CHASSIS NO: VC55K05238
• Iconic styling with all the modern amenities
• Impressive paint and body work throughout
• LS1 V-8 engine and four-speed automatic for smooth cruising
• Custom leather bucket seat interior with air-conditioning
LS1 V-8 engine, 400 HP, 4L60E automatic transmission, four-wheel power disc brakes, four-wheel independent coil spring over shock suspension; wheelbase: 115”
Chevrolet’s fortunes were looking up in 1955, and their top-of-the-line Bel Air Convertible was leading the way. It was full of chrome, had a sleek modern design, and the buying public ate it up. The styling was right with hooded headlamps and a sleek wraparound windshield and the powerplant was new with the venerable 265 V-8 now lurking under the hood. Mix in modern two-tone paint finishes and matching two-tone interiors, and the 1955 Bel Air Convertible was one of the most exciting vehicles you could buy in 1955.
Fast forward 66 years, and take all that iconic styling and use it on a thoroughly modern performance car. Start with a sweet Newman Performance Chassis and add in modern Corvette independent suspension on all four wheels. Of course, power steering and four-wheel power disc brakes are enhanced by performance rotors all around. For power, an LS1 V-8 was chosen, conservatively rated at 400 HP, and complete with custom valve covers and air intake. Housed in a simplistic and detailed engine compartment and is beautifully presented in both construction and condition. Backing it up is a 4L60E automatic transmission shifted from the console for smooth performance and easy cruising. The consignor reports it is one of his favorite cars to drive, with plenty of room and Corvette-like performance.
Step inside, and dive into the deep red leather bucket seat interior, with a ton of leg room and excellent visibility. The bright red dash panels, carpets, and door panels are all excellent, with a ‘50s Corvette vibe again. The classic dash look is retained by using the factory gauge housings with modern readouts, and even the air-conditioning was cleverly installed using the original vents. A major league stereo system with subwoofers in the custom trunk will be a lot of fun to share with everyone. Everything was brought together by Patrick’s Classic Cars in Phoenix, and they did an incredible job of retaining all that ‘50’s class in a highly drivable package. Look for the true custom touches - like a remotely operated electric gas door, or the LED side markers cleverly integrated into the bumper bolts - as examples of their attention to detail.
Outside, the first things you’ll notice are the impressive paint finish and straight body work throughout. Black paint is only a friend to straight body panels, and with just enough chrome and those deep chrome custom wheels – this ‘55 has that classic stance that says “all business” and is certainly ready to rumble. The cloth top is like new, and features the desirable glass rear window, and the whole package from top to bottom gleams like a show car – but one that really wants you to get in and drive.
Customs can occasionally get a little extreme, but this fine ’55 convertible comfortably and proudly walks the line between stock and custom with real presence and respect. From American Graffiti to Two-Lane Blacktop, few cars have earned a higher level of respect in the collective American gearhead minds than the Bel Air Convertible. This beautifully displayed modern-day American icon custom is just the right combination of great ingenuity, taste and performance. Expertly built, it is sure to make a huge impression on the person driving it, as well as all admiring it.