Cruisin’ in style: 1951 Chevy Styleline convertible

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So it’s my turn in the batting order to select the Pick of the Day, which means I get paid to click through the cars being advertised on ClassicCars.com. Usually, that means clicking through screen after screen of vehicle listings to find something special. Not today.

Today my search ended quickly. Today’s pick is a 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe convertible that has been updated with some modern mechanical components beneath its sheetmetal.

My first impression: This is the ideal car to be driving on the Monterey Peninsula during Monterey Car Week. Sure, there will be all sorts of exotic and vintage sports cars. But a ’51 Chevy with the top down would draw lots of attention pretty much anywhere and anytime.

By the way, I did some research and discovered that back in the day, Steve McQueen had a ’51 Chevy Styleline Deluxe convertible. If it was good enough for the King of Cool, well…

The ’51 Styleline being advertised on ClassicCars by a private seller was originally a California car that the seller, located in Springfield, Tennessee, says “has never seen salt and there is no rust.”

The resto-mod treatment was done “a few years ago,” but “she still looks great,” and there are “no dents, dings or scrapes.”

The car has a 327cid Chevy small block V8 with Edelbrock intake and carburetor and a “mild” cam. The engine is linked to a 4-speed automatic transmission and 9-inch rear differential, and exhales through a dual exhaust.

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The car has power rack-and-pinion steering, upgraded front suspension, and power disc brakes. There’s a hidden audio system, tilt steering column, and new power convertible top.

The asking price is $29,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

8 COMMENTS

    • Let’s get one thing out of the way up front: Steve McQueen is not and never was "the king of cool". Never. He was a reasonably good actor with some driving talent, both on two and four wheels. But there were actors (if that’s the parameter) with more driving talent than him, actors with better car taste than him, and "cooler" actors than him even in his own era.

      Then there’s the other factor: does anyone think Mr. McQueen would have countenanced the wholesaling barrage of "product" that bears his name/imprint/value-by-association? I keep wondering where the guy is who’s going to sell the toilet seat from the Porto-san that McQueen used on set for $10,000. And I’ll bet he’s out there.

      • Whether you considered him cool or not is your opinion. Quit wasting time on things that are irrelevant. Mr Edsall happens to like this car and that’s all that matters

        • I resent the opinion, even if he owns it, that Mr. Steve McQueen was not ‘Mr. Cool’ but I respect his opinion! I personally enjoyed the ‘Roles’ Mr. McQueen appeared in, must remember it was just an act, or was it? In reading his ‘Bio’ he accepted Jesus Christ before he died and expect to see him again in the ‘hereafter’! My opinion and I’m sticking to it! 2018

  1. Larry: As always your information is very knowledge and interesting keep up the good work and have fun.

    THE EMPEROR OF CAR CRUISES AND GREAT MUSIC

    HUGH "BABE" O’Donnell

  2. Mom had a powder blue ’51 Chevy coupe when she was in highschool and for a few years after. It was a 6 with a 3 on the tree- everybody on both sides of my family always had ye olde "row yer own" boxes- and had a nice set of chrome steelies, with a white metal top and interior. I don’t remember the car directly, but inherited photos of her holding me as a baby with it in the background. The "face" and trim of this droptop are identical to Mom’s coupe; wish I knew where it went after the folks traded it for the first "bathtub Corvair" in my rural Indiana hometown (Dad worked his whole life at the DelcoRemy plant in Anderson, IN, Mom was always a rebel; when the Corvair got totalled in a rearender in front of Palmer Dodge of Indianapolis one Friday night, Mom bought the first VW Beetle in town, too).
    As for McQueen, well, opinions are what they are; I personally always felt James Garner was both cooler and more fan accessable- but hey, it’s me. Lotsa folks like Steve, and I suspect if he had access to all the cash his association/name whatever is bringing, he’d be ok with it, as one must recall he had very expensive tastes in every aspect of life. Les’ get this up front:
    The hobby don’ need no haters. We need youngsters to replace us old’uns, we need more cruise nights, popup car shows, and ever more cool tools. Ya don’t did McQueen World, fine. Still the USA, like whatcha like, don’t troll others for theirs, ‘k?
    Peace through more horsepower!
    -R

  3. Good Evening,
    I’m sure this beautiful car has long been sold. But I to have a 1951 Chevy BelAir and I’d like to know what make and model were those headlight bezels. Thank you!.

    • Yeah, sorry but that car was sold and there’s no one listed to contact. You might ask a local custom Chevy or street rod business about those bezels. They do look cool.

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