As the middle child of the Tri-Five Chevys, we get fewer 1956 Bel
Airs than '55s and '57s. Why this is, I can't say, but it does mean
that when an ultra-nice '56 Bel Air convertible like this shows up
everyone takes notice. With a frame-off restoration, awesome
colors, and that famous small block V8, it looks and drives like
America's favorite collector car.
This car has had a cost-no-object frame-off restoration, which will give you a very good idea of how nice it truly is. It wears new paint, of course, and it accurately duplicates the original Crocus Yellow over Onyx Black paint scheme it wore on the showroom floor in 1956. The sheetmetal is straight enough to wear black paint easily, with fit and finish that are worth of this car's high-profile look and A-rated collectable status. The doors open and close the way only a solid, original car's door can, and since this car has practically been restored down to the molecular level there's a spectacular shine to the finish. All the trim is fully restored, as are the bumpers, which probably cost as much as a college education to restore. Accessory fender skirts and a continental kit make it look long and low, and if you're going to have a high-profile Chevy convertible, you may as well get one loaded with goodies.
The two-tone interior was restored to factory specs while they had it apart for paint, and the results are impressive. The funky materials they used back then were a joyous tribute to the optimistic '50s and they're accurately replicated inside this convertible, making it a great place to spend some time. Correct door panels echo the exterior styling with the swooping armrest inserts and the bright trim band that runs across the dash glitters like jewelry against the black instrument panel. Out of respect for the original design, the factory AM radio still lives in the dash and it's fully operational. The gauges were likewise restored and show bright printing on a black background, and there are exactly zero deviations from stock. There's also a brand new black convertible top with new top cylinders and pump, and our photo shoot was probably the first time it had ever been down because it has zero wrinkles. Finally, the trunk is finished as original, with a reproduction rubber mat and correct jack assembly (the spare tire lives in the continental kit, as it should).
To make this Bel Air the ultimate '50s cruiser, there's a correct 265 cubic inch V8 under the hood, fully rebuilt and detailed for show. Thanks to the Power Pack option, it has a 4-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust for a bit more horsepower, and with power steering and power brakes, it's as easy to drive as a modern car. Correct hardware, fasteners, and clamps make for a show-ready presentation and they've even included all the original-style tags and decals. The 2-speed PowerGlide automatic transmission shifts properly and feeds the original rear end with highway-friendly gears inside. A brand new dual exhaust system with glasspack-style mufflers has the right rumble without being obnoxious, and you can see what a clean car this is just by glancing at the chassis photos. Four steel wheels with wire hubcaps and proper wide whites give it a classic look and an OEM feel.
Beautifully finished, with all the original parts that were already in excellent shape expertly preserved, this is a high-end Bel Air that's ready to travel or show anywhere. Call today!
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.
What do you do if you have a beautiful, low-mileage ’55 Chevy with a crapped-out engine that wasn’t supplying enough power anyway?
The 2015 Barrett-Jackson Cup competition last August was an event Andy Leach, owner of Cal Auto Creations, won’t soon forget.
‘Steve’s” 1958 Chevrolet Impala, Fonzie’s Triumph motorcycle, The Green Hornet’s “Black Beauty,” Evel Knievel’s “Stratocycle” and a “screen-used” General Lee Dodge Charger are among the vehicles that will cross the block at Profiles in History’s Hollywood Auction 74.