Horizon Blue
Light Blue
235 ci Thrift-King Straight 6
3 Speed Manual
  • Correct 235 cubic inch Thrift-King 6-cylinder
  • 3-speed manual transmission
  • Horizon Blue and Pure White paint
  • Light Blue and Medium Blue interior
  • Fully documented
  • Owned by one family for 59 years
  • 15-year frame-off, nut-and-bolt restoration completed in 2012

SUMMARY

* 15-year frame-off, nut-and-bolt restoration completed in 2012
* Owned by one family for 59 years
* Correct 235 cubic inch Thrift-King 6-cylinder
* 3-speed manual transmission
* Sale includes: An original Bill of Sale / Historic service documents / An extensive ownership history / Restoration photos
* Horizon Blue and Pure White paint
* Light Blue and Medium Blue interior

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When you think the words “different” and “Chevrolet”, what comes to mind? It's most likely NOT the acres of tri-fives, Camaros and Chevelles sitting at the local swap meet. What about when you think the words “cool” and “Chevrolet”? Well, that's pretty much all classic Chevys, so I guess I need to be more specific. What happens when you think “Chevrolet”, “different” AND “cool”? Chances are something akin to this classy '53 Bel Air rolls through your mind. Being an early '50s bowtie, it's certainly different. And being a fully restored show stopper makes it super cool. But what makes it both different AND cool is the fact that it's a pristine, early '50s Chevy that's fully documented from an original Bill of Sale all the way to a stack of restoration photos. If you're looking for an awesome weekend cruiser, your classic has arrived. Sign the papers, grab three of your closest friends and head to the nearest car show!

BODYWORK/TRIM

Owned by one family for roughly 59 years, this super clean Chevy is the beneficiary of a 15-year nut-and-bolt restoration that wrapped in November of 2012. When that frame-off rebuild began, the car had logged only 20K miles in the hands of one fastidious owner. And presently, it's traveled only 391 weekend miles since rolling out of the paint booth. Repose Horizon Blue and Pure White 2-stage combine with restored chrome and polished stainless to provide serious, retro character. And that pigment highlights a distinctive, pontoon-style body, which reminds us just how cool vintage metal can be!

Officially jumpstarting the brand's major emphasis on style, Chevrolet's first generation Bel Air found a solid audience with buyers who wanted more than just utility. For that reason, and GM's willingness to take a few chances with aesthetics, many enthusiasts cite the car as the beginning of Chevy's golden age of design. At the front of this low-key classic, a broad grille hangs crystal-clear parking lamps between a detailed header emblem, chrome-trimmed headlights, and a polished and guarded bumper. At the sides of that grille, stylish Bel Air trim spears and subtle rocker guards flow past traditional door handles, small fender skirts and an armored fuel filler. At the top of that profile, stainless-trimmed glass floats behind a sleek hood topper and mirrored windshield wipers. And at the back of the car, elegant tail lamps illuminate a classy Chevrolet crest over a second polished and guarded bumper.

ENGINE

Fully rebuilt and completely sorted, this sedan's correct, 235 cubic inch Thrift-King 6-cylinder wears a '53-exclusive 3701946 casting number under a '53-exclusive LAA assembly stamp. At the top of the traditionally blue mill, a stamped steel valve cover provides excellent contrast to a glossy oil bath air filter. Below that filter, a small Rochester carburetor feeds a correct intake that's siamesed with a correct exhaust manifold. Opposite that manifold, a traditional points distributor sequences spark to six plugs via six high quality wires. And in front of those wires, a reproduction battery complements a tagged Delco-Remy generator. From its beefy radiator and simple squeeze clamps to its old school fuel bowl and bright, FRAM-branded oil filter, this Chevy conveys a clean, factory-spec appearance. And details like dual horns and fresh stainless fluid lines ensure the car remains a safe, capable cruiser.

DRIVETRAIN/SUSPENSION

Take a look under this vintage bowtie and you'll see just how much the automotive world has changed when it comes to ride, handling and structural integrity. An over-restored frame, Horizon Blue floors and a fully rebuilt suspension highlight the car's extensive freshening. Behind the Thrift-King, a tough 3-speed transmission makes good use of road-ready gears. In front of that drivetrain, a fully independent suspension remains just as it looked back in 1953. And the same holds true behind that drivetrain, where heavy duty leaf springs and a solid axle maintain ride height and add ample grip. 4-wheel drum brakes bring everything to a stop. There's a correct, single-pipe exhaust system, which utilizes a mid-mount turbo muffler to give the 6-cylinder a nice rumble. And everything rolls on color-keyed steelies, which spin fresh 205/75R15 Toyo Extensa whitewalls around full Chevrolet covers.

INTERIOR

The car's warm and welcoming interior looks straight out of boomtown, America, complete with tight vinyl, tasteful fabrics and awesome Art Deco gauges. The Light Blue and Medium Blue cockpit is centered on big, heavily bolstered seats that feel soft enough to take a nap on. At the sides of those seats, 2-tone door panels hang correct chrome handles between glossy frames and classy stainless trim. At the bottom of those panels, piped and “Bel Air” branded floor mats protect stain-free carpet. Opposite that carpet, a blue headliner hangs tight behind tailored sun visors. At the front of the car, a stylish and purposeful dash frames attractive, stainless-trimmed telemetry. In front of the driver, a 2-tone, aircraft-inspired steering wheel laps a familiar Chevrolet crest. And behind the cockpit, a painted and matted trunk hides a correct jack behind a full-size spare tire.

OUR SALE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION AND ACCESSORIES

* A 1953 Chevrolet brochure
* A 1953 Chevrolet guide
* An original Bill of Sale
* Historic service documents
* An extensive ownership history
* Restoration photos
* A vintage license plate

If you're looking for something a little different than a run-of-the-mill Chevy, this awesome Bel Air is a fantastic choice. Distinctive, comfortable and lovingly restored, it's a lot of fun on the road OR at the show. Few cars make us want to just punch out, grab the keys and hit the Carolina backroads. This is certainly one of them!

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