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1951 Early Chevy Parts

This year brought a softer and rounder look to the Chevrolet Styleline and Chevrolet Fleetline though little changed in overall contour.

Deluxe models included neat fender skirts and they also displayed such extras as stainless steel moldings on front fenders and doors along with a 39-hour wind up clock inside.

An outside sun shade, bumper wing tips or a grille guard were options to dress up any Chevrolet and many were.

Gauges were grouped in two circular clusters with non-glare lighting within the new curved “safety-sight” instrument panel. The control knobs sat in a recessed panel below the instrument panel.

Another safety changed, “Jumbo-Drum” brakes took much less, about 25%, pedal pressure to apply. They were promoted as the largest in the low-priced field.

Chevy started the 1951 season with models in two body styles, notchback Styleline or fastback Fleetline with trim options again being either Special or Deluxe. Most of the Fleetline fastbacks were phased out at midyear, leaving the solo two-door Deluxe. Americans believed the slantback body to be old fashioned now and were no longer drawn to them.

The production of Chevy Bel’s rose sharply despite both Ford and Plymouth having added hardtop body styles this year. The tune “See the USA in your Chevrolet” by Dinah Shore not only had Americans whistling and humming, but also started appearing as a slogan in print ads.

The Powerglide made an appearance in more than 43 percent of Deluxe Chevrolets making it obvious that customers weren’t worried about its reputation for slippage and slowness. It had the smooth flow of power that it was claimed to, but acceleration and performance were considerably lacking.

Compared to a record-breaking 1950, sales dipped slightly to below 1.25 million, however, Chevrolet still finished comfortably ahead of Ford and held on to its first-place ranking.

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