- Recent frame-up restoration
- 100% Stock body
- Burnt Orange/Pearl White
- 300hp 350cid V8
- TH350 automatic
- 12-bolt 3.07 rear
- Digital gauges
- Modern stereo
Were you sleeping when our 990 point 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air found a new home? We thought that beautiful car would be pretty hard to top, but we like a challenge. We think we've met it with our latest: a 997 point 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air!
The great thing about '55-'57 Chevys is that you can customize them any way you want. On the other hand, the terrible thing about '55-'57 Chevys is that you can customize them any way you want. Truly spectacular shoebox Chevys are much less common than their vast production numbers would suggest, but when they're as well done and beautifully presented like this '55 Bel Air, they're some of the nicest cars to own and drive.
Because Chevrolet was General Motors biggest seller, styling for the all new 1955 was carefully considered. Serious design work on the body style got under way in June of 1952, at the GM Styling Building. Although the '55s were bit less radical than initially envisioned, they were far sleeker and fresher than the unexciting 1953 and 1954 models. Longer, lower, and wider were General Motors new buzz words, so overall height was slashed by 6 inches on station wagons and up to 3 inches on other models. However, the 1955 Chevrolet was only one inch shorter and narrower. It just looked longer and wider because of the way the rear fenders were made and the fact that the hood was almost level with the front fenders. Hooded headlamps blended into the new flat top front fenders, and functional tail lamps extended out slightly from the rear fenders. From the Ferrari-like egg crate rectangular grille and eagle hood ornament to the stylish wrap around windshield, the 1955 Chevrolet was undeniably a Harley Earl design.
Understated is how I would describe the custom work on this beautiful '55. Sure, the Matador Red paint is a little flashy, but it's a very traditional '50s color, and combined with Shore Line Beige uppers, looks classically elegant on the vintage sheet-metal. The builder kept all the original trim, all of it polished or re-chromed to show-winning condition, perfectly complimenting the flawless bodywork. This is one of those rare customs that simply puts a high polish on the great factory shape and detailing.
Mechanically, this is an all-new car and shows just 1980 miles since it was completed. The engine is a fresh 300 horsepower vintage 1970 350, topped by an Edelbrock carburetor, all dressed in authentic Chevy small-block orange paint. The cast iron exhaust manifolds are trick reproductions of period speed gear, which, along with chrome Edelbrock valve covers, make the engine compartment something special. There's a new dual master cylinder for the brakes feeding stainless steel brake lines. Steering is handled by a new 570 steering box, and a 12-volt alternator keeps everything charged. A rebuilt GM 700R4 automatic overdrive transmission with a custom billet aluminum column shifter routes the power to the rear wheels.
Underneath, the 1955 Chevys were all-new. A-arms acting on coil springs wound around hydraulic shock absorbers offered a smooth ride. Leaf springs were 9 inches longer, 2 inches wide and mounted outboard of the main frame. With the wider chassis 6.70 X 15 inch four-ply tubeless tires were used. A modern ball joint front suspension called “Glide Ride” was described as a “spherical joint design”.
The car has been upgraded using tubular front control arms with two inch drop spindles up front. There's also a fat front sway bar that allows this car to manage corners vastly better than the engineers could have imagined in 1955. Power disc brakes have been added up front to balance the 300 horsepower engine and make this car as safe to drive as any modern vehicle. It all rolls on a set of Firestone Firehawk radials with brand new chrome Rallye wheels.
Out back, the frame has been modified to relocate the rear leaf springs so that wider 255/60/15 tires on 8-inch wide wheels could be fitted. 2 inch drop blocks have been installed to compliment the dropped spindles up front, giving the car an aggressive hot-rod rake. Power is put to the pavement by an indestructible Ford 9-inch rear end from an early Bronco stuffed with 3.50 gears and capped by drum brakes.
Interior variations were just as extensive as the options and color combinations in 1955, and they were plusher and more expensive, especially in the Bel-Air, than the year before. Instruments were symmetrically arranged directly ahead of the steering wheel in a simple fan shaped cluster that was matched on the right side by the radio speaker housing. An optional radio was mounted between the two fan shaped clusters. Heater and outside air controls were mounted on the dash within easy reach of the driver.
The interior in this '55 is the equal of the incredible paint & body. Instead of going with modern buckets that never look correct, or covering everything in modern leather or tweed, the builder instead chose to go for a largely stock look. Featuring red and white Del Ray upholstery, it combines the best of 1955 with today's technology and comfort. Everything has been restored or upgraded along the way, including a Dakota Digital dashboard that even features a digital clock in front of the passenger. And there's an absolutely beautiful 15-inch steering wheel that mimics the original in design. This car also includes an original 1955 Chevrolet Owner's Manual.
Like all the best customs, it would take hours to see all the custom touches and details that make this car special. But even at first glance, you can tell that it is no ordinary '55. In fact, it won 1st place at the 31st Annual International Auto Show celebrating the 50th anniversary of the '55 Chevys. And, at the Classic Chevy International meet in 2007, it won the Modified Class, scoring a mind-blowing 997 points out of 1000. With thousands of cars in attendance and a focus on '55s, this was the nicest one. What else can we say that can top that? The proud new owner of this '55 will be able to pull into ANY show, local or national, confident in the knowledge that he (or she) will have the finest '55 on the grounds. Call us to put the nicest '55 around in your garage, and start enjoying the drive today.