Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe – The Un-Business Business Coupe

posted by William Garrett

You would be forgiven for thinking this was a business coupe, given its shortened roof and resulting long trunk. It would be a business coupe if it were a lower trim Styleline Special. But Chevy also offered this coupe in the Deluxe series, and it had a full back seat to boot. And to distinguish it from the Styleline Two Door Sedan, it was dubbed the Sports Coupe. Not exactly sure what made it sporty, but then it was favored with the go-fast crowd as business coupes were a bit lighter and of course looked…sportier.

Here it is in the 1951 Chevy brochure. “There’s room for six in this spirited coupe with ample knee room between front and rear seats and ample headroom for everyone”. How did they do that? I think they just eliminated the rear parcel shelf and probably used the same rear seat as in the sedan. Or something very close to that.

This looks not to have Powerglide. Back then, Powerglide was essentially a one-speed, although that’s a bit of a misnomer, as its torque converter did provide for a 2.20:1 effective gear ratio range (torque multiplication). That’s close to the typical 2.20:1 to 2:54:1 (or so) first gear in most three and four speed manual transmissions. But then that’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. Among other things, the torque converter kept the engine at a much lower speed (stall speed) at take-off, and engine speed only increased very slowly as the car picked up speed (slowly). Low, which had a 1.82:1 ratio, could be manually selected, but it was not recommended to be used regularly, as it resulted in a hard shift.

In 1953, PG did get an automatic first gear start, making it feel significantly livelier.

Since it didn’t have PG, this would have come with the venerable 216 CID Blue Flame six. The PG came only with the larger 235 CID six, making 105 hp, the most powerful engine in its class that year.

That is quite a booty there.

I’m keeping this short, as I did a very thorough CC on a 1952 Chevrolet here.