Chevrolet Styleline Sedan
Chevrolet overhauled its entire lineup in 1949, moving from prewar designs to brand new cars with modern full-width bodies and pontoon fenders. The division offered Special and Deluxe models in both Fleetline and Styleline series. The only powertrain available was a 216ci, six-cyinder engine mated to a three-speed manual transmission.
New for 1950 was the debut of the Bel Air two-door hardtop, which would be a mainstay of American design for 50 years, and the second was the Powerglide, two-speed automatic transmission. Cars with the automatic option received the 235ci truck engine with hydraulic lifters, while cars with three-speed transmissions kept the old 216ci engine. Still sold as Specials and Deluxes with Fleetline and Styleline designations, Chevrolet’s car production of 1.5 million units was the brand’s best ever.
Chevy took a breather in 1951 and made few changes, though the Fleetline fastback body style was phased out. Model year production was down slightly to 1.3 million units, with only a fifth being the basic Special series. In a trend that would continue through to the present day, buyers increasingly turned towards the automatic transmission—nearly 50% of cars sold were equipped with Powerglide.