FACTS BY YEAR

1955 BEL AIR / HARD TOP CHEVY

GENERAL:

In May of ’52, Chevy designers were given a blank slate and told to design something totally different. Three years later, the 1955 Chevrolet was the result and a true instant AMERICAN classic car was born.

 

Destined to become the anchor for what collectors would later call the ‘Tri-5s’ (1955-’57 Chevys), the all-new ’55 Chevy sported dramatic styling changes, improved handling and a new first-ever V8. The media called the ’55 Bel Air Sport Coupe ‘an excellent example of smart profile styling.’

 

At 10:00 a.m on Nov. 23, 1954, the 50 millionth car produced by GM rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan. It was a ’55 Bel Air 2-Door hardtop Sport Coupe, like the one pictured above, but gold in color. A one day nationwide Open House by GM to celebrate the event drew one million people into showrooms. GM, in its heyday with 114 factories in the U.S., produced more than 1.7 million Chevys during 1955.

 

THIS CAR:

Acquired in NW Arkansas in July 2009, it had a complete frame-off restoration five years before in Nebraska. It is equipped with a 265ci V8 with a 4bbl carb PowerPak option which produces 180hp. It sports a 3-speed factory-installed manual transmission with column shift. Fender skirts, glass pack mufflers, YOM plates and seatbelts were added after acquisition.

 

1955 BEL AIR TRIVIA:

 

 

 For 1955, Chevrolet's full-size model received new styling that earned it the "Hot One" designation by enthusiasts.

 

The 1955 had a new 265ci (4,340 cc) V8 which featured a modern, overhead valve high compression, long stroke design that was so good that it remained in production in various forms, for many decades.

 

The Bel Air had interior carpets, headliner bands made of chrome, fenders with chrome spears and chrome window moldings.