Collector cars are all about passion, and the nicest cars we feature are those built by a people who invested a large amount of time and money into a car they love. This rare and exceptionally well-done 1960 Bel Air was painstakingly crafted into a highly detailed show car during a thorough three year, 110K restoration. Complete with both a date code correct 348 tri-power V8 and a date code correct 4-speed transmission, it is an incredibly nice car at a price that simply can't be beat.
Looking both modern and classy at the same time, this awesome 1960 Bel Air is proof that Chevrolet's decision to cut back on the chrome and focus on streamlining their models was an excellent idea. The proportions are spot-on, there's appropriate use of trim, but it's not excessive, and the fins that everyone hated in 1959 (and love today) have been sculpted into to a better integrated design. According to the pictures included with the sale, this Bel Air was an extremely solid car when its high quality rotisserie restoration started several years ago. Its body was walnut shelled to bare metal and then completely perfected in a concours quality build that even includes GM factory bolts. In late 2009, when everything was fully sorted and the project was close to completion, its straight and smooth panels were covered in GM's subdued and classy Suntan Copper paint. The result is a fantastic jet inspired body that easily displays its accuracy and precision through crisp reflections and laser-straight lines. The two-stage paint is rich, vibrant and shines like its wet giving this Impala a 'one car parade' appeal wherever it goes.
At the front of the car, a body width stainless grille houses two clear Wagner headlights on either side of a clear and perfectly centered Chevrolet cross flag emblem. Below the grille, a wrap-around chrome bumper houses a cool ridged center section and displays a mirror-like showroom fresh shine. At the edge of the hood, great looking chrome “Chevrolet” lettering aligns between two powerful looking hood spears that lead the eye to the cars awesome curved windshield. Like the rest of the cars glass, that windshield is completely new and is flanked by well-maintained stainless trim, new chrome bowtie branded mirrors and bright stainless wipers. At the sides of the car, gold and silver “Bel Air” emblems and crests occupy the front fenders, while traditional chrome door handles operate the doors and pristine original stainless trim highlights rocket inspired rear fenders. Out back, four round chrome trimmed Chevrolet tail lights occupy a stainless trimmed rear valence panel that sits above a second show worthy chrome bumper. On the trunk lid, a chrome Chevrolet cross flag emblem sits above a pristine chrome “V” and looks flawless between the cars nicely tapered fenders.
Because GM didn't stamp partial VINs on their blocks until the mid to late 60s, it's exceptionally hard to prove an early 100% numbers matching Chevrolet. That said, this Bel Air does in fact have a date code correct big block 348 motor that has been restored to all of its original glory. As the top powerplant for the 1960 Bel Air, the Turbo Thrust 348 utilized a cast iron block, tubular steel pushrods, stud mounted and stamped steel rocker arms, a side oiling lubrication system, crowned pistons and cylinder based combustion to create a torque curve that's as flat as Kansas. This particular 348 has been upfitted with Chevrolets slick Super Turbo Thrust tri-power system that sends gas through three 2 barrel carburetors and ramps power up to an impressive 280 horses. Below those carburetors, the engine and very distinctive bowtie branded valve covers wear a thick coat of traditional Chevrolet orange, and at the sides of the block, correct rust free exhaust manifolds make quick work of spent gases. In their effort to provide this car with a concours restoration, the builders equipped it with all the right details including a correctly decaled reproduction radiator that sends water through reproduction GM hoses with correct tower clamps, a correct reproduction Delco generator that's complete with its metal tag and even a correct reproduction Delco battery that wears an authentic paper warning tab. Satin black has been evenly applied to the car's engine bay and provides a wonderful contrast to the bright orange engine block and Suntan Copper firewall.
Behind that torque rich big block motor you'll find a proven and reliable Borg Warner T10 4-speed transmission that accelerates smoothly and feels very contemporary. GM didn't stamp partial VINs on early 60s transmissions, so it's almost impossible to prove a true numbers matching car. But, as with this Bel Airs 348 powerplant, its T10 transmission is indeed a date code correct piece. During the extensive restoration, the cars body was removed from its frame and both the frame and original suspension were rebuilt and completely powder coated. Inside that frame, a brand new reproduction factory exhaust system with correct front mounted mufflers still features original decals on its silver tail pipes and has a deep heavy sounding tone. Above the frame, super clean Suntan Copper floors are straight and rust free, and at the corners of the frame you'll find completely rebuilt drum brakes. Much attention was paid to getting the details right and a new gas tank, new lines and new hoses throughout make this one reliable and dependable cruiser. Power flows to the ground through sleeper-worthy 14 inch steel wheels that wear pristine stainless center caps and vintage looking 8.50-14 BF Goodrich Silvertown tires. From the bottom, it's hard to believe this car has been driven any significant amount of time at all because both the engine bay and undercarriage are exceptionally fresh and look spectacular.
One of this car's most noteworthy features is its cool new tan and copper interior. Completely restored from the seats and door panels to the fresh carpets it looks great and feels fresh. At the front of the car, a killer body matched dash holds rebuilt instrumentation, radio and heater deletes, and a body matched steering wheel with a chrome horn ring. At the base of the firm bench seats new carpeted floor mats sit on either side of a chrome floor mounted 4-speed shifter with a white cue ball. Above the seats a new copper headliner holds new tan trimmed sun visors, and at the sides of the seats, new door panels are decorated with new stainless trim, new chrome handles and new arm rests. The trunk reminds us of how big full-size cars really were, and features some very well-fitted houndstooth mats below a correct decal, spare tire and jack.
Included with this Bel Air is a few restoration photos that show the cars solid body, re-assembled engine and restored drivetrain and chassis.
Cars like this 1960 Bel Air are very special and they represent incredible value to buyers. With a high quality restoration that is beyond reproach, and a color combination that makes it a complete knockout at shows, it's the kind of build that you can't touch for our asking price. Just imagine heading out in this Suntan Copper luxury cruiser on a warm summer evening; the burble of the 348 exhaust behind you, the smooth open road in front of you, and nothing between you and miles of happiness. Call today!