48 Chevy 3 06032021

Rides from the Readers: 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster

By Grace Houghton / Hagerty.com


Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, [email protected]. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.

Today’s featured vehicle is a 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster four-door sedan. The 1946 Fleetmaster line launched immediately after WWII to satisfy voracious public demand for automobiles: Chevy sold 150,000 in 1946, and over 200,000 in ’47 and ’48. All Fleetmasters, no matter the body style or trim level, received a 90-hp straight-six displacing 216.5 cubic inches and equipped with a single carburetor. Shifting duties were handled by a three-speed, column-mounted manual. Changes from model year to model year were minimal and generally comprised of minor additions to the options list: 1948, the year of our car today, allowed customers to spec a glove compartment light, a woodgrain dash, a cigarette lighter, and two-tone upholstery. Keen-eyed Chevy enthusiasts, however, will distinguish this ’48 model immediately by the vertical bar in the radiator grille.

1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster
Michael Williams

This particular Fleetmaster belongs to Michael Williams, who bought it from his best friend’s mother when he was only 12 years old. The Chevy was in sorry condition but, as a true barn find from Eastern Oregon, it was an excellent candidate for restoration. Throughout his high school years, Michael worked with his father to restore the Fleetmaster. The work complete, Michael’s enjoyed the fruits of his labor for nearly 27 years. He named the car “Sweet Adeline”, after an early 1900s barber shop quartet tune, and even had custom lettering designed for the ’48.

“I now have a three-year-old daughter named Adeline, after the car—and that was my wife’s idea!” he writes. “Addie also loves this car, and I made it a point to install seatbelts so that she can safely ride in it in her car seat.”