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Chevrolet Bel Air

1950 Chevrolet Special and Deluxe

Redesigning the 1950 Chevrolet Special and Deluxe was a costly undertaking, so its major revamping had to last a few years to pay off.

Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe
The 1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe
sport coupe changed little from 1949 models.

Following up on a hugely successful 1949, 1950 Chevrolets showed only mild styling changes, led by a touched-up grille. Not that it mattered. Shoppers still clamored for new cars, and Chevrolet ended the year with record sales -- nearly 1.5 million.

As one ad noted, "Chevrolet has the whole town talking." What many of those folks talked about was gearshifting -- or the lack of it: namely, Chevy's new Powerglide transmission, the first automatic in the "low-priced three."

Optional for $159 on DeLuxe models only, Powerglide operated through only a single speed unless the driver selected "Low" range manually. In theory, the torque converter's variable ratios would meet all driving needs. Besides, cars with Powerglide carried a stronger (105-horsepower) and larger (235.5 cubic inch) six-cylinder engine, with hydraulic lifters and a higher-lift cam.

Despite those extra horses, Powerglide sopped up lots of engine power, and automatic-equipped cars took off at a decidedly leisurely pace, slowed further by an EconoMISER rear-axle ratio. On the other hand, they ran quieter, avoiding the annoying tappet clatter that Chevrolet owners endured for years. Manual-shift cars kept the smaller solid-lifter engine, boosted from 90 to 92 horsepower.

Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Convertible
The 1950 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe
convertible sold as well as the 1949 model.

1950 Chevrolet Special and Deluxe Facts


Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

HJ Styleline Special




HJ Fleetline Special




HJ Styleline DeLuxe




HK DeLuxe Fleetline




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