Tag Archives: collector car

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop Coupe

Chevrolet first applied the Bel Air nameplate to their premium line of sedans and hardtops in 1950. They pioneered a line of practical, well-equipped vehicles that would go on to become a huge part of Chevrolet’s success in the 50’s. Today, all of the “Tri-Five” Chevys are highly sought after – and none more than the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

    Specs:

  • 265 ci V-8 engine
  • 162 HP
  • Powerglide automatic transmission
  • ball-joint front suspension
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf springs with coil shocks
  • 115” wheelbase

 

For 1955, Chevrolet‘s full-size model received all new styling and power. It was called the “Hot One” in GM’s advertising campaign. Chevrolet’s styling was crisp, clean and incorporated a Ferrari-inspired grille. Bel Airs came with features never found on cars in the lower models ranges, such as interior carpet, chrome headliner bands on hardtops, chrome spears on front fenders, stainless steel window moldings, and full wheel covers. With it’s lower, wider body and wrap-around windshield, it was America’s most popular car in 1955, and remains a collectible icon with undeniable appeal today.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

Under the hood, the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air gained a V8 engine option that would go on to define Chevrolet for many years. The new 265 cu in (4,340 cc) V8 featured a modern, overhead valve high compression head, aluminum pistons, and a long stroke design that was so good, it remained in production in various forms for decades. It was smooth, powerful, and easy to service, and the venerable “small-block” remains a legendary design. Mated to an updated wider chassis with ball-joint front suspension, open “Hotchkiss” drive, and tubeless tires as standard equipment, the exciting Bel Air was a hit right from the start. With modern styling, new-found power, and a popular price-point, the design team at Chevrolet definitely hit a home run.

1955 Chevy Bel Air

“Tri-Five” Chevrolets with a V-8 and Powerglide automatic transmission have proven to be smooth, reliable performers, and this car is no exception. It reaches highway speeds with ease, rides smoothly, and with it’s eye-catching two-tone paint and tons of chrome, they make a wonderful addition to any collection of 50’s cars.

Bob DeKorne, National Accounts, Heacock Classic Car Insurance

Rick’s Collector Car Tips – Starting The Collector Car Hobby

How Do I Get Into The Collector Car Hobby?

Rick Drewry, Senior Claims Specialist at American Modern Insurance Group, has been approached many times at car shows with the specific question: “How do I start the collector car hobby?” Rick states that anyone can get into the collector vehicle hobby, it’s just a matter of keeping these three tips in mind when beginning the collector car shopping process:

• Buy a car that starts up and drives. Do not buy a project car the first time around. You’ll spend too much time and money attempting to get the car to show quality that you will never truly enjoy the car. A drivable classic car can participate in car shows and cruise-ins. Car guys will ask you what your plans and expectations are as well, so it’s a great conversation starter.

American Modern collector car insurance

• Go for the lower trim/performance option. Don’t hold out on a Pontiac GTO, go get a Tempest or a LeMans instead. A simple engine swap makes these virtually the same collector vehicle. The same rule applies with a Chevy Camaro over a Z28 or Plymouth Duster. Get the slant-six instead of a 340 engine.

American Modern collector car insurance

• Consider less mainstream collector cars. Camaro, Chevelle, and Mustang are the popular models, but the station wagons from the 50’s – 70’s make for great classic cars. From the Oldsmobile Delta 88s, to the Ford LTD and Chrysler 300, these can make for sweet rides. Entry-level cars like the Vega, Corvair, Pinto and Maverick are also recommended. Make sure to do your homework before making that car purchase, and ask for help if necessary. Once you obtain your first collector car, you’ll wonder why you waited this long to buy one! Have Fun!