Four-door sedans represent a lot of style and practicality for not
a lot of cash, and this handsome 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan
delivers on every count. One of the best-looking designs of the
early '60s and the subject of a rather extensive freshening, this
cool Bel Air is available for pennies on the dollar compared to its
hardtop and convertible siblings. And here's a little secret: they
all feel exactly the same from behind the wheel!
Repainted in 2014, this handsome cream sedan nails the 1960s look. Still flashy, but a little more subdued than the over-the-top '50s. The fact that this sedan survived at all is testament to the care that it has received over the years and someone invested quite a bit of money in the repaint, something that rarely happens with a 4-door. Fortunately, it appears that they had good base stock from which to work, because all four doors fit well and swing closed with authority, the hood sits flush, and all the unique Bel Air trim is intact. There are a few signs of use since it was completed, because this car is all about driving, but overall it is handsome and well-finished. The trim appears to be mostly original, again showing off some great care over the years, and details like the Bel Air script and jet-inspired quarter panel trim makes it look far more expensive than it is.
The unusual blue interior was also restored and uses correct materials and patterns to give this Bel Air an appropriately upscale look. Houndstooth inserts look great and once you're behind the wheel, you'll be comfortable with a big steering wheel and plenty of stretch-out room. It appears that the door panels are original and their ornate design seems to mirror the outside trim, and we love the hooded dash with five individual pods for the gauges (all functional, by the way). The factory AM radio is still in the middle of the dash, which is a good idea given its unique design, but there's also an AM/FM/CD stereo head unit neatly installed underneath. The carpets look almost new and are protected by removable plastic sheeting and the back seat has massive leg room for long trips with the whole family. You also get a gigantic trunk that shows what is likely the original mat and perhaps even the original spare tire.
With a purring 283 cubic inch V8 under the hood, this Bel Air is a lot of fun to drive. We don't have any information on the rebuild, but the engine bay looks authentic, from the air cleaner to the cast iron exhaust manifolds. A weekend spent cleaning and detailing would pay big dividends and as I said, you can't argue with the way it runs. The generator still makes electricity, although it does have an electronic ignition upgrade, so it lights off quickly and easily. Remarkably, this car has a 3-speed manual transmission, making it a rather unusual find, and that manual transmission delivers a lot of fun on the road. There's a recent single exhaust system that gives it a suitable Bel Air exhaust note and you can see that this car was never rusty just by glancing at the photos. With legendary big car road manners and recent whitewall radials on Rally wheels, it rides and handles extremely well.
Big car style and comfort for not a lot of cash, this Bel Air delivers value all out of proportion to its sticker price. Call today!
This is the 17th car in a 30-day countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Scottsdale collector car auction
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