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Discussion Starter #1
I eventually want to buy and fix up a 1954 chevy sedan. I've kept my eye on Ebay.com, and also this site. But all there seems to be are 55,56,57 years, and on. Hardly any 54's, especially 2 door post.
Why would this be? Were they not very popular in those days?

Thanks
 

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I think it is because over the years people would put the money and effort into repairing and saving a popular car like the tri-five Chevrolet's. The '54 sedan would have been just another old car back in the 60's so they didn't receive the same care and attention to keep it going. The result is a '54 sedan is probably more rare now than a 55 coupe. Being more rare doesn't necessarily mean they are more valuable.
 

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1953-54 Chevies were never popular as collector cars because they were the last of the post war "Old style" Chevrolet. Closed driveshaft, king pin front end, six volt, six cylinder only cars. A very difficult car to Hot Rod. The 54's were also cursed with the worst chrome plating peoblems because of material shortages.

The 55-57 Chevrolets were such a vast improvement, that the earlier Chevies just became old cars. With only the convertable and hardtops considered for restoring.
 

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That is a question I have had for many years but on an expanded scale. Where are ALL the cars other than tri-5s? They surely made a reasonable number of Fords, Old's, Plymouths, Buicks, etc. in those three years - so how come you see tri-5s all over the place and RARELY see any other car? And even Chevies from '58-'64 are rare as hen's teeth. Sure those 3 years of Chevy were popular but to the exclusion of all other makes and years? I don't get it.
 

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Probably due to popular culture, movies and rod magazines. Did they reflect or did they set the trend for the popularity of the 55 - 57 Chevy?

I'm not sure why but when I was in high school in the '70's the coolest older car to have was a tri-five. Even the early 60's Chevy's were looked upon as just another old car. And none of the guys dreamed of hotrodding a 55 Plymouth, Buick, Olds etc.

So perhaps Hotrodders had a hand in the current availability and of course popularity of the '55 - 57 Chevy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright guys, thanks for the information. I think I have a grasp on it now. It's just a bummer they aren't too popular. Oh well, I'll keep looking. Thanks!
 

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I have only seen one for sale as of recent days, and it is still sitting in a used car lot in Wakefield, NH. I beieve that it is a 4 door, but i'm not sure. good luck in your searches!
 

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I really dig the '53-54's ( I have a '53 210).
I didn't even know what a '53 Chevy looked like when I came across the listing for the one i bought.
Now all of a sudden it's like these things are a hot commodity or something, alot of people are digging these cars.
Good luck with your search, they're still fairly plentiful here in the States (the south anyway). I believe Dallas is the '53-54 world headquarters, I've seen more around there than I could count.
 

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FWIW, the lady that works in my Dentists office wrecked her SUV...With the insurance money she bought a factory Air 54 Bel Air 4 door for around $12000.... All stock except for dual exhausts (love the sound of those sixes with a split manifold)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I saw it when it first aired, then I saw it again a few weeks later.
Personally, I LOVE that episode, especially with all those experienced hot rod guys!

I found a pretty nice '54 on ebay, 2 doors, needed some work, the price was around 2,000$... but it was in Indiana, so it's out of my range...
 

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The most common gripe I remember hearing on the 53-54s were the enclosed drivelines, made it a pain to work on the car. Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Woah, I'd imagine that would be hard to work on!
Thanks for the info... i'm learning about the car and I don't even have one yet... this rocks!!
 

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The 53 and 54 are almost identical. The grills are different. I like them both. Personal opinion. The tail lights on the 53 are ugly. Again, personal opinion. But I think you can swap out 54 lights for the 53's, assuming you can find some 54's in good shape on a donor car.

The enclosed driveline had a tube rigidly attached to the front of the pinion housing on the rear end. The tube enclosed the driveshaft and had a ball and socket affair attached to the back of the tranny which housed the u-joint. The tube resisted the rear end "wrap up" on acceleration. This is similar to the third generation Camaro except the Camaro had a bar that ran along side the driveshaft to the back of the tranny. The torque tube works OK with the original engine and tranny. Assuming you are going to put in a SBC, you will want to change the tranny. So, you will have to put a different rear end under it. Probably a good idea anyway. Better brakes. More reliable. But, if you are going to change rears, you should change the rear springs. The original springs were designed to only hold up the weight of the car. The resistance to rear end rotation under acceleration was handled by the torque tube. The springs are prone to break anyway. Adding torque retention to them will cause you grief. There are several good kits on the market. Might as well put a MII under the front to take advantage of better front end geometry, disk brakes, rack and pinion.
 

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Other than the torque tube driveline, I think the pre 55s were less popular with the rodders was the lack of a factory V8................most other companies had one by then.

Of course when Chevy finally got one in 55, it was a "World Beater"
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Okay, so I could look for a 53 too... hmmm... I'll have to find a picture of a '53 to look at the taillights.
On monster garage they pull a 454 in the '54... did the front end (inner fenders, front clip) have to be worked to fit the huge engine in, or does it just fit normally?
Thanks!
 
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