Chevrolet Fleetline

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Chevrolet Fleetline
Chevrolet Fleetline BW 1.JPG
1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Sportmaster
Manufacturer Chevrolet (General Motors)
Production 1941–1942
1946–1952 (as sub-series)
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door sedan [1]
4-door sedan [1]
Layout FR layout
Platform "A" body
Engine 216 cu in (3.5 L) 90 hp (67 kW) I6
Wheelbase 115 in (2,921 mm) [2]
Length 197 in (5,004 mm) [3]
Width 74 in (1,880 mm) [4]

The Chevrolet Fleetline is an automobile which was produced by US automaker Chevrolet from 1941 to 1952. From 1946 to 1948 it was a sub-series of the Chevrolet Fleetmaster rather than a series in its own right and from 1949 to 1951 it was a sub-series of both the Chevrolet Special and the Chevrolet Deluxe.[1] In its final year it was offered only as a sub-series of the latter.[1]

The Fleetline was introduced late in the 1941 model year as a 4-door sedan. In 1942 a fastback 2-door "Aerosedan" was also offered. In 1947, the Fleetline made up 71.26% of Chevrolet's sales.[4] The years 1949 through 1952 models, the fastback was the only model offered, and Chevrolet dropped the Fleetline for 1953.[5] Production was indefinitely delayed in 1942 due to World War II, after 110,000 had been made total, though several thousand Chevrolet coupes and sedans were produced during the war years for military staff use. In 1945, production for civilians resumed. The original series was produced through 1948.

A redesigned Fleetline with reduced body contour and integrated rear fenders was offered for the 1949 through 1952 model years.[4] It was referred to as a "fastback" because of its distinct sloping roof which extended through to the trunk lid. The Fleetline during these 1949 to 1950 years also had a lower look than a sedan, with the windshield being one inch shorter in height than a standard sedan. The 1949 to 1951 models were made in both 4-door and 2-door models, with only the lower portion of the doors being interchangeable with a sedan door. The Fleetline series is highly collectable today, with its sleek looks. Many are made into street rods, with the common Chevrolet 350 Small block V8 and the 350 or 400 turbo transmission being used in these vehicles.


In the 1941/42 model years, the 216cid inline 6 "Blue Flame" engine was the only one offered. It produced 90[6] horsepower at 3300 rpm, and in 1950 higher compression bumped it up to 92 horsepower. Also in 1950, a 235.5CID 1-bbl.carb 6-cylinder engine with 105 hp (78 kW) was added.[4] A Fleetline of this vintage could easily exceed 80 miles per hour without overdrive. In very early models, the transmission was a manual synchromesh 3-speed, with vacuum assisted shift,[7] in which the "three-on-the-tree" shifter was able to be moved between gears by the slightest pressure on the lever. Third gear was direct, meaning the input and output are equal speeds. From 1950 through the 1952 final year of its production, an automatic transmission was offered, which was quite sluggish. Overdrive was a rare option. Connection to the third member rear-end was via an enclosed "torque tube" driveshaft. The brakes were hydraulic with all-wheel drums. In 1951, the brakes got larger.[8] The master cylinder was located below the floor connected on the frame rail, beneath the driver. Shock absorbers were of the lever type for the early years only. The windshield for all years was of a split, flat-glass type.

Chevrolet Fleetline Production Figures 1946 to 1952

1946 Total U.S. Production:

Fleetline Aerosedan - 2 Door 57,932

Fleetline Sportmaster - 4 Door Sedan 7,501

1947 Total U.S. Production:

Fleetline Aerosedan - 2 Door 159,407

Fleetline Sportmaster - 4 Door Sedan

1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

1948 Total U.S. Production:

Fleetline Aerosedan - 2 Door 211,861

Fleetline Sportmaster - 4 Door Sedan 64,217

1949 Total U.S. Production:

Fleetline Deluxe - 2 Door Sedan 180,251

Fleetline Deluxe - 4 Door Sedan 130,323

Fleetline Special - 2 Door Sedan 58,514

Fleetline Special - 4 Door Sedan 36,317

1950 Total U.S. Production:

Fleetline Deluxe - 2 Door Sedan 189,509

Fleetline Deluxe - 4 Door Sedan 124,287

Fleetline Special - 2 Door Sedan 43,682

Fleetline Special - 4 Door Sedan 23,277

1951 Total U.S. Production:

Fleetline Deluxe - 2 Door Sedan 131,910

Fleetline Deluxe - 4 Door Sedan 57,693

Fleetline Special - 2 Door Sedan 6,441

Fleetline Special - 4 Door Sedan 3,364

1952 Total U.S. Production:

Fleetline Deluxe - 2 Door Sedan 37,164


The exterior sported smooth curves, and chrome and stainless trim. In the earlier models, the rear bumper had an optional center bumper guard that had to be ratcheted out of the way so the trunk cover could be lifted. Front and rear bumpers had optional chrome "tips", a dress-up item that bolted to the ends of the stock bumper. Not a Chevrolet option but a popular after market feature was a large external sunshade that protected the driver from glare off of the metal dash board. The 1949 to 1952 Models were completely different than the earlier years, with the fleetline "fastback" shape being quite distinct than a normal sedan shape.

The interior had cloth bench seats, and a metal dash, sometimes with a simulated burle woodgrain. The radio was a simple mono vacuum tube type radio with integrated speaker. An ash tray was located in the right side of the dash, close to the clock[9] Depending upon the year, there were both Choke and Throttle cables on the dash.. On the right side, was the choke lever. In the earlier years,the clock was integrated into the glove compartment door and was of a manual-wind 7-day type. In the 1949 and 1950 models, the clock was next to the glove box, and with the redesigned dash board, the clock was on the top of the dash, in a center pod. Also, this revised dash had two round pods for the speedometer and the other gauges, while the 1949 and 1950 models had one large round pod directly in front of the steering wheel, on the dash.


  1. ^ a b c d John Gunnell, Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975, Revised 4th Edition, pages 156 to 161
  2. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1949_Chevrolet/1949_Chevrolet_Owners_Manual". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  3. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1949_Chevrolet/1949_Chevrolet_Foldout". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  4. ^ a b c d Flory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946–1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7864-3229-5. 
  5. ^ the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (2007-09-20). "How Stuff Works". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1942_Chevrolet/1942_Chevrolet_Brochure". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  7. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1942_Chevrolet/1942_Chevrolet_Brochure". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  8. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1951_Chevrolet/1951_Chevrolet_Foldout". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1941_Chevrolet/1941_Chevrolet_Owners_Manual". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 

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