The 1958 Chevrolets were all-new and thanks to their one-year-only
design, they remain some of the most highly-sought collectables of
the 1950s. This handsome two-tone 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop
delivers the things that we love about '50s cars (chrome, high
style, and more chrome) and adds some thoughtful upgrades like a
built 348 cubic inch V8 and a 4-speed that make it a blast to
The burgundy and white paint scheme on this car is a slight update on one of the original paint schemes of 1958, and that's really the theme of the whole car. The work was done a few years ago so there are a few minor bumps and bruises, but this big coupe has a ton of presence and looks like a far more expensive machine. The chiseled hardtop has a very forward-looking appearance, and chrome was still very much in fashion in 1958, which perhaps represented the very height of trim application on GM cars. Most of the brightwork on this car is likely original and in good condition, but some is showing its age and the grille has been replaced by an aftermarket tubular setup that gives it a trick custom look without upsetting the natural lines of the car. The doors fit well, the trim lines up from panel to panel, and the whole thing has a very expensive look that isn't reflected in its price. This is a heck of a lot of car for the money.
The two tone tan and burgundy interior is a beautiful complement to the bodywork, keeping a very stock look that's stylish and comfortable. There's an OEM flair to the patterns, but it's not totally stock, so you'll find wonderful details throughout, ranging from the very ornate door panels to the headliner, which uses pleated inserts to continue the theme. Factory gauges monitor the basics, and while sharp-eyed viewers will spot the familiar automatic transmission selector quadrant, this one now has a Hurst shifter and cue ball knob in the center, connected to a 4-speed manual gearbox. Gray carpets tame the interior and keep it from getting too busy and a newer AM/FM/cassette stereo has been neatly installed in the center of the dash. You also get seat belts for safety, heavy-duty floor mats, and a giant trunk wearing OEM-style spatter paint.
This car's 348 cubic inch V8 was the biggest powerplant you could get in 1958, and while there are detractors who claim it's a truck engine, one drive will convince you otherwise. It makes great torque to move this big coupe without working too hard, and thanks to a mild cam upgrade, an Edelbrock carburetor and 4-barrel intake manifold, and factory-looking exhaust manifolds, it drives superbly. Bright Chevy Orange paint highlights the satin black engine bay, along with the unique W-shaped valve covers that were a staple of 348/409 engines. Other chrome bits include the air cleaner, alternator, and water neck, so it looks dressed up without going too far. The 4-speed manual makes the most of the engine's ample torque curve and it's a superlative cruiser at almost any speed. The undercarriage is quite stock and original, including the surprisingly effective drum brakes that seem to have no problems managing the weight and speed of this Bel Air. Glasspack-style mufflers add a '50s soundtrack and big wide whitewall tires on chrome wheels give it the right look.
Show-quality Impalas bring huge money, but this Bel Air offers the same look, great power, and a cool mild custom look that will take you back to your childhood. Call today!
This is the 18th in a 30-day countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Las Vegas collector car auction
H&H Classic Parts points out key parts of design changes from 1955-57
Pick of the Day is a 4-door Biscayne sedan in immaculate condition
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.