Chevrolet Delray

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The Chevrolet Delray, named after Delray Beach, Florida, debuted in 1954 as an optional trim level on 2 door models of Chevrolet's mid-range 210 series of full-size car. In 1958, it became a distinct series of its own at the bottom of Chevy's lineup (replacing the discontinued 150), and added a 4-door sedan, and sedan delivery, but it only remained in production for that model year.

Chevrolet Delray
1958-chevy-delray-chevrolet-archives.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Chevrolet Division
of General Motors
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Layout FR layout
Chronology
Successor Chevrolet Impala

First Generation (1954)[edit]

First Generation
1954 Chevrolet 210 Club Coupe.jpg
1954 Chevrolet 210 Club Coupe ad
Overview
Manufacturer Chevrolet Division
of General Motors
Also called Chevrolet 210 Delray
Chevrolet Delray Club Coupe
210 Club Coupe
Production 66,403[1]
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door Sedan
Platform GM A Body
Powertrain
Engine 235.5 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6
Transmission 3-speed manual
2-speed powerglide auto.
Dimensions
Wheelbase 115 in (2,900 mm)[2]
Length 197.5 in (5,020 mm) (1950–1952);[2][3] 196.5"(1954)[2]
Curb weight 3,345 lb (1,517 kg)[4]
Chronology
Predecessor 1953 150

The first year for Delray was the final year for the 1949-1954 style Chevys. For 1954 the 210 series shrank considerably, losing its hardtop coupe and convertible but adding the Del Ray club coupe.

1954[edit]

The chassis and mechanical parts were common with the rest of the passenger car range, and the overall appearance was the same as the rest of the range. Front suspension was independent, named "knee-action".[3] This year marked the end of the "Blue Flame" straight-six engine as the top engine before the introduction of the small block V8 in 1955; and 1954 was also the last year for 6 volt electrical systems in Chevrolet vehicles.

Engines[edit]

Two engines were used in the '54 model year, the more powerful Blue Flame unit used with the Powerglide automatic transmission. All 210s had a three-speed synchromesh manual transmission as standard, with two optional transmissions. All engines were of the overhead valve (OHV) design. They are commonly referred to as "Stovebolt Sixes" because of the large slotted-head screws used to fasten the valve cover and pushrod covers to the block.

  • 235 in³ "Blue Flame" I6 rated at 115 hp (86 kW) on manual transmission equipped cars.
  • 235 in³ "Blue Flame" I6 rated at 125 hp (93 kW) on automatic transmission equipped cars.

Transmissions[edit]

  • 3-speed Synchromesh manual
  • 3-speed Synchromesh manual with overdrive unit
  • 2-speed Powerglide automatic.
1954 Chevrolet 210 Delray interior

Second Generation (1955–1957)[edit]

Second Generation
1955 Chevy Delray.JPG
1955 Chevy Delray
Overview
Manufacturer Chevrolet Division
of General Motors
Also called Chevrolet 210 Delray
Production 1955 115,584[1]
1956 56,382[1]
1957 25,644[1]
Model years 1955–1957
Assembly Caracas, Venezuela[5]
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Arlington, Texas
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 2-door sedan
Layout FR layout
Platform GM A Body
Related Chevrolet 210
Chevrolet 150
Chevrolet Nomad
Powertrain
Engine 215.5 cu in (3.5 L) I6
235.5 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6
265 cu in (4.3 L) V8
283 cu in (4.6 L) V8 (1957)
Transmission 3-speed manual[6]

2-speed Powerglide auto.
3-speed Turboglide auto.
Dimensions
Wheelbase 115 in (2,900 mm)[7]
Length 195.6 in (4,970 mm)

For the Tri-Five years the Delray was essentially an interior option package for the plain 210 sedan. It featured an upgraded vinyl upholstery with "waffle-like" pleating, color-keyed to the exterior, along with carpeting and other minor upgrades.

1955[edit]

The '55 model year marks the introduction of a new chassis and the debut of the Chevrolet's legendary small block V8. The center door frame was beefed up for more safety.[8] Brakes were 11-inch (280 mm) drums.[9] The Two-Ten buyer was free to choose any powertrain option available. The ammeter and oil pressure gauges were changed to warning lights.

Engines[edit]

  • 235 in³ "Blue Flame" I6 rated at 123 hp (92 kW) (manual transmission)
  • 235 in³ "Blue Flame I6 rated at 136 hp (101 kW) (automatic transmission)
  • 265 in³ "Turbo-Fire" OHV V8 rated at 162 hp (121 kW) or 180 hp (134 kW) (optional)

Transmissions[edit]

  • 3-speed Synchromesh manual
  • 3-speed Synchromesh manual with overdrive unit
  • 2-speed Powerglide automatic.

1956[edit]

Engine choices remain the same except higher hp ratings. The 265³ V8 could now be had in three different flavors. The I6 had a new unified build no matter the transmission.

Engines[edit]

  • 235 in³ "Blue Flame" I6 rated at 140 hp (104 kW).
  • 265 in³ "Turbo-Fire" OHV V8 rated at 170 hp (127 kW).
  • 265 in³ "Turbo-Fire" OHV V8 with quad barrel carburetor rated at 210 hp (157 kW)
  • 265 in³ "Turbo-Fire" OHV V8 with dual-quad barrel carburetors rated at 225 hp (168 kW)

Transmissions[edit]

  • 3-speed Synchromesh manual
  • 3-speed Synchromesh manual with overdrive unit
  • 2-speed Powerglide automatic

1957[edit]

New for '57 is the 283 in³ small-block V8. Even the fuel injected version was theoretically available to the Two-Ten buyer. The Two-Ten, including Delray, shared the wedge-shaped side trim with the Bel Air, but unlike the Bel Air (which had the wedge filled with an aluminum trim panel) the Two-Ten's wedge was painted either body color, or top color with the optional two-tone paint package. "Chevrolet" in script was mounted inside the wedge.

Engines[edit]

  • 235 in³ "Blue Flame" I6 rated at 140 hp (104 kW).
  • 265 in³ "Turbo-Fire" OHV V8 rated at 162 hp (121 kW).
  • 283 in³ "Super Turbo-Fire" OHV V8 rated at 185 hp (138 kW).
  • 283 in³ "Super Turbo-Fire" OHV V8 with 4 barrel carburetor rated at 220 hp (164 kW)
  • 283 in³ "Super Turbo-Fire" OHV V8 with dual 4 barrel carburetors rated at 270 hp (201 kW)
  • 283 in³ "Super Turbo-Fire" OHV V8 with Rochester Ram-Jet fuel injection rated at 283 hp (211 kW)

Transmissions[edit]

  • 3-speed Synchromesh manual
  • 3-speed Synchromesh manual with overdrive unit
  • 2-speed Powerglide automatic
  • 4-speed Synchromesh manual {Dealer - Installation only}
  • Turboglide variable-speed automatic

Third generation (1958)[edit]

Third Generation
Chevrolet Del Ray sedan
1958 Chevrolet Delray 4-Door Sedan
Overview
Manufacturer Chevrolet Division
of General Motors
Model years 1958[10]
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 2-door sedan
4-door sedan
2-door Sedan delivery
Layout FR layout
Platform GM B platform
Related 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne
1958 Chevrolet Bel Air
1958 Chevrolet Yeoman
1958 Chevrolet Brookwood
1958 Chevrolet Nomad
Powertrain
Engine 235 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6
283 cu in (4.6 L) Turbo Fire V8
348 cu in (5.7 L) W-series Turbo Thrust V8
Transmission 3-speed (close-ratio) manual
3-speed overdrive manual
Turboglide auto.
2-speed Powerglide auto.
(Corvette-type)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 120.5 in (3,060 mm)
Length 209.1 in (5,310 mm)[2]
Width 77.7 in (1,970 mm)
Height 57 in (1,400 mm)[2]

In 1958, the Delray became a distinct series of its own, taking the place of the 150. The Delray was Chevrolet's price-leading, no-frills model, with the more expensive models being the Biscayne, Bel Air and Impala (the last being a sub-model of the Bel Air for 1958). It now had GM's X-frame.[11] It came in a utility coupe, a two-door coupe, a four-door sedan. The Delray's 1958 only four-door or two-door station wagon counterpart was the Chevrolet Yeoman.[11]

1958[edit]

For 1958, Chevrolet models were redesigned longer, lower, and heavier than their 1957 predecessors. The first ever production Chevrolet big block V8, the 348 cu in (5,700 cc), was now an option. Chevrolet's design for the year fared better than its other GM offerings, and lacked the overabundance of chrome found on Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks and Cadillacs. Complementing Chevrolet's front design was a broad grille and quad headlights that helped simulate a 'Baby Cadillac'; the wagon's tail received a fan-shaped alcove on both side panels, similar to the sedan's, but wagon's housed single tail lights instead of dual (triple on Impala) to accommodate the tailgate. Despite being a recession year, consumers made Chevrolet the No. 1 make of automobile (beating Ford, which held the title in 1957) and the Bel Air was at the core of Chevrolet's popularity. With its wide variety of body styles and models, Bel Airs could be optioned with almost every conceivable luxury within the Chevrolet line. The Nomad station wagon name also reappeared in 1958 when the vehicle bowed as the premium four-door Chevrolet station wagon, lacking the unique styling of the 1955-57 Nomads. Most Chevrolet station wagon models had two tail lights housed in abbreviated alcoves, which were made smaller to accommodate the rear gate. A new dash was used.[12] The value of a drag coefficient for 1958 Chevy wagons is estimated by a-c, is Cd = 0.6.[13] Befitting its bottom-end status, the Delray based Yeoman had minimal interior and exterior trim and limited options.

1958 Chevrolet Delray 2-Door Sedan
w/ custom wheels
1958 Chevrolet Delray 2-Door Sedan Delivery

Befitting its bottom-end status, the Delray had minimal interior and exterior trim and limited options. As such, this model was popular with fleet buyers such as police departments and businesses. However, private customers could also buy a Delray if low price, economy and basic all-around transportation with the convenience of a full-size automobile were the primary goals.

Engines[edit]

Buyers could order any engine and transmission choice, including the new 348 V8 (1958 was the first year for Chevrolet's "big block" V8) and the fuel-injected 283 V8 engines.

  • 235 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame strait six
  • 283 cu in (4.6 L) 195 bhp (145 kW; 198 PS) to 220 bhp (164 kW; 223 PS) Turbo Fire small block V8
  • 348 cu in (5.7 L) 250 bhp (186 kW; 253 PS) to 350 bhp (261 kW; 355 PS) W-series Turbo Thrust big block V8

Transmissions[edit]

Safety[edit]

Like the rest of Chevrolet's 1958 full size car line up, the Yeoman featured Chevrolet's new "Safety-Girder" cruciform frame. Similar in layout to the frame adopted for the 1957 Cadillac, it featured box-section side rails and a boxed front cross member that bowed under the engine, these "x-frames" were used on other 1958 to 1964 Chevys, as well as Cadillac. The rear was tied together by a channel-section cross member.[14] This design was later criticized as providing less protection in the event of a side impact collision, but would persevere until 1965.[15]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d http://chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com/models/production.htm
  2. ^ a b c d e Flory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946–1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7864-3229-5. 
  3. ^ a b "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1951_Chevrolet/1951_Chevrolet_Foldout". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  4. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1952_Chevrolet/1952_Chevrolet_Specs". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  5. ^ "Gm En Venezuela Y El Mundo - Historia". Gm.com.ve. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  6. ^ "1956 Chevrolet (U.S.) Bel Air 2-Door Sedan performance data, specs & photo". Automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  7. ^ Gunnell, John A. (ed.). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975. krause publications. ISBN 0-87341-027-0. 
  8. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1955_Chevrolet/1955_Chevrolet_Prestige_Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  9. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1955_Chevrolet/1955_Chevrolet_Prestige_Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  10. ^ Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1960–1972 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2004)
  11. ^ a b "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet_Foldout". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  12. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet_Owners_Manual". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  13. ^ http://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/chevrolet_usa/full-size_chevrolet_5gen/full-size_del_ray_wagon/1958.html
  14. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet_Wagons". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  15. ^ http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1958-chevrolet.htm

Further reading[edit]