1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop
This was the year it all began for the now-famous Tri-Five Chevy. In 1955, Chevrolet released the first model year of this iconic line. The 150 and 210 models were certainly well-received, especially when outfitted with the optional V8 engine. However, the flagship Bel Air was truly a sight to behold. Its carpeted interior, chrome trim, stainless window moldings, and script emblems set this '55 Chevy apart from the rest of the line and made it memorable to this day.
For consignment a first-year example of the beginnings of the Tri-Five era, a 55 Bel Air. Named after the California seaside town which conjures up images of movie stars, seaside mansions and lazy summer days has been reworked on the body and drivetrain to make it more efficient and reliable, but still retaining its original charm.
With its iconic egg crate chromed grille leading the way, flanked on either side by a single round headlight with a wrap around the top shade built into the front quarter panel, to the jet age hood ornament, this is 1955 all over again. Two tone black and silver steel panels are broken up by dueling trim spears starting simultaneously from the front and rear, and opposing each other on the driver's door, create areas for the paint to be filled in. A rocker trim begins in the front wheel well and curves downward to the rocker and runs the length to the rear quarter wheel well opening. Plenty of shiny trim wraps the windows and B pillar as well as adding tasteful highlight to the gas tank door. Triangular wrap around blue dot taillights frame the large trunk lid which is bordered at the bottom by a pristine bumper and two chrome tipped exhaust pipes. 15-inch Torque Thrust wheels with dark grey 5 spokes and shiny polished lips and caps adorn all 4 corners. A shout out to the snazzy Bel Air badging in your grandmothers handwriting is stuck to each rear quarter right above the spear.
Silk City Diner-esque two tone gray and black vinyl seats highlighted by thick white piping wrap the front split bench and rear bench all in excellent clean condition. Fronting these beautiful couches is the dual fan design dash, complete with the speedometer on the driver's side and a badged fan on the passenger side with a circular clock centered below. The dash front is black metal and has a band of polished aluminum that if you look closely is made of up of tiny punched Chevrolet bow tie pattern. An aftermarket steering wheel complete with an actual half dollar center cap, has a tachometer attached to the column. Aftermarket gauges hang from below the dash, and a footprint gas pedal sits in a sea of black carpet with rubber mats atop. The same materials are seen in the door panels with shades of the swoop spear design breaking up the materials. A nice gray headliner is up top and utilizes polished chrome as its dividers for the panels.
Sitting in a pristine, clean and all restored engine bay is a circa 1968-69 327ci V8. This is rated at 250hp and presents nicely with its reddish orange painted block, gray intake on top and a 4-barrel carb to feed it. Nice bow tie and horizontal striped valve covers add some bling to either side, and a T10 4-speed manual transmission is strapped to the rear of the snazzy mill. Way back at the rear axle is a 12-bolt rear, and 3.73 posi-trac setup.
Plenty of rustproofing spray covers invasive rust where the frame meets body hangers. Some has chipped off and reveals what can be interpreted as underlying severe rust. Some holes are present on these hangers and need a thorough inspection by an expert to verify structural stability. The rockers seem to suffer from the same issue and should be inspected as well. Otherwise the main frame is sound, and all mechanicals are functioning as needed. New leaf springs have been put on for the rear suspension, and power disc brakes are now on the front, with new wheel cylinders on the rear. New rear shocks and a new crossmember have been installed.
This car fires right up and shifts smoothly. It has nice power, handles well in the corners, and provides a beautiful ride. The snappy interior is comfortable, and all is well with my test drive.
An all buttoned up restoration, with some concern on the body hangers and rockers, but otherwise a nice driver, great color combo, and lots of chrome trim looking good. When she skates over to our car, I'll have a chocolate malt and an order of fries, it's that good!
C-2400 Series BelAir
S-St Louis, MO Assy Plant
050113-Sequential Unit Number
STYLE NO 55 1037D-1955 Bel Air 2 Door Hardtop
BODY NO S10881-St Louis Body #
TRIM NO 571, 821-Beige & Red
PAINT NO 615 SPEC S-Shoreline Beige, Gypsy Red