This amazing 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop is one of those cars
that already has all the right ingredients. Big horsepower small
block? Yep. Manual transmission? Of course. Gorgeous interior with
all the toys? What did you expect? And it's so nice that it's
absolutely mind-boggling to believe that the build is almost seven
Basic black never looks wrong, but on shoebox Chevys, it's downright spectacular, especially rendered in modern two-stage urethane. It tends to emphasize the chrome and trim, all of which remain intact on this mild custom, and all of it has been restored to show condition. All the body panels are straight, and the reflections in our photo studio are proof enough that someone invested the time and effort to make this one look right. All the things that make these cars great also make them a challenge to restore; if your panels don't align correctly, you're going to see it in mismatched trim. It all works together making a car that will get attract attention at first glance, but really needs extended study to see just how beautifully done it really is. They didn't shave, delete, or modify any of the exterior pieces, but you know instantly that this car is special, which is a testament to the workmanship. Of course, with more than $90,000 wrapped up in its construction, you'd expect amazing to be standard equipment.
The completely restored interior is a big step up from 1956, and offers all the comforts and conveniences of a modern luxury car with all the style of 1956. Seriously, is there anyone who thinks they can do a better job than the GM stylists? The factory bench seat is wrapped in beautiful Bel Air upholstery that comes right out of the 1956 factory brochure; well, OK, not exactly, but it has the right look and the right materials. Black carpets match the dash which retains a factory look, complete with modern gauges from Classic Instruments that slot right into the original gauge pod. The shifter falls easily to hand and you'll be delighted to note that it's linked to a 4-speed gearbox, making this Bel Air move like your favorite muscle car. A polished tilt column holds a leather-wrapped wheel, and a powerful entertainment system fills the car with sound thanks to a trunk-mounted amplifier, Kicker 10-inch subwoofer, and an iPod interface. And speaking of the trunk, it's simply finished with a tailored carpet to give it a clean, uncluttered look.
You can't make a car look this good and not have it perform, so a built 383 cubic inch small block Chevy V8 went under the hood. Famous for making great torque, the engine is happy trundling through traffic or hammering down the interstate. The list of hardware is impressive, including a solid lifter camshaft, steel crank, double-hump heads, and a Holley Street Avenger carburetor on an Edelbrock Air Gap intake. It never overheats, idles well, and delivers instant power with a just quick downshift. It's also extremely well detailed, with a smooth firewall and hidden wiring and plumbing for an ultra-clean look. Long-tube headers feed a trick dual exhaust system with Flowmasters and side exhaust tips, and a Ford 9-inch out back plants the power thanks to a 3.73-geared limited slip inside. Tubular A-arms, coil-over shocks, and front disc brakes make it ride and handle like a modern car and it rides on very trick vintage-looking Halibrand wheels wearing 235/45/17 front and 255/50/17 rear Kumho radials.
Customs don't get much nicer than this, and it includes restoration photos and receipts so you know just how well-built it really is. This is a car that you can drive anywhere with confidence, and it will still draw a crowd anywhere it goes. 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.