Name: 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster Sport Sedan
Year(s) Produced: January to December, 1948
Number Built: 48,456
Class: Full-body GM
Body Type: 4-door sedan
Engine: GM Chevrolet 216.5 cu in, 3.5L
Power: 83hp @ 3200 RPM
0-60mph: 21.9 seconds
Top Speed: 71 mph
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Length/width/height: 197.75 in./73.4 in./ 66.1 in.
Wheelbase: 116 in.
Base Price: US$1,320 (NADA)
Current Price: US$21,000 (Hagerty)
After four years of war in which practically no civilian passenger automobiles were produced, the Detroit industrial area could have sold anything with wheels. Understandably, people are very eager to go back to their usual lives that it doesn’t hardly matter what type of vehicle they will use. So for the years between 1946 to 1948, Chevrolet along with its competitors came up with the shrewd idea of simply revamping old models and repackaging them to a car-hungry public. Thus, the Chevrolet Stylemaster – together with its siblings, the Fleetmaster and the Fleetline – rolled-out from its assembly lines on October 3, 1945.
The Stylemaster was essentially an updated version of its predecessor the 1942 Chevrolet Master Deluxe. Powered by a 216.5 cu.in. straight-six engine and equipped with 3-speed manual transmission, it was offered to the public in 2-door town sedan, 4-door sport sedan, 2-door business coupe and 2-door 5-passenger coupe variants.
Production in 1946 was short off the mark since the economy was just starting to catch up, reeling in from the aftermath of world war. As such, there was shortage of production materials most notably, sheet steel. This was not Chevrolet’s only concern. Production had not yet resumed its normal pace when workers and members of the United Auto Works called for a strike on November 21. Assembly lines were once again put into a halt. Only after four months was the strike resolved and the workers demands negotiated. By March 29, 1946 Chevrolet became the first General Motors to resume production.
Afterwards, it was an exciting era for automobile production, with customer demand increasing in each year. Models names were changed as well. The Master DeLuxe had become the Stylemaster, while the Special DeLuxe was renamed the Fleetmaster. The Fleetline continued as a Fleetmaster subseries. Body types were the same as before, however there was no business coupe in the Fleetmaster series.
Apart from a new grill, the 1946 Chevrolet was virtually identical in appearance to the final pre-war series, and there were no significant mechanical distinctions. Grille and beltline moldings were further changed for 1947, by which time the Fleetline Aerosedan was once again Chevy’s volume leader, taking over from the 1946 Stylemaster Sport Sedan. By 1948, there were still no significant alterations with the Stylemaster nameplate except for its radiator grill’s featured vertical center bar. A Club Coupe was also offered replacing the 5-passenger coupe of 1947. As it seems, car buyers then didn’t mind the minor modifications as evidenced by the high demands for these Chevys. By 1949, the Stylemaster was eventually replaced by the 1500 GJ Series Chevrolet Special offered in Styleline and Fleetline subseries making it a “true” post-war Chevrolet.
By the end of 1948, Chevrolet was able to produce 173,593 Stylemasters with 18,396 of it being Business Coupes, 34,513 Sport Coupes; 48,456 Sport Sedans; and 70,228 Town Sedans.