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.
- 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.
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.
“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.