Few cars command as much attention as this 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air
bubbletop conversion. The proportions are spot on, the roof looks
like it was pilfered from George Jetson, and when they're dropped
they sit as well as anything ever built. Beautifully restored, a
built 454 under the hood, a four speed in the tunnel, and an
awesome stance set this car apart even further.
You'll never go wrong with a well-done Bel Air, and this charcoal gray hardtop is fantastic. The reflection is a mile deep and the looooong sides are very straight. The paint is a few years old but holds up under scrutiny with only a few marks from being driven', because, after all, that's what this sucker was built to do. Even though it's not the top-of-the-line Impala, there's a ton of bright work here, including the stainless trim around the greenhouse, long side spears, and trunk garnish moldings that really dress it up, and all if it was recently restored to a very high standard. This car just glitters. Bumpers are stock, though with their anodized aluminum inserts they looked custom when brand new. Heck, they even resisted the urge to stick a pair of antennas on the rear deck, perhaps hoping to keep the Bel Air's somewhat sleeper vibe.
On first glance it's easy to see that everything inside the gorgeous red interior is new. Your second glance impresses you with the execution: From carpet to headliner you won't find much to complain about. Sit down and realize that the upholstery is very much the way it was back in 1962, with beautiful stitching a shiny button inserts on the seat backs. The stock steering column and wheel are really the only way to go here, and it includes performance goodies like auxiliary gauges under the dash and that all-important 4-speed shifter with cue ball knob. There's also a period under-dash A/C unit that's complete, although it needs to be serviced. Like the exterior trim, the center console's chrome was recently re-plated and likely looks better than new today. The carpet is new, done up with a proper heel pad and you'll note this is a radio delete car, suggesting that someone was taking their performance seriously. The massive trunk is correctly finished with a full mat set, plus a full-sized spare up on its own shelf.
The visual appeal of a big block V8 simply can't be overstated. This 454 is no junkyard special, either: this one was built to run and it does so with genuine authority. It's got a few modern touches, including the serpentine accessory drive and modern accessories, but nobody will complain about the increased reliability. There's a big 4-barrel carburetor on top of the Edelbrock manifold and the A/C uses modern hardware and has been converted to use R134a refrigerant. It cackles and snarls through a fresh dual exhaust system with mellow-sounding mufflers and it's been fitted with 4-wheel disc brakes, a nice upgrade that looks great through the spokes of the oversized wheels. The chassis is ultra-clean and sanitary, but not so perfect that you're afraid to drive it, and the only other modification is a set of lowering springs that give this Chevy its wicked stance. Oversized chrome Torque Thrust wheels carry fresh 225/40/18 performance radials.
We see a lot of great cars, and this one's a favorite of a bunch of guys around here. The looks, the engine and the sound make this Bel Air car show royalty, so call before it's gone!
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.