I had forgotten how much I loved 55-57 Chevys until this spectacular car rolled into the RK Motors Charlotte showroom. I've been in this hobby a long time and no matter how many of these cars I see, there always seems to be some detail or nicety that I've either never noticed or simply forgotten about. With this heavily optioned Regal Turquoise and India Ivory 1955 Bel Air, the word “details” is taken to a whole new level.
Now, before I get into specifics with this beauty, I'd like to list the factory options for you:
Upgraded 265 cubic inch V8 engine
Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission
Deluxe chrome grille guard
Front window visor
Deluxe rocker trim
Dual outside mirrors
Fuel door trim
Autronic Eye System
Wonderbar AM radio
Emergency brake indicator
Traffic light viewer
Hood and trunk accessory lights
The '55 is certainly the cleanest of the "shoebox" Chevys, as it features minimal trim and came without the outrageous tailfins and massive chrome bumpers that would come into vogue later in the decade. Because of that, many enthusiasts refer to the '55 as “The Hot One” because of its crisp and modern styling in comparison to most 50s cars. Starting life in Norwood Ohio as a 6 cylinder sport coupe, this particular '55 Chevy was the recipient of a recent fully documented frame-off rotisserie restoration which utilized 1955 sheet metal. It's very apparent that someone spent a lot of time getting this rounded masterpiece smooth because panel fit and alignment is great from front to back. The finish on the car is excellent throughout and the two tone paint scheme exactly duplicates the original factory 612 paint code application for this car. The result is a car that shows you just how good this original, simple design can look in factory trim.
The Bel Air was Chevrolets top-of-the-line offering and sported additional chrome and brightwork that differentiated it from its lesser brothers. Every piece of trim on this Bel Air is original to 1955 and in excellent condition. Everything is well aligned from panel to panel and it's very apparent that considerable care was taken getting the original front bumper with the optional deluxe grille guard to look and fit correctly. The stainless on the side of the car has the dual purpose of giving the car a low and long look, while cleverly hiding the division between the turquoise and white paint. The headlights and parking light lenses are like new and a pristine Chevrolet emblem is mounted front and center below a new hood ornament. Optional door guards and optional fuel door trim add extra luxury while optional dual chrome mirrors add functionality. Out back, the slightly peaked taillights that live at the end of the low tailfins feature excellent reproduction lenses that are bright and free of cracks. New glass all around complements the original 1955 visor which combines with optional deluxe rocker trim and original optional fender skirts to make this Bel Air one seriously luxurious cruiser.
The base engine for the 1955 Chevrolet was the evergreen “Stovebolt” inline six cylinder, but the engine most buyers wanted was the all-new 265 cubic inch V8. Developed in just 15 weeks, the 265 was equipped with a 2 barrel carburetor, developed 165 horsepower and proved to be an instant hit. It was such a milestone that it's overhead valve configuration would serve as the blueprint for small block Chevrolet motors for years to come. Fully rebuilt and restored, the 265 V8 in this car has been bathed in correct Chevy Orange paint from top to bottom, including the “Chevrolet” script valve covers with hand-painted lettering in contrasting black, as original. Up top, the optional under hood accessory light highlights a correct heavy duty air cleaner feeding air to the proper carburetor, and fresh hoses and clamps give the engine bay a “from the factory” appearance. You've probably also noticed a correct auxiliary oil filter setup, a rebuilt generator and a correct Delco battery. The radiator, protected by a reproduction correct bug screen, keeps things cool. And a new wiring harness, new brake lines and new fuel lines complete the engine bay creating a car that you'll be proud to park at the next big show or a local cruise night.
Underneath, the period correct theme continues with the original smooth shifting 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission that has been fully restored. A satin black frame and floorpan complement the new for 1955 rebuilt “Glide Ride” ball-joint suspension which benefits from fully restored optional power steering. Braking on these cars was surprisingly good from the factory because of their “jumbo” 11 inch diameter drums. And this cars optional 4-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes, including the single master cylinder, have been restored to original condition for like new stopping performance. A new true dual exhaust system runs the entire length of the floorpan and exits on each side of the new gas tank giving the 265 V8 a great exhaust note and maybe even a few extra horsepower. All of this head turning style rides on reproduction Firestone 6.70-15 whitewall tires which are mounted to factory steel wheels with full hubcaps and trim rings.
Climb inside this Bel Air and you'll find a fully restored interior with no reproduction parts. Featured in the cars original 522 Turquoise vinyl and Beige straw weave, the seats are cool to look at and cool to sit on during hot days. Smartly installed over restored frames and new foam, the seats are all-day comfortable and the material fits without any wrinkles. Overhead there's a new headliner with cool chrome roof bows, a cue that GM designers borrowed from convertibles for this cars “Motoramic” design theme. On the doors, the cars original optional power windows complement original interior trim and door handles. The 3-spoke steering wheel is a jet-age triumph of design, with a beautifully restored rim and horn ring. Ahead of you, the dashboard recalls that of the sportier Corvette, with a single binnacle for the speedometer and smaller gauges that are integrated into its face. The optional Wonderbar AM radio sends sound to the traditional passenger side Bel Air dash speaker which includes the optional clock incorporated at its base. Mounted below the dash is an optional emergency brake indicator and mounted on top of the dash is an optional traffic light viewer and an optional Delco Autronic Eye System. A very cool feature, Autronic Eye was the first automatic headlight dimming system and served to switch the cars head lamps between high and low beams in response to city lights or lights from an approaching car. Fresh carpet with matching floor mats and an optional tissue dispenser round out this nicely appointed interior. Out back, the nicely detailed trunk features a new mat, a matching spare tire and is lit by an optional trunk accessory light.
This fully documented restoration includes two huge binders full of receipts and information about this cars build. Also included in the sale is a '55 Chevrolet owner's manual, a '55 Chevrolet accessories booklet, a heater instruction booklet and instructions for the Autronic Eye System.
What started out as America's first low-priced hardtop coupe has become a legend. The 1955 Chevrolets, the Bel Air in particular, are some of the most collectable, highly-sought collector cars of all, and eager buyers are easy to find. Sure, there are a lot of them out there, but how many are this heavily optioned and restored to this level of detail? If you've been looking for an exceptionally nice, period correct Bel Air that hasn't been altered with modern equipment, you've found the right car! Call Today!
You May Also Be Interested In
What Customers Are Saying
First I would like to say that the staff at RK Motors were very professional and courteous. I was very impressed with the write-up and the details that were presented on this car. The photo shoot was amazing and the video was outstanding. Tony Klein, the consignment manager was amazing to work with. Tony always answered all of my questions within a timely manner. I was impressed with the time frame in which my vehicle was sold. I would and have recommended RK Motors to all of my car enthusiasts. Thank You RK Motors for a great job!