1952 Chevrolet Styleline Barn Survivor Emerges After 48 Years, Gets First Wash

1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find 10 photos
Photo: Detail Dane/YouTube
1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find1952 Chevrolet Styleline barn find
When it comes to Chevrolet cars built in the 1950s, we instantly think about the Tri-Five. It was a revolutionary design that saw the arrival of Chevy's first V8 in decades. It sold like hotcakes and overshadowed its post-WW2 predecessors.
And that's a bit of shame because Chevrolet produced a few cool full-size rigs before the Tri-Five, especially starting in 1949, when the division introduced its first all-new design after the war. This Chevy is primarily known as the Deluxe and the Bel Air, but the lineup also included a few other trims. Until the One-Fifty (150) and Two-Ten (210) versions arrived in 1953, Chevrolet also used the Styleline and Fleetline badges.

While not quite as popular as the Tri-Five, the 1949-to-1954 Chevrolet full-size sold in impressive numbers. All but the 1952 model year moved over one million units. But even though these cars sold like hotcakes, we rarely get to see them on the road today. Like most vehicles from the era, the majority of these Chevys were left to rust in junkyards and barns. And many of those that survived were turned into hot rods and restomods.

But thankfully enough, some unrestored rigs are still out there waiting to be unearthed and restored. This 1952 two-door sedan is one of the lucky ones. Found by YouTube's "Detail Dane," this Chevy had been sitting in a barn since 1976. That's right, this classic was parked and neglected for a whopping 48 years as of 2024.

That's long enough to turn any vehicle into a rust bucket, but this Chevrolet took nearly five decades of storage like a champ. It has many issues associated with long-term storage, but it's still in one piece. And that's pretty amazing compared to the countless barn finds that return into the light as scrap material.

Buried deep in the building, the old Chevy emerged wearing a thick layer of dust and debris. But all the dirt and grime was good almost as soon as the sedan left the barn during a very satisfying clean-up. It was the car's first wash in at least 48 years.

Not surprisingly, the water-and-soap treatment revealed a lot of patina and surface rust on the green body. The lower sides also display rust holes, while the chrome trim is weathered to the point where simple polishing is not enough. But the vehicle is still in great condition overall, especially given how much time it spend off the road.

The interior is still in good shape save for some mold on the seats, but the floor is rusty and needs new panels. The inline-six engine under the hood appears to be all-original. Chevrolet full-size cars were available with either 217-cubic-inch (3.5-liter) or 235-cubic-inch (3.9-liter) six-cylinder units (rated at 90 and 105 horsepower). No V8 was offered because Chevy did not produce such a mill until 1955.

The engine is probably stuck, but it doesn't matter since the floors are gone and this vehicle is not road-worthy anyway. But I think it's a solid restoration project. One of 215,417 Styleline Deluxe two-door sedans built in 1952, this Chevy is anything but rare, but I'd love to see it back on the road. Until that happens, hit the play button below to see it getting its first wash in almost 50 years.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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