Automobile [1954 Chevrolet Deluxe]

Maker and role
General Motors Corporation, Manufacturer
Production date
See full details

Object detail

Accession number
Production period
1954 Chevrolet Deluxe, ex Billy T James. Maroon colour. Hardtop sedan. Chrome bumpers with white side wall tyres. Cream dashboard, cream and red vinyl upholstery. 3589 cc rating. Registration No. BTJ.
Brief History
This Chevrolet belonged to comedian Billy T. James and was bought by MOTAT in 2003, some time after his death in 1991. It was restored by Billy T. James who loved classic cars. The car still bears his personalised number plate and his initials are stamped onto the top of the radiator. This car represents New Zealanders’ affection for collecting and restoring cars from an earlier era.

Although the car industry was booming in the U.S. in the 1950s, in New Zealand import restrictions meant that cars could only be bought if the purchaser had their own overseas funds. With World War II petrol rationing only ending in 1950, our fleet was aging, and waiting lists for cars were long. Cars like this Chevrolet would have been reasonably rare in New Zealand in 1954.

Type: Saloon
Model: Chevrolet Deluxe
Manufacturer: General Motors Corporation
Country manufactured: United States
Date: 1954
Engine type: Petrol,
Engine capacity: 3.589 litre
Gearbox: Manual with 3 forward speeds and 1 reverse
Chevrolet Logo
Other name
Credit Line
General Motors Corporation. 1954. Automobile [1954 Chevrolet Deluxe], 2003.298. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).
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