At the peak of a new decade, the 1950s birthed a new generation that would carry on a legacy for years to come. The Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe first rolled off the line in 1941, and was manufactured through 1952. The exterior smooth curves and original chrome and stainless trim, quickly made it a staple of its time.
We got to sit down with Ashley to photograph and talk about her 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe Fastback. She got into cars young. Her dad was a mechanic when she was growing up and he had a 1973 Ford Ranchero that she worked on with him frequently. She can remember bleeding the breaks when she was seven, barely old enough to have the strength to push down on the pedal.
Ashley started her hunt for her own classic vehicle about 2 years ago. After a long time of searching, the perfect one popped up in August of 2021. She was originally looking for a Ford Shoebox, but gained interest in the Chevy Fleetlines. She drove out from Hampstead, NH to Troy, New York to go look at one She decided that this was the one for her and brought it home. Once it was back in her territory, she looked at it more closely. It needed a lot of body work. The body mounts were gone, the floor pans had holes and the inner rockers were “non-existent.” She got to work and brought this classic vehicle back to some of its former glory. Ashley was able to enjoy it for a little bit of the end of the season last year. Over the winter, the bondo on the hood showed itself as the weather changed. They stripped the hood and repainted it. While stripping it, they discovered five bullet holes. Ashley likes to think it may have been a bootleggers car.
Her Fleetline is still a work in progress. There is still a lot to be done; the interior, the exterior, and all the wiring. It is kept in storage over the winter. Her old boss at one of her mechanic jobs allows her to rent one of their lifts for a day to be able to work on it. Otherwise, she is out in her driveway doing it old school. With the car being dropped two inches, driveway works proves to be a challenge.
This is Ashley’s first baby, her first project car. She has always loved the era of cars between the late 40s up to the early 60s. The classics from the 50s is where her heart lies. Those smooth lines, body styles and curves that first rolled off the line in 1941 is what eventually brought Ashley to love it now as it once was back in its prime.
We hope to circle back with Ashley as she continues to work on her classic, and see the final result.
Until next time.