Authentic Bel Air
The beneficiary of a ground-up restoration
6.0 liter GM LS2 V8 / 400 horsepower
GM 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission
Custom leather interior / Vintage Air conditioning / Modern audio
Powdercoated Street Rod Garage chassis
18 and 20-inch Coys wheels
Power rack-and-pinion steering
4-wheel disc brakes
Ford 9-inch rear axle
Over the years GM's Chevrolet division has implemented a pretty methodical tactic of building a nameplate up, creating fierce loyalty within a certain set of buyers, and eventually phasing the model out. While that's proven to be a very beneficial practice for folks who want to build equity with classics like this incredible drop-top, it seems a bit counterintuitive. Introduced in 1950 as a youthful alternative to the well-known Styline, the revolutionary Bel Air was decidedly cool. And, not as ostentatious as an Oldsmobile or as boorish as a Pontiac, the car spent most of its life as the poster child for quintessential Americana. This world class tri-five is an infinitely impressive classic that's primed, polished and ready to show. And if you're a discerning gearhead who's looking for a bit of premium Detroit metal, it's your ticket to good times and great value!
Beginning Chevrolet's march up the market, the Bel Air sought a more stylish and sophisticated buyer. And when you take one look at this impressive convertible, you'll understand exactly why the marque was a colossal sales success. Mixing a tailored profile with a killer stance, the car definitely conveys genteel aesthetics in an era of elaborate design. During an extensive, ground-up restoration, which appears very fresh, shapely sheetmetal was fully stripped and painstakingly worked into a tight profile that serves as a solid foundation for unbroken reflections. Those reflections are provided by a rich coat of Burgundy 2-stage, which was augmented with small mirrors, modern headlights, flashy "Fuel Injection" emblems and a truckload of monochromatic Bel Air trim. And today, this legendary Chevy rolls as one razor-sharp tri-five that's poised to show and raring to go!
Peek under the car's domed hood and you'll find six liters of LS2 V8 that's good for a solid 400 horsepower! More specifically, straight from the factory, that fully sorted mill combines a sturdy aluminum block with a hot cam and lightweight 243 heads to twist stout 10.9 to 1 compression in to 400 lb./ft. of torque. At the front of the engine, polished serpentine components spin a polished alternator, a coated AC compressor and a coated water pump behind a color-keyed air tube that terminates at a vertical filter. Once air enters that tube, it flows through a F.A.S.T. Big Mouth throttle body to a color-keyed intake that's bolted over completely stock internals. High octane fossils are provided by GM electronic fuel injection. Sparks are sequenced through 7mm Taylor Spiro Pro plug wires. Spent gases are whisked away by ceramic-coated shorty headers. And cooling comes courtesy of a polished aluminum radiator that's sandwiched between a polished condenser, corrugated hoses, a polished support and large electric puller fans. Aesthetically, both the Cast Silver mill and its assortment of bright accessories seem right at home inside their smooth, body-matched frame. And details like trick dipsticks, polished fluid reservoirs, polished hood supports, custom fuel rail covers and a polished master cylinder ensure this classic runs every bit as good as it looks.
At the bottom of this slick Chevy, the resto-mod theme continues with fully finished floors that are bolted to a powdercoated Street Rod Garage chassis. That chassis trades GM's traditional 'glide ride' suspension for a whole new setup that plants sturdy coil-over-shocks inside tubular control arms and a triangulated 4-bar rear-clip. That hardware is led by power rack-and-pinion steering. The quick-spinning small block sends power to a reliable 4L60E 4-speed, which twists torque to a Ford 9-inch axle. Braking is provided by polished calipers, which clamp 13-inch drilled and slotted rotors. Exhaust is handled by a series of large-diameter tubes, which center small Magnaflow race mufflers and throaty Flowmaster Hushpower IIs in front of polished stainless tailpipes. Torque meets the tarmac through chrome Coys spinners, which turn 225/45R18 Nitto NT555 Extreme ZRs in front of 245/40ZR20 Nitto NT555 Extreme ZRs. And everything, from this Bel Air's Earl's brake lines to its stainless fuel tank, is solid, sorted and ready to roll.
There's certainly no shortage of tri-fives with custom interiors. But this cockpit, high-dollar leather installed by Steve Holcomb of Knoxville, Tennessee's Pro Auto Custom Interior, is certainly a stand out. It all begins with custom bucket seats, borrowed from a fourth generation Pontiac GTO, that feature full power adjustment for both the driver and front passenger. In front of those seats, a body-matched dash traces clean Classic Instruments telemetry, and hardware for Vintage Air climate control, in polished billet trim. Beneath that dash, a custom, full-length console founds a short Lokar shifter between hidden cupholders, small power window switches and Kenwood touchscreen audio. Beneath that console, slick Daytona Carpet floats color-keyed floor mats under billet foot pedals and polished bowtie sills. At the sides of that carpet, custom door panels center stylish trim and polished handles under mirrored toppers. In front of the driver, a polished, tilting column spins a polished, half-wrapped wheel. And behind the passengers, a power-operated decklid reveals a custom-upholstered trunk.
You really can't ask for a cooler classic than this classy Chevy, especially when it comes to value. Wrapping great looks and proven performance in a quality restoration, it's the perfect car for any enthusiast who wants top-notch metal that'll turn heads for years to come. So, what are you waiting for? Call your friends at RK Motors Charlotte and enjoy a heavy dose of storied Americana!