Ride of the Week… 1948 Chevy Fleetline Fastback

There is literally nowhere you can go on this planet to see what we see here in Southern California.

I mean there are wonderful places in the world for sure, but if you love cars, then all you have to do is literally step outside your door and you’ll spot something cool.

The other day, I was traversing around and just getting some errands done. It was not an eventful day, but after a couple hours I ran across a very unique car. Pictured here is a 1948 Chevy Fleetline Fastback.

Now, at first glance, you may say that it’s just an old car. And you’d be partially right. It’s not even restored. But let’s take a closer look, shall we?

The Chevy Fleetline was made from 1941-1952. Only 11 years, but keep in mind that this car was state-of-the-art and the best that Chevy could produce.

It was introduced late in the 1941 model year as a four-door and as a fastback two-door “Aerosedan.” And in 1947, it made up almost 72 percent of Chevrolet’s sales. But production was delayed in 1942 due to WW2 after 110,000 were made.

It was called a “fastback” because of its sloping roof to the trunk lid. Really the first of its kind and made famous by the 1968 Bullitt Mustang. This makes the Fleetline series highly collectable and lots of them are made into street rods with Chevy 350 small block V8s.

It’s a car that you really have to go to a car show to see … unless you’re in SoCal and Malibu like us.

The fascinating thing about cars like these is that, of the millions of cars that exist on the road today, none of them existed at the time that this one was built. This was new, fresh and the best. They were hand-built without robots or computers.

Dipped in paints that were toxic, cigarettes were en vogue and some cars even had beer taps on the inside. There were no seat belts or virtually any safety features at all.

And this was the norm. We’ve come a long way in our automotive mindsets for what is acceptable and normal for today’s standards, which makes this car and cars like it truly unique.

It’s not about the car, but about the mindset that created it.

And as it stood there in the parking lot, I felt like I was looking into history. A time of World Wars, new roads, families and I wondered how things were different. Of course, technologically we are vastly different, but has the world really changed all that much? It’s a question only to be answered personally.

The 1948 Fleetline is officially 70 years old now. Seventy years of progress has changed our automotive world dramatically and makes me wonder what the next 70 years will bring? 2088? Sounds like science-fiction.

But one day, they’ll look back on this time and I’m pretty sure there’ll be a Fleetline around for them to see. I just wonder if there will be a 2018 Corvette. Will plastic last that long?

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