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Vintage 1952 Chevrolet behind a protective iron gate captured in Cienfuegos, Cuba. Shown is a 1952 Chevrolet BelAir. Hard to imagine today that, when new, these models were priced from $1500.00, at the bottom of the range, to $2200 for the deluxe models.
Ads insisted that the 1952 Chevrolet Styleline and Fleetline models were "more beautiful than ever," but at a glance, little difference was discernible between 1951 and 1952 Chevrolets.
Wider parking lights stood at the ends of a touched-up grille, which featured a row of "teeth" along the formerly smooth bar.
Mechanically, too, the cars carried on as before: a 105-horsepower, 235.5-cubic-inch engine for those with Powerglide, but a 92-horse, 216.5-cubic-inch rendition of the Stovebolt Six for manual-shift models. As before, the bigger engine had hydraulic lifters, while stick-shift drivers endured the familiar clatter of solid tappets.
A Fleetline two-door fastback remained on sale, but for the last time, and only in DeLuxe trim. Otherwise, the lineup was a duplicate of 1951: four Styleline Special body styles and a half-dozen Styleline DeLuxes. Powerglide remained available only on DeLuxe models, whose freshened interiors harmonized with body colors.
Reacting to the Korean conflict, civilian automobile production was cut this year, causing all automakers to post considerably smaller totals. Even with only 818,142 cars built, Chevrolet again scored well ahead of Ford, with Plymouth and Buick trailing far behind.
September 20th, 2012
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