Classic Car Overview
1955 Chevrolet Bel AIr Convertible The classic car community has pivoted a bit in recent years; fully-restored cars were once the ones-to-have, now the respective values of these restored examples are being surpassed by barn finds and survivor examples that, while maybe not seemingly as nice at first glance, carry their value in the form of originality. Theres a particular charm to unrestored survivor cars; whether due to nostalgia for a far-gone era or just the excitement of recognizing a cars full potential underneath a thick layer of dust, the time-capsule feeling evoked by unrestored cars is something special. The woo of that intangible charm is a key component in what drives the value of many classic cars. Wooing you in the configuration of its original form, a first year example of the Tri Five phenomenon that was about to hit the country with this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible. She is all original save for the Shoreline Beige paint on the two tone, retaining its original interior, trimmings, engine and Gypsy Red paint on the exterior. With its paint it has an original charm that only comes from 62 years spent in a climate controlled garage, and well cared for over this time. We give you for consignment this 2-owner original mileage car, that can indeed be called a survivor. Exterior With straight no hit steel panels sporting no rust, we can see the effects of aging on the Gypsy Red paint portion of the two tone. It shows cracking, crazing, and dulling, along with some dimpling. From a distance all this disappears, and just shows as overall dulling with a lack of shine, and the saturation remains good. Upfront starting with its baseball cap brimmed headlights, to the egg crate grille, and large lower bumper there is plenty of chromed trimmings to go around on this car. No panel has been left wanting for trim, as on the front quarters, there is the beginnings of the trim spear ad mid panel, and below on the back of the wheel well, is a trimming that starts within the wheel well surround, and makes its way rearward on the rockers. Mid door where the front spear ends, picks up with another trim spear that eventually will end on back, but is now the dividing line between the Gypsy Red, and the Shoreline Beige. A vertical chromed faux vent (if you will) provides the delineation between the side panel red and beige. Even the gas filler door is trimmed...OH!! those were the days. Not to be outdone by the front, a continental rear bumper has been added, and of course houses the metal spare tire enclosure, utilizing the red and beige along with its share of chrome. This will conveniently fold down for access to the trunk which is roughly the size of a 3 bedroom apartment. Piqued lantern style taillights frame the rear on either corner, and shout out to the fender skirts which only allow just a hint of the wide whites behind them. White canvas in pretty clean and unripped shape moves up and down electrically while you sit and watch in amazement. Moon capped center deep dog dish style wheel covers cover wide whites all around. Interior A swing of the large doors, and we have yet another swoop spear trimming which creates the border between the white and red vinyl that makes up the door panels. Just a bit off soiling are on the high use areas of this door panel. Moving inside we see more red and white vinyl red for the tuck and roll inserts, and white for the bolsters and frame of the seat surround. This stays the course in the back bench which has red vinyl lowers, and a bracket style white curved upper motif, to all the seats, all of which are beautifully preserved, and original. I need to mention the red tonneau cover which is still supple and snaps over the dropped top with ease. An original dash in full metal jacket stretches from door to door and includes dual fan like bump ups one to house the speedo and gauge cluster, and the other for the radio speaker with Bel Air badging in your grandmothers handwriting. An original red bakelite steering wheel with a full round horn trim in the center and pointed center, fronts the dash. Beautiful red carpet floods all the floors and beneath the white rubber mats, has nary a mark on it. In the central portion of the dash within the bowtie pattern aluminum strip is an AM radio. Drivetrain A nicely buttoned up orange painted V8 configured in a 265 V8, has a Rochester 2-barrel carburetor atop. This engine has been removed and re-bored with new rings, crankshaft, and a fresh valve job. A new radiator core, and fuel tank have been put on. A 2-speed automatic Powerglide transmission is on back. Undercarriage All undercoated and all rust free from all that climate-controlled storage over the years, this beauty underneath is very sound structurally. Coil over suspension is upfront, and leaf springs for the rear, as well as disc brakes all around. The X frame is looking good as are the floorpans and wheel wells. Drive-Ability She fires right up, and idles like a champ, quietly, and smoothly. Off to the test track it performed as it should with good acceleration, decent handling, and quick stopping with those drum brakes. All functions were functioning, and the top moves up and down smoothly, all be it slowly, but it gets the job done. Right out of 1955 with a rebuilt original engine, 61,582 original 2-owner miles, and beautiful interior. The exterior red is original and patina, but with the beige and chrome it shows well. Clean beyond clean, original beyond original, stunning beyond stunning, this fine example is proudly gracing our hallowed halls, and awaiting its mere 3rd caretaker of this first year of the Tri-Five years.