- 350 cubic inch Summit crate engine which produces 330 horsepower
- Gearstar 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission
- GM 10 bolt rear end
- Walton Engineering front suspension
- Power rack and pinion steering
- GM-style four wheel power disc brakes
- 18 inch front and 20 inch rear Coys wheels
- Copper Cranberry Glasurit exterior paint
- Custom leather interior
- Air conditioning
Custom cars are all about passion. Some of the nicest customs we feature are those built by folks who invest a large amount of time and money into a car they love. And much to the surprise of casual onlookers, most gearhead's dream builds don't always involve Ridler finalists or a first-rate compilation of parts which serve as garage decor. Instead they're filled with impressive, well-done classics which wrap modern power, everyday livability and top-notch road manners in about five times the curb appeal of the local showroom special. This awesome 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air was painstakingly crafted into an expertly detailed cruiser during a multi-year, high dollar restoration; and thanks to the specialists at Summit Racing and Gearstar Performance, it also sports a road ready drivetrain which creates the perfect platform for a cross-country road trip. If you're looking for some hot 50s metal that's a bit different from all those run-of-the-mill tri-fives, this awesome Chevy is an incredible car at a price that simply can't be beat!
Looking both modern and classy at the same time, this slick '54 sports coupe is proof that Chevrolet's decision to take a curvaceous fuselage, weld it to a sweeping roofline and decorate it with an ample amount of chrome was an excellent idea. Unlike most exaggerated 50s designs the car's proportions are spot-on, there's appropriate use of trim, and the subtle rear fins that would eventually grow to controversial wings are fully integrated into attractive, sculpted arcs. Judging by a quick glance at its profile, the car was an extremely solid piece when its high quality rotisserie restoration started. But nevertheless, its body was stripped to bare metal and virtually perfected in a high quality build which even included an over-restored undercarriage. In February of 2008, that smooth fuselage and straight undercarriage were covered in a thick coat of subdued and classy Copper Cranberry Glasurit and buffed to a wet-look shine. The result is one fantastic early Chevy which creates a 'one car parade' wherever it goes.
This attractive Bel Air is an excellent example of a popular practice automakers call “re-skinning”. Re-skinning is a tried and true sales technique which utilizes new exterior panels to make an older design appear fresh without changing its basic structure; and in the 50s and 60s, nobody perfected re-skinning like General Motors! At the front of the car a toothy chrome grille, which bears a deliberate resemblance to the 1954 Corvette, anchors crystal clear parking lights beneath two chrome trimmed halogen headlights. Below that grille, a wrap-around chrome bumper features two prominent, bulleted guards; and above that grille, a great looking Chevrolet crest rides below an early edition of Chevrolet's famous 'jetbird' hood ornament. At the sides of the car, traditional fender brows parallel pristine stainless trim spears which flow to prominent rear fenders, famous white inserts and familiar gold Bel Air emblems. Below those brows, impressive stainless rocker moldings show no signs of dents or dings; and above those brows, like-new greenhouse glass, which is fronted by a curved one-piece windshield, rides inside of bright stainless frames and fresh chrome door handles. At the back of the car, '54 Chevy-exclusive tail lights hang between a domed decklid, smooth chrome bezels and integrated reverse lights. Below those tail lights, a second wrap-around chrome bumper features two more prominent, bulleted guards; and above those tail lights, a second curved one-piece windshield provides killer style and ample visibility.
Much of the money spent during this Chevy's recent revitalization centered on its performance and reliability. Lift the hood and you'll find a proven 350 cubic inch Summit crate motor which looks good and, with 330 horsepower, runs great! Air and fuel are supplied by a polished breather, which seals around a reusable filter element, and a big Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor that's fed by an Edelbrock inline fuel filter and operated by a Lokar throttle cable. A perfect mixture of elements is sourced through a high performance aluminum intake and modern center bolt heads which are capped by polished valve covers. Fires are ignited by fresh plug wires which are connected to an MSD billet distributor, an MSD Blaster II coil and new Ron Francis wiring via polished looms. Heat is suppressed by a heavy duty radiator that's equipped with a small electric pusher fan, a giant electric puller fan and a polished overflow tank. And spent gases are jettisoned through a slick set of ceramic coated Sanderson block hugger headers. The motor keeps spinning thanks to a full serpentine system which spins everything from the car's AC compressor to its fresh alternator. The compliments keep flowing thanks to a highly detailed, well-executed engine bay which is bathed in an impressive coat of Copper Cranberry Glasurit. And everything from the car's chrome brake booster and stainless fuel lines to its polished breathers and trick dipsticks is fully sorted, ready to show and ready to hit the road!
During the extensive restoration the car's solid body was completely removed, and both its freshly blasted chassis and freshly undercoated floors were bathed in a clean coat of Copper Cranberry Glasurit. Behind the torque rich small block, you'll find a new Gearstar 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission and a traditional GM 10 bolt rear end which accelerate smoothly and feel very contemporary. At the front of the chassis, the car's traditional 'knee-action' suspension has been replaced with a body-matched Walton Engineering set up that employs tubular control arms and swaps traditional manual steering for an easy twisting power rack and pinion system. At the back of the chassis, familiar leaf springs ensure enough strength and reliability to counter all the small block's twist. And at the corners of the chassis, fresh stainless lines shuttle fluid from the afore mentioned brake booster to modern, GM-style calipers and rotors. The motor beats a killer soundtrack through a 2.5 inch true dual exhaust system which features great sounding polished Magnaflow mufflers. Power flows to the pavement through a sweet set of Coys wheels which spin 225/40/18 front and 255/35/20 rear Exclaim UHP radials around chrome spinners and gunmetal gray spokes. And everything, from the car's chrome oil pan and finned transmission pan to its body-matched driveshaft and body-matched gas tank, works in unison to create one sharp and dependable cruiser.
One of this Chevy's most noteworthy features is its great looking Fawn interior. Completely custom from its power leather seats and sculpted door panels to its fresh carpets and Champagne door frames, this supple cockpit looks almost as good as it feels. At the front of the car a chrome trimmed dash holds white faced Auto Meter gauges, which are complete with a billet instrument panel, above a correct radio delete and controls for the modern heat and air conditioning. At the base of the firm seats, carpeted floor mats ride between a custom leather console and chrome foot pedals. And above the seats, a fresh leather headliner frames a fully functional dome light. Out back, the trunk reminds us of how big full-size cars really were and features a nice mix of well-fitted leather panels and high quality Fawn carpet. And in front of the driver, a polished Ididit tilt steering column spins a Billet Specialties half-wrap steering wheel around a chrome shifter, an attractive chrome gear indicator and a full set of billet stalks.
Included with the sale of this sweet custom is a partial owner history and paperwork for both its hot engine and fresh transmission.
Cars like this awesome first generation Bel Air are very special, and they represent incredible value to buyers. With a high quality restoration that's beyond reproach and a color combination that makes it a complete knockout at shows, THIS is the kind of build you simply can't touch for our asking price. Just imagine heading out in this Copper Cranberry cruiser on a warm summer evening; the burble of the 350 behind you, the smooth open road in front of you, and nothing between you and miles of happiness!