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From around 1956 until the mid 1980s, Dodge, Plymouth and even Chrysler squads were the most ubiquitous police cars in North America. In fact, the biggest department, the NYPD, used Plymouth and Dodge squads almost exclusively until the rear-drive M body car was finally axed in 1989.
The no-frills Savoy two-door sedan was home to another engine of considerable repute, the infamous 413 Max Wedge, a Super Stock monster block Chrysler introduced in the spring of 1962.
Classic Car Overview
Cars like this 1951 Chevy Bel Air hardtop are truly a labor of love. While most 1st generation Bel Airs are relegated to the parts car column for their more valuable Tri-5 convertible and hardtop siblings from the subsequent generation, actually locating and restoring one like this is a financial proposition that doesnt often come out in favor of the owner. Thats why this nicely preserved and refreshed 2-door is such a great find, and with a period color combination and a dependable straight six motor, it will be impressing everywhere it goes for years to come. The Bel Air was, of course, Chevys top-of-the-line model in 1951, and the 2-door hardtop was the most sought-after body style if you wanted a roof. Fortunately, this lovely Fathom Green 51 escaped the parts car fate that many of its siblings faced, and instead seemed to have always led an easy life before it was treated to a nice restoration just a few years ago. The bodywork is quite straight, and if you do t think making those big doors fit this well is a challenge, then youve probably never tried to lift one on your own. The two-tone finish (the roof is a lighter shade of green, a super cool combination thats very common for this vintage) is very smooth and shines up well, and aside from a few minor imperfections that can only be spotted upon close inspection, it looks great and can be shown off with confidence. Chevy designers gave it plenty of chrome and bright details, all of which have been faithfully restored or replaced and pop brightly up against the green paint. Even items like the light lenses, hood ornament and badge, fender skirts, and De Luxe script in the fender trim looks great, finishing off the period look wonderfully. Bel Air hardtops were serious cars, and the green and white fabric and vinyl interior reflects this cars job of carrying businessmen to work. Subtle and nicely finished, it looks very 1950s without the flash of pastel colors and excessive drama. The bench seats are quite comfortable thanks to supportive foam and quality fabrics, and both doors offer neatly styled panels that belie the Chevys workday origins. Like most of these cars, the original owner selected a 3-speed manual transmission from the factory, but skipped frivolities like the radio. But heat was selected as an option too, and were happy to report that its working great. In back, theres an impressive amount of space, and any passengers you carry will feel like they received a first-class ticket, which really is the point of these cool old cars. A careful examination of the trunk will reveal a period-correct rubber mat and full-size bias-ply spare and jack set that could very well be the cars original units. The 216 cubic inch straight six remains under the hood just like it came from the factory, and from what we can gather from the casting, we believe it to be the original motor the car was born with. Turbine-smooth, it is one of the most reliable powerplants of the period and still moves the car with aplomb. It shows careful maintenance following the restoration, starts easily, and combined with the 3-speed manual transmission, is as easy to drive as any modern iron. The chassis is remarkably solid and nicely presented, with satin black dusted on the frame and pans for a high-end look. The single exhaust system has a chambered muffler providing a nice rumble thats not at all obnoxious, and it rides on shiny Bowtie wheels wrapped in 6.70-15 Firestone whitewall bias-plys that look right. Common when new, but quite unusual today, this Bel Air is a rarely-seen treat thats still a great bargain in the collector car world. Call now!
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