of the oil pan. Right after the first hint mr. throttle suggested wide open duration of acceleration lasting more than a minute
I get your snark, but that was not the typical experience people had with Babbitt bearings “back in the day.” There is still a lot of machinery with poured bearings that still runs today. There problem is, Babbitt bearings are an art or craft that relies entirely upon the skill of the craftsman. The trick is finding a craftsman.
Interesting contrast. Where in car photography, the subject is typically the solid foreground surface. And the background provides the texture (graffiti). Background is muted here.
Wish, there was more automotive art.
Langdon Clay’s NYC photo book has been on my wishlist since it was featured here at CC years ago.
Moi, aussi. 🙂 In the ’70s and ’80s, It was only 400 miles from my parent’s home to NYC. Wish we had made some trips.
This car still runs and drives and you see it parked in different neighborhoods.
Thanks Paul for posting these photos.
Either this guy has enemies in the neighborhood, or maybe it was intended as an art piece? This graffitti doesn’t seem to say anything. Were there profanities or slurs edited out through photo shop? Most graffitti’d cars are covered with gang signs or ethnic or sexual identity slurs.
These old Chevys were fairly common on the streets when I was growing up in the early ’60’s. But most middle class people, and even blue collar folks, traded to newer cars every few years. Three to five year old cars were common as used cars. Remember that cars didn’t last that long mechanically, and the rapid periods of restyling made cars visually age much quicker. That seat stuffing exploding through the upholstery was a vivid memory that has never left me.
I agree as it looks to be an art car. The only word I can make out is “Black Jack” otherwise it’s a visual word salad of sorts. If they really want to get people thinking they could play Adriano Celentano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol song on repeat. Its meant to sound like English but it’s just nonsense.
This would be fun to show at Cars & Coffee just to watch peoples reactions.
I have a similar ’52 in green (kind of a light pea green) with much less graffiti. Also much less rust, or primer, or the stiff broom-like material exposed. That stuff has to feel like sliding butt first down a bristle cone pine bough right after the top most branch you were on, gave way. Hooked your drawers and pants off first then gave new meaning to the word “chafed” as the split second ride downward felt like eternity.
Truly am glad this old gurl made it this far in life, but sad it’s remaining days are occluded by dime-store paint. Most likely kiped from a hardware store then sprayed with meaningless tripe similar to every boxcar in America.
Imagine it getting assembled 70 odd years ago and appearing fresh, wonderful, and having that new car smell….. that is what I wish to think of this ’50 Chevy as. Not the moldering dung heap we have to avert our eyes else causing a grimace to cross our countenance
Well you dont have to worry about anyone stealing it
Distressed you say??
I’m seeking therapy first thing tomorrow.
Excuse me while I hurl! I find things like this disgusting to look at along with most “art cars”. Maybe I am repulsed by this car because my first one was a ’51 Chevy. It was old when I got it when I was 16 but was in fair shape. In fact, after I buffed out the black paint, added white walls, added nice wheel covers, ditched the fender skirts and installed seat covers and redid the door panels it presented pretty nicely. It was a good car and I only traded it for a ’55 Ford is because the Powerglide ( two in the glue) started giving me trouble. My car was scrapped decades ago I am certain, as my brother in law’s cousin found the title in a box and gave it to me a few years ago. It had never been transferred from the dealer. My car may be gone, but at least I treated it with the respect it had earned.
It runs and drives, yet the police don’t care about the obscured license plate?
These have a torque tube rear end so a V8 is a little more involved than just swapping an engine in. Given the condition of the rest of the car …
At least it’s still going….
Not much as evidenced by the cobwebs .
Babbitt bearings are fine, the problem with the old “Stove Bolt Six” engine was the oiling of the rod bearings wasn’t by pressure ~ it was by cute little scoops that splashed through troughs of oil in the oil pan and when at speed by weak jets of oil .
This was called “target lubrication” and until you drove it on the freeway it was indestructible .
The problem was : America’s love of speed and wide open highways ~ I tried hard to explain to owners that just because your old Stovebolt _could_ easily go 65+ MPH you really shouldn’t .
If this were mine after a week I would have given it a good cleaning and a layer of satin or matte black paint. It does seem solid and undented though, someone does somewhat care about his cool Chevy.
These were very popular worldwide actually, in Europe quite a few original euro delivered cars remain. Australians got these as beautiful coupe utility (ute) pickups while In Rhodesia, South Africa, Namibia and maybe Botswana these were available as two door sedan with a pickup bed in the trunk, take a look at the site classiccarsinrhodesia to see what I mean.