55 chevy

Here's Why The '55 Chevy Bel Air Is Worth Every Penny

Over the years, we've witnessed cars manufacturers confirming the same model in their lineup, presenting minor changes and facelifts. Just like a few other cars, the Chevrolet Bel Air was introduced in the 1950 and was part of Chevrolet's fleet until 1975.

One of the most epic moments in the Bel Air's history, though, occurred when the second-generation Bel Air was launched onto the market. With this strategic move in 1955, Chevrolet totally nailed it. The result was an outstanding masterpiece of a car that would conquer the hearts of gearheads all across the US. Also, the car became a real symbol of that glorious decade in America, and now it's a sought-after pearl among collectors and enthusiasts. Let's dig into the factors that led the Bel Air to worldwide success!

Related: These Are The Best Race Cars From The ’50s

8 Icon Of The Fifties

If you were to describe the fifties with a car, the Chevy Bel Air would probably be your answer. One of the reasons why it became so popular, is quite obvious: its production was massive and in no time they would pack the first trafficked streets of big towns. Another reason, still predictable, is that it was a good-looking car.

People living overseas weren't yet ready for this type of car, and this is why it caught their attention so much. The car was huge and packing a V8 engine, full of fancy chrome profiles and in two-tone paint. It looked like the Bel Air, in its fanciness, could embody that American wealthy decade to perfection.

7 Its Fancy Design

Particularly appreciated among the fans is the 2-door coupe version. The first thing you would notice on a '55 Bel Air is the large chrome front grille, which had been slightly modified from the previous generation. Its design was inspired by '50 race cars, Ferrari in particular.

Chrome was everywhere, and its purpose was to make the car shine as a jewel in the daylight. Detailed profiles along the sides, front and rear bumpers, rims, and window frames shone and highlighted the car's finer details. The two-tone color emphasized the fresh air you could breathe in the States during those years of social and financial growth.

6 A Game-Changing Engine

What made the 1955 Bel Air so different from the previous models, and from other cars in general, was its beating heart. Its new 265 cu in V8 engine was equipped with a modern overhead-valve system and characterized by a high compression ratio and a short-stroke. The engine was equipped with a double-barrel carburetor and delivered 162 hp, while the Power Pack option had a quad-barrel carburetor which developed 180 hp.

The Super Power Pack was later introduced, which featured a higher compression ratio and 15 hp more. The small-block 265 became so popular that Chevrolet still sells it today as an over-the-counter replacement engine, better known as a crate engine.

Related: Collectors Pay A Fortune For These Classic Chevrolet Muscle Cars

5 Interior Options

What Chevrolet intended to do with the introduction of the Bel Air was to offer the customer an unprecedented smooth driving experience. The cabin was better isolated from outside's noises: in the second generation Bel Air, in fact, the full carpeting was included in the standard features.

A new option for V8-equipped 1955 models was air conditioning, with outlets on each side of the dashboard. Of course, lots of chrome would also feature in the interior as well. The seats were leather upholstered, and that style you're accustomed to seeing at Diner restaurants are inspired by these.

4 The Price In 1955

To become so popular, the car must have had a relatively cheap price. In 1955 the Chevy Bel Air V8 was priced only $2,166. Converted to modern USD, its price was about $21,000. Considering the options the car came equipped with, its price seemed to be excused.

Some models could be ordered with power windows, and also brakes, steering and seats were electrically powered. Now the price of a good condition Bel Air is set between $25,000 and $60,000. Of course, Convertibles are more expensive than hardtop coupes. According to Hagerty, though, almost every version of the Bel Air is the protagonist of an increasing market curve.

3 The Sought-After Convertible Edition

Prove that wrong: when American car manufacturers release to the market a winning car, everybody wants the convertible. Also, in this case, the Bel Air Convertible caught the attention of everybody in the streets. This wide and long boat-inspired look, it finally had, was absolutely amazing.

The soft top could be easily rolled back and stored behind the passengers' seats. A drive to the beach, on board of a '55 Bel Air convertible, was such a sensational experience.

2 A Perfect Base For The Sickest Restomods

Americans have developed a special affection for this car. Some of them started to take care of it because it was in the family's garage, or others have purchased it because it recalled of childhood years. While some of the modern Bel Air drivers has preferred to keep it in stock condition, some others have opted for a modern reinterpretation of the car.

The trend of restomodding cars, basically the art of making an old car modern by mechanical and aesthetic upgrades, has seen the Bel Air as another cool protagonist. In most cases, like this one, the result is a clean and desirable car, perfect for a fancy Sunday drive.

Related: These Are The 10 Most Powerful Cars Built By The Ringbrothers

1 The Legacy

The second generation Bel Air marked an era as an icon of the US automobile industry of those years. The size of the car, the characteristic design and the chrome parts, which distinguished these models, would characterize the cars assembled in Detroit for the next 20 years.

And who wouldn't take a car like this out for a ride? Sparkling two-tone colors, vintage couch-like leather seats and grumbling V8 sounds are the ultimate factors that convinced us that first-year second-generation Bel Air is worth every penny!

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These Are 10 Of The Sickest Chevrolets From The 1960s

Chevrolet built some awesome cars back in the 1960s, but these are probably the sickest of them all.

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About The Author
Dave D'Alcamo (81 Articles Published)

Dave D'Alcamo is a writer based in the Italian Motor Valley, but probably he is currently typing from the couch of his van. Pathologically into classics and vans, he shares the devotion for engines with his dad.

More From Dave D'Alcamo
Sours: https://www.hotcars.com/55-chevy-bel-air-facts/

1955 BEL AIR

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  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Leather-appointed seating surfaces in front and second rows; third row is vinyl-covered.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Leather-appointed seating surfaces in front and second rows; third row is vinyl-covered.

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  • Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and a compatible Android™ smartphone. Data plan rates apply. You can check which smartphones are compatible at g.co/androidauto/requirements. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

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  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. Connected Navigation and Real-time Points of Interest (POI) only available on properly equipped vehicles. Requires paid plan or trial. Map coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Visit onstar.com for details and limitations.

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  • Sours: https://www.chevrolet.com/performance-parts/1955-bel-air-e-rod
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    1955 Chevrolet

    See also: Chevrolet Bel Air, Chevrolet 210, Chevrolet 150, and Chevrolet Nomad

    Motor vehicle

    The 1955 Chevrolet (sometimes referred to as '55 Chevy) is an automobile which was introduced by Chevrolet in Autumn 1954 for the 1955 model year. It is considered a huge turning point for the manufacturer and a major success. It was available in three models: the 150, 210, and Bel Air.

    The '55 Chevrolet was the first successful Chevrolet with an optional V8 engine. Chevrolet had produced an earlier car with a V8 in 1918 (Chevrolet Series D), which used a 36-horsepower overhead valve 288-cubic-inch V8, but it remained in production for only a year.[4] In 1955, Chevrolet decided to fit its new car with an overhead valve V8 engine design, which was similar to the 1949 Oldsmobile "Rocket 88" V8 engine which was an earlier GM success. Chevrolet's new 265-cubic-inch overhead valve V8 was designed to be smaller, lighter, and more powerful than previous V8s in the auto industry, and would come to be known as the "Chevy small block".

    However, the new small block engine in the '55 Chevrolet had some early teething issues. Some problems existed with cracked pistons, there was no integrated oil filter, so an external bypass filter was offered as a factory or dealer option. Those who did not order the engine with the "oil filter option" dealt with a high frequency of oil changes. Even with the oil filter option, only part of the oil was actually filtered (the oil going through the thermostat). This issue was corrected for the next year when a full flow oil filter system was added to the engine. Additionally, to keep performance and mileage levels high required spark plug and ignition points to be replaced on a regular basis. But other than those issues it was an easy to maintain engine. The small block Chevrolet V8 became so popular that Chevrolet still sells it today as an over the counter replacement engine or better known as a "crate engine". There have been various changes made to the engine to modernize it since its introduction in 1954 however the basic design of the original 265 remains in place.

    Body design[edit]

    Additionally, Chevrolet drastically changed its body design. The 1955 Chevrolet had smooth straight panels on the sides and hood. This was a major departure from previous years for Chevrolet. Although Ford introduced what would be the first "shoe box" body design in 1949, GM and Chrysler were slow to catch on, only slowly replacing some of their bubble-like hood and side panels with flatter ones each year, without achieving a full shoebox look by 1954. But in 1955, Chevrolet designed the entire car with the full shoebox look. Along with the flatter straighter panels, the '55 also had modern cues like wrap-around glass on the windshield, and triangular tail lights that jutted outward. This new look, combined with new power and engineering, made the '55 an instant hit with the buying public and a critical success.

    The car's popular "shoe-box" body style and chassis were carried over to 1956 (with changes to some of the front and rear aesthetics and bottom body line), and then carried over to 1957 (where the body was lengthened several inches in the rear and more drastic aesthetic changes were made).

    The '55, '56 and '57 Chevrolets are sought after by collectors, enthusiasts and hot rodders[citation needed], and the three model years are often referred to by the given nickname of the "tri-fives." Collectors will pay a premium for two-door models, and even more for the Bel Air version, especially the two-door hardtop (two-door, no side post). Today, 1955 Chevrolet two door hard tops command top dollar.[citation needed]

    Options and trim[edit]

    The 1955 Chevrolet also offered many other firsts for Chevrolet, including changing from a 6-volt to a 12-volt electrical system. The '55 offered new options like air conditioning, power windows, power seats, power steering and power brakes. Other options included automatic light dimmers, door handle protectors, bumper protectors and "wonder-bar" radios. So many new options were available that some referred to the car as "Chevy's little Cadillac." Never before had so many options been offered for a car in the low-price field.

    The '55's top trim offering was the Bel-Air, which had more chrome than the 150 or 210. The Bel-Air, 210 and 150 model could be bought as a four-door, or could be bought as a two door with a post between the front and rear passenger windows, known as the two-door sedan.

    The Bel-Air or 210 model could also be had as a two door with no post between the side windows. This was known as the sport coupe, or better known by collectors as "the two door hardtop". Since this model had no post between the two side windows, it had a shorter roof and longer rear deck than the two door sedan had. Chevrolet also offered a convertible, with the same shorter roof and longer rear deck as the sport coupe, and it was offered in Bel-Air trim only.

    1955 also saw the introduction of the Bel Air Nomad, a sporty two-door station wagon which featured frameless door glass and elongated side windows. The unique roof design of the Nomad came directly from the 1954 Corvette Nomad, a "dream car" designed to be shown at auto shows as a concept sport wagon. Although regarded as one of the most beautiful station wagon designs of Fifties, the Nomad sold poorly, partly due to its price tag (one of the most expensive models in the Bel Air lineup) as well as its lack of four doors. Also the Nomad's two-piece tailgate design was prone to let excess rainwater leak through to the interior.

    The '55 offered a wide array of colors. One solid color, which was standard for the 150, could be had for the 210 or Bel Air...or nineteen different two-tone color combinations were also available.

    Along with a standard column-mounted three speed synchro-mesh transmission, the buyer of a '55 Chevrolet could specify an optional overdrive unit to go with it, or the fully automatic two-speed Powerglide transmission. Although most everything was new in 1955 for Chevrolet, the reliable Powerglide was mostly unchanged from '54.

    Models[edit]

    There were nine different variations of the three models made in 1955, with differences in body, roof type, number of doors, and available equipment, but not all possible combinations were sold.

    Name and Description150 Series210 SeriesBel Air Series
    4 Door Sedan: 6-passenger, 7-window sedan with a rear trunk.XXX
    2 Door Sedan: 6-passenger, 5-window sedan with a rear trunk.XXX
    Club Coupe: 6-passenger, 2-door, 5-window coupe with a rear trunk.X
    Utility Sedan: 3-passenger, 5-window sedan with a rear trunk.X
    Sport Coupe: 6-passenger, 2-door, 5-window pillarless hardtop coupe with rear trunk.XX
    Convertible: 5-passenger, 2-door, 5-window coupe with folding top and rear trunk.X
    Nomad Wagon: 6-passenger, 2-door, 7 window "hardtop" wagon.X
    2 Door Station Wagon: 6-passenger, 5-window wagon with drop and lift gates.XX
    4 Door Station Wagon: 6-passenger, 7 window wagon with drop and lift gates.XX
    Sedan Delivery: 2-passenger, 3 window, panel delivery wagon.X
    • 1955 Chevrolet 210 2-Door Sedan

    • 1955 Chevrolet 210 4-Door Sedan

    • 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

    Engines[edit]

    The following engines were available on the 1955 Chevrolet:

    • OHV Inline 6 cylinder: 235 cubic inch, 123 horsepower
    • OHV Inline 6 cylinder: 235 cubic inches, 136 brake horsepower (SAE)
    • OHV V8: 265 cubic inches, 162 brake horsepower (SAE)
    • OHV V8: 265 cubic inches, 180 brake horsepower (SAE), also known as the "Power Pack" engine
    • OHV V8: 265 cubic inches, 195 brake horsepower (SAE), late in the model year, known as the "Super Power Pack"

    The 265 was new for 1955, and it was the first V8 available in a Chevrolet since 1918 Model "D" was offered. That car did not sell well due to its price during an oncoming recession throughout World War-I, so Chevrolet reverted to OHV inline 4-cylinder engines until 1929 when Chevrolet switched to an inline 6-cylinder engine. This reliable six cylinder would power Chevrolet cars until 1963[5] and was known as the "stove-bolt six". However, the new 265 V-8 in 1955 offered more power than the six, and weighed 100 pounds less.

    The 265 was a big success, and was fitted to the majority of Chevrolet cars for decades in various cubic inch displacements. It is commonly referred to as the "Small Block Chevy" motor.

    Transmissions[edit]

    The car contained one of three transmission types, all with the shifter on the column:

    • 3-speed Synchromesh manual
    • 3-speed Synchromesh manual with overdrive
    • 2-speed automatic "powerglide."

    All models had the three transmission options.

    See also[edit]

    1917-1918 Chevrolet Series D V8, previous Chevrolet V8 engine

    References[edit]

    Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1955_Chevrolet

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