The true measure of a great design is whether it ages well. In the
case of this 1955 Chevy Bel Air 2-door sedan, the answer is
unquestionably that it is one of the greatest automotive designs of
all time. Nicely finished with a few upgrades, this shoebox Chevy
is a high-quality piece that is equally at home on the show field
or the highway.
Finished in basic Tuxedo Black, there's no mistaking a 1955 Chevy for anything else. The design was game-changing when it was new, and even today it remains a benchmark for all car guys. Sooner or later, we all want to own a Tri-Five Chevy, don't we? The classic lines and restrained use of chrome and brightwork make it difficult to improve on the original, so the builder of this 2-door coupe wisely chose to simply restore it and make sure he was careful with it. Paint and bodywork are quite good, with a finish that's just a light cut-and-buff away from being a show-stopper, despite being finished a few years ago. Gaps are good all around, and the entire car fits together in a way that modern cars just can't seem to duplicate; pull the door closed and you'll know what I'm talking about. Sure, it's got a few signs of use, but the quality workmanship and excellent care work together to make this a very appealing car even today. The chrome has been professionally restored or replaced with exact reproductions, and the car proudly wears its trim like jewelry. Even the red, white, and blue Chevy emblem on the nose is a wonderful piece that offers crisp details and bright colors.
Inside, this slick coupe got a nice upgrade in the form of handsome white leather upholstery on the original seats, stitched into very 1950s-looking patterns. Matching door panels and light tan carpets complete a very tasteful passenger compartment that's easy to love. The original gauges and an Impala steering wheel retain the familiar 1950s look, but the steering column is a modern tilt piece that makes it easy to get comfortable. A Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo head unit has been fitted into the original radio's location with speakers throughout the passenger compartment. A period-style under-dash A/C unit is backed by modern hardware so it works better than ever. It doesn't seem to have seen much use, as the seats are still firm and comfortable and only the floor mats show any signs of wear. There's also plenty of room in the correctly finished trunk for all your gear plus a full-sized spare tire with its own matching cover.
Power comes from a great-running 350 hooked to a 4-speed automatic transmission, making this an ideal car for road trips. And while there's nothing more traditional than a small block Chevy in a 1955 Bel Air, the many upgrades under the hood make this car faster and more reliable than any stock '55 ever was. There are dual 4-barrel carburetors up top, and they've been tuned right because it starts easily and pulls with enthusiasm. From the dual circuit power front disc brakes to the alternator to the big radiator out front, this is a car that can be driven daily without worries, and taken on cross-country trips at the drop of a hat. It also looks great, with Chevy Orange engine enamel and lots of shiny dress-up, including aluminum center-bolt valve covers. Underneath, it's very clean and tidy, but not so over-detailed that you're afraid to drive it, and you'll never get tired of the purring dual exhaust with those mellow Magnaflow mufflers. There's a new gas tank out back and it rolls on classic Rally wheels with spinners and ultra-cool redline radials.
No, it's not radical, but there's no question this 1955 Bel Air is timeless. Put it in your garage and I guarantee you'll never run out of reasons to take it for a spin. Call today!
A shiny Chevy grille, a little electrical tape, and we were stylin’, at least for a weekend
The Pick of the Day is a Chevy that packs the big-block performance V8 that was the subject of a famous Beach Boys song
This is the 12th vehicle in the 30-day Countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s 47th annual Scottsdale auction.
AutoAncestry leads new owner to the shops that restored his show-quality car
In 1958, I turned 16 and got my first car, a ’50 Chevy convertible my two older sisters had abandoned.
In the early 1970s, when I was 5 years old, my grandmother bought a ’71 Chevrolet Chevelle.
With Spring upon us I can’t help but daydream of road trips – those perfect moments when you don’t have a care in the world, the windows are down, and your favorite song is on the radio.
What fascinates me about the Chevrolet Bel Ai is not only how it became an iconic classic car but an American icon over the last 60-or-so years since it debuted as an everyday family car.
A couple of years ago I was attending the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona Beach.