Home » 1950 Rocker Molding Help! [SOLVED]
1950 Chevy Rocker Molding

1950 Rocker Molding Help! [SOLVED]

When you ask someone about their favorite classic car, they’ll probably tell you that it is a Chevy from the 1950s.

The 1957 Chevy was the first experiment with a sports car that was really successful. With the hardtop convertible that came out as early as 1951, air conditioners in 1953, and power steering becoming more accessible, it was a golden era for drivers and the industry.

By 1954, cars were much safer to drive. They were also less expensive, and those wrap-around windows were incredible.

Almost 8 million vehicles were made in 1950. If you have a Chevy from that era, you’ll notice one weak point in the design: the rocker.

1950 Rocker Molding Help!

The issue with the rocker panel molding on the 1950 Chevy vehicles is that the original clips aren’t always available. The replacement parts can be challenging to install because of their stiffness. If you have trouble getting the clip to affix correctly, try soaking it for about 30 minutes in vinegar.

Automotive engineers developed the rocker panel to provide vehicles with extra support for the overall structure. In today’s cars, they offer a safety component that stops the cabin from collapsing during an accident.

When you have a 1950 Chevy to repair or restore, the goal was to offer stability so that you had an efficient driving experience.

The rocker molding is located between the wheel wells of your Chevy vehicle on both sides. With the older models, the exposure to salt, moisture, and road debris cause them to get damaged. Once they get rusted, dented, or scratched, they might not serve their purpose as effectively.

That means repairing your rocker molding is an essential task. You can find OE-quality replacement parts today, but it isn’t easy to locate a direct replacement unless you are salvaging one from a local junkyard.

How to Insert the Clips for Your Rocker

When you need to install the rocker molding on your 1950 Chevy, you’ll discover that a set of clips is part of the experience. If you’re unfamiliar with these vehicles, it can be challenging to know where they should go.

If you have the OEM clips, you’ll need to insert them into the rectangular hole that you see on the vehicle. Once it is in place, bend the tab on the part so that it locks into the hole.

Once you have the hooks in place, you’ll need to have the molding come over the top to “pop” over the bottom of the clips.

Those first two attachments through the front fenders are retainers. They slide into the rocker molding with a threaded length that gets bolted through with a nut to secure. Those would be the last items to attach to ensure that your rocker stays put after the installation.

It can get to be a little tricky, especially if you have some corrosion in the area. The lower tang on your clip will hook over the bottom of the slotted hole found on the body. It doesn’t take much force to put it in there, and then you’ll need to position the tabs to ensure everything stays put when finishing the work.

If your holes are a little small, the tabs might not go into the body hole efficiently. You’ll want to use a small rubber mallet to tap the part into place. Using metal on metal in this circumstance could damage the pins, rocker, or body.

When the clips don’t fit at all, you can soak them in vinegar for about a day to make them more malleable.

All the new clips install on the car first. The older clips sometimes were put into the molding before you’d put it on the vehicle. Seat the top, push it down and in, and you’re ready to finish the work.

Where Can I Buy a Replacement Rocker for a 1950 Chevy?

Since the rocker molding is a specialized part for a 1950 Chevy in today’s parts climate, the best place to purchase one is through a specialty provider. That means you’ll need to buy the item online, often from companies that specialize in vintage builds, retro car kits, and restoration work.

CarID is an example of one such provider. Even they only offer three replacement options for your 1950 Chevy.

Most providers let you choose from a slip-on style, a standard outer rocker, or an extended panel. What you decide to get depends on the model you own and what the factory’s original design produced.

If you can find the rocker panels online for your 1950 Chevy, they’re typically priced between $60 to $150. If you need a specialty item, the cost might be double. When you can replace it with an existing part salvaged from a local yard, you might pay less than half of that estimated cost profile.

When you’re down there replacing the rocker molding, be sure to inspect the rest of the vehicle in that location to ensure there aren’t additional rust concerns to manage. You’ll want to use a clean, painted surface when installing the clips to give your vehicle the most protection possible.

What Are the Best Chevy Vehicles from the 1950s?

When you think about the best Chevy vehicles from the 1950s, a few names always come to mind.

You might have an early Styleline, a Fleetline, or even the incredible 1953 Chevy Corvette. One of the most unique options was the 1955 Chevy Nomad Wagon, which offered wrap-around windows to the back while keeping fins for a distinctive look.

Here are some of the best vehicles that Chevy made from that era. How many have you had the chance to see or drive?

1. 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe Skyline

Chevy offered the Deluxe as a trim line for vehicles starting in the 1941 model year. They ended this option in 1952. During the 40s, it was the sales leader by volume for the company. The style offered smooth curves with stainless or chrome trim. The rear bumper guard had to get ratcheted away to lift the trunk cover.

You could even get option chrome tips for the bumpers to dress them up from the stock look. It had cloth bench seats, a metal dash, and simulated burl wood. It retailed for around $1,500 at the time.

2. 1951 Chevrolet Fleetline

The Fleetline made a name for itself as something that served between the Special and the Deluxe as a subseries. It was only produced for a few years, with the last models coming off the line in 1952. The only option offered was a two-door sedan in the later years, although the models in 1941 and 1942 showed a four-door style.

Most of the Fleetlines still active today have been converted into street rods. They often use a Chevy small block 350 VY with a turbo. It featured stainless or chrome trim, cloth bench seats, and a metal dash.

3. 1950 Chevy Bel Air

When people say that they love a 1957 Chevy as their favorite vehicle, they often talk about the convertible version of this model. It was a full-size car that began production in 1950 and continued until 1975. It continued to be made for the Canadian market until 1981.

This car is an icon of the 1950s. The first generation were two-door hardtops that looked similar to the Fleetline and Styleline. In that first model year, Chevy built about 76,000 vehicles. The car retailed for over $1,700, and it weighed over 3,200 pounds. The unique three-piece window gave the aesthetics more balance.

4. 1953 Chevy Corvette

The Chevy Corvette C1 is one of the brand’s most collectible vehicles. It was initially rushed into production to reach its debut due to the public reaction from its concept release, but the expectations didn’t match with reality. The initial reviews were mixed, sales fell short, and the entire idea was almost scrapped.

During the last months of 1953, Chevy built about 300 Corvettes by hand on a makeshift assembly line. The outer body was made from glass fibers reinforced with plastic to combat the steel shortages at the time.

All the vehicles from this run had white exteriors, red interiors, and a black canvas soft top. About two-thirds of the first production line is still known to exist.

5. 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

This gorgeous vehicle was the first to create the iconic Chevy look from the 1950s. The original colors were regal turquoise and ivory, creating a stunning visual aesthetic that captures your attention. You could get the same color with the rims to produce consistency across the board.

When you have a rocker issue with the convertible, the repair is relatively straightforward. You might want to hit things up with a respray or work with the chrome if you see the tone isn’t matching. You’ll get cloth seats in the front, plenty of trunk space, and lots of fun while driving down the road.

6. 1956 Chevy 150

When you had this vehicle, you got a trim option that delivered a tidy package that used anything from the Power Pack 265 to a base six-cylinder. They did most of the models on the Bel Air without hardtops, but the stripped-down models could get up and go. It also served as the direct replacement for the earlier Skyline.

The 1956 model year was the first where you could step into higher power ratings with the vehicle. A V8 was available with three different versions, and the I6 came with a unified build.

What Is It Like to Replace the Rocker Molding on a 1950 Chevy?

Although the task seems intimidating if you’ve never tried to replace the rocker molding before, this repair is relatively straightforward. For me, I found the most challenging part of the situation to be the removal of the old clips.

I could slip the new ones in there without a problem. The rocker assembly slid in without difficulty. That’s when I could make sure the unit was secure to deliver the frame support I needed.

I’d highly recommend checking with your fellow collectors to see if they have any spare parts lying around to help with this project. Those new OE-style parts work well, but it isn’t quite the same as working with the original.

You can also grab parts at your local junkyard if something comes up.

Before purchasing anything, you’ll want to verify you’re getting metal clips and not plastic ones. Once you have everything installed, that 1950 Chevy will look fantastic once again!


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