Exclusive Run: The Lone Year of the 1958 Chevrolet Delray

In October of 1957, the 1958 Delray marked its dealer debut, a name familiar to the Chevrolet sales force due to its application from 1954 to 1957 as an extra-cost interior package for the mid-range Two-Ten series. During those years, the Delray label adorned an interior package featuring bold, contrasting colors in plastic upholstery, often described as a “convertible interior in a standard sedan.” While not entirely accurate, this description captures the essence of the Delray, inspired by Delray Beach in South Florida.

For the 1958 model year, the Delray transitioned into a stand-alone model within the Chevy passenger car lineup, positioned as the bottom trim level. This lineup ascended with the Biscayne, Bel Air, and Bel Air Impala. As expected for a price leader, the Delray featured a basic interior with minimal standard equipment. However, it distinguished itself with a rare full-length chrome spear on each side, an unusual feature for GM’s base models.

Body styles were limited to a two-door post sedan, a four-door post sedan, and a two-door Utility Sedan with a parcel shelf in place of a rear seat. Priced at just $2,013 with a 145-hp Blue Flame 6, the Utility Sedan claimed the title of the cheapest full-size passenger car offered by the Detroit Three in 1958, although the Studebaker Scotsman from South Bend was priced even lower at $1,796.

While wagons existed at the Delray trim level, they were designated under the separate model name “Yeoman.” Notably, the full range of Chevy powertrains, including the 348 CID Super Turbo-Thrust V8 with 280 hp and three two-barrel carburetors, could be ordered, along with standard, overdrive, Powerglide, and Turboglide transmissions.

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The Delray found favor among sales fleets, taxi companies, and police departments, but its standalone status lasted only a year. In 1959, Chevrolet’s product line underwent a reshuffling, with the Bel Air Impala becoming the standalone Impala series and the Biscayne taking its place at the bottom of Chevrolet’s model hierarchy. With no further role to fulfill, the Delray was discontinued.

In retrospect, the 1958 Delray’s brief existence and unique positioning within the Chevy lineup reflect an era of automotive experimentation and evolving consumer preferences, providing a snapshot of a bygone automotive era.

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