Roman Red
Red
540 V8
4 Speed Automatic
  • 540 cubic inch Merlin II V8
  • GM 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission
  • Ford 9-inch posi-traction axle
  • 3.08 gears
  • Air Ride Technologies suspension
  • Zoops power steering
  • Wilwood power disc brakes
  • Intro wheels

Here at RK Motors Charlotte, we sell the most exclusive collector cars in the world seven days a week. But every now and then we still get a car that 1) we've never had before and 2) is just a ton of fun to own. In fact, when this awesome bubbletop Bel Air pulled into our showroom, all we wanted to do was hop in and cruise up and down the strip. And since this Chevy's been completely refinished, equipped with a reliable Merlin motor and dressed with an interior that's more comfortable than some people's bedrooms, it was more than willing to prowl. Both rare and highly desirable, this old school derriere hauler is an all-American road cruiser that's one of the coolest people movers on the planet! And whether you're a diehard Chevy fan, a big block enthusiast or just someone who wants to drive something a little different, it'll have you dreaming of good times and great friends!

Much more impressive than when it originally rolled down GM's Baltimore assembly line, this well-done coupe has been transformed into a take-no-prisoners weekender that consistently headlines cruise nights. You won't be staying under the radar with its professionally finished Roman Red paintwork, which has been carefully applied over a very clean body. There are no obvious signs of wholesale panel replacement, suggesting this has been a straight, rust-free shell its entire life. Not surprisingly, the car's fit and finish is almost good enough to turn reflections into reality. And ultimately, it all adds up to one super cool cruiser that, thanks to its spectacular combination of color and trim, has an absolutely magnetic presence!

For 1961, the Bel Air's new body utilized squared-off design, a sweeping roofline and unique trim to distinguish itself from Chevrolet's working class Biscayne and top tier Impala. And with its glossy paint, graceful greenhouse and super low stance, this bubbletop brings new meaning to the word 'style'. At the front of the car, a stainless, body-width grille hangs a prominent Chevrolet crest between four halogen headlights, two clear parking lamps and one sculpted bumper. Above that grille, a “CHEVROLET” branded hood leads the eye to straight stainless frames, bright stainless wipers and some of the coolest glass to ever hit an assembly line. At the sides of that hood, white-inlayed trim, chrome GM door handles and bowtie-branded mirrors act as small, well-placed details which highlight clean, sculpted side panels. And at the back of that trim, correct “Bel Air” scripts front a stylish trunk crest, rocket-inspired tail lights, a sculpted bumper and large stainless exhaust tips.

Gaze under the aforementioned hood and you'll find 540 cubic inches of naturally aspirated, big block fury! Unlike those boring LS motors, which seem to be the only retrofit getting any respect, this Merlin II iron block is a pump gas torque monster that's just as comfortable cruising country roads as it is lining up at stoplights. At the top of the big red mill, a K&N Xtream air filter funnels wind into a red, high rise intake via a Quick Fuel Technology 4-barrel. At the sides of that intake, aluminum Canfield heads hang chrome breathers on painted and Chevrolet-branded valve covers. Below those breathers, high performance shorty headers funnel spent gases into aluminized, true-dual exhaust pipes. At the back of those headers, an aftermarket points distributor sequences sparks between an MSD 6M-2 box and MSD Heli-Core Suppression Cables. Opposite that distributor, a beefy Edelbrock water pump circulates coolant through a heavy duty Griffin radiator. And, outfitted with a plethora show and go pieces, the engine's painted surfaces reflect well against the car's clean, color-keyed engine bay.

Park this Chevy on a lift and you'll find a fully sorted undercarriage that, while clean, is certainly no stranger to road time. The car's solid floorpans are covered in a lasting coat of GM Satin Black paint, which perfectly complements its sturdy X-frame. Behind the Merlin, a GM 700R4 4-speed spins a Ford 9-inch rear end that's fitted with a posi-traction differential and smooth, 3.08 gears. Under that rock-solid drivetrain, a completely rebuilt suspension is equipped with Zoops power steering, Air Ride Technologies shocks and Wilwood power disc brakes. At the center of that suspension, 3-inch, true-dual pipes jettison spent gases through polished stainless tips. At the corners of those pipes, attractive Intro wheels spin 235/40ZR18 Nitto NT555 Extreme ZRs in front of 275/35ZR20 Nitto NT555 Extreme ZRs. And everything, from this Bel Air's stainless fuel tank to its polished flywheel cover, is pliable, free and ready to hit the pavement.

Open the coupe's thick doors and you'll find a fully restored interior that walks a fine line between 'stalwart' and 'stylish'. The firm front bucket and rear bench seats are big, comfortable and feature pleated vinyl covers that are straight and tear-free. Below those seats, textured carpet centers weather-resistant floor mats on a nice B&M Quicksilver shifter. At the sides of that shifter, correct door panels hang correct chrome hardware above stylish Bel Air badging and MB Quart kick speakers. Above those panels, a factory headliner stretches from curved A-pillars to big MB Quart deck speakers. At the front of the car, a simple, Roman Red dash hangs a full array of Auto Meter gauges around a hidden Panasonic head unit. In front of the driver, a polished steering wheel spins a black leather rim around a standard steering column. And behind the passengers, a custom upholstered trunk stores weekend luggage between two Phoenix Gold amplifiers and beefy Premier subwoofers.

Restored and ready to hit the road, this awesome, old school Chevy is the perfect place to “See the U.S.A.”. It's one of the last great no-nonsense, no-frills designs to come out of Detroit; and it's the kind of car that your family can enjoy for generations. Whether your interest lies in killer cruisers, classic good looks, or vintage Chevrolet style, this Bel Air has it all!

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