Here at Streetside Classics, our favorite cars are the ones that neatly straddle the line between show car and vehicles you can actually drive. The best cars are those that are fully updated mechanically yet look so spectacular that it's hard to believe they've been driven. This 1956 Chevy Bel Air Restomod is such a vehicle, with heart-stopping good looks and a totally streetable attitude.
There are lots of 1956 Chevys out there, that's true. It's a popular car, both then and now, and the reasons folks fall in love with them are obvious. But to rise to the top, to have a car that can be driven and enjoyed, while delivering the kind of looks that makes kids and grown men stop in their tracks as it drives by, well, that's not as easy as it sounds. So, you'll definitely appreciate this car's beautiful white-over-silver metallic paint scheme, which is a bit modern, but sticks to the factory's break points for the colors and keeps all the original trim intact. The finish is show-quality all the way, with excellent gaps and enough time invested in the bodywork to make it really stand out from lesser cars. We love the look of the white top and the tinted windows, but nothing has been shaved, altered, or tweaked, proving once again that the right paint can make or break a car. There's another sizeable chunk of change invested in getting the chrome refinished, but the results were definitely worth it, as it sparkles like jewelry on this Bel Air and the overall look delivers in a big way.
The interior is wonderfully custom, and the outstanding execution and neat details make it an excellent place to spend some time. The original seats are gone, replaced by a pair of leather-wrapped buckets flanking a custom-built center console. The dash was fully restored, with fresh Dakota Digital gauges tucked into the original gauge panel, and the band of smoky, hydro-dipped “wood” grain trim that stretches from end to end is very trick, smoothly eliminating the secondary controls and radio and integrating A/C vents for a clean, polished look. A custom center console that stretches to the back seat was fabbed up and incorporates a slick late-model shifter for the overdrive transmission. There's also A/C, a double din stereo, and a tilt steering column topped by a Budnik steering wheel. The door panels are custom as well, and also feature that awesome custom trim that is seen throughout the interior. The back seat has been split into two buckets astride the full-length console and the trunk is tastefully finished to match the cabin.
The engine bay glitters with the look of a full custom piece. That's a thundering GM Performance 502 Ramjet V8 under the hood, and it's a surprisingly neat fit in the '56 engine bay. Obviously, there was an extraordinary amount of time and effort dedicated to the engine bay, showcasing a lot of polished and chrome plated parts as well as top-notch paint work that gives it a cool, clean look. This monstrous motor is fuel injected for better dependability and the front end is fitted with a serpentine belt drive for the accessories, so it's reliable and quieter. All the wiring and plumbing was tastefully organized, the inner fenders were finished, the firewall was painted, and the aluminum radiator up front is part of a BeCool system tasked with keeping all that displacement refreshed at all times. The aforementioned 700R4 transmission has some great TCI goodies to handle all that power and spins a 12-bolt rear end that's geared either to dig a hole to China or get there via highway, depending on preference. The chassis is an updated setup with Heidts front suspension, tubular A-arms, CPP power steering, 4-wheel disc brakes aided with a CPP hydraulic booster, and air shocks in the rear. Finally, the stance is just right with those staggered Budniks (18” front; 20” rear) and performance radials.
With only 849 miles on the build, this show-stopper is still extremely fresh. Drive or show, it's up to you, and this Bel Air excels at both. Call today!