1959 chevy bel air convertible

1959 Chevrolet Bel Air

A more conservative approach, with "jet smooth" lines, evident with the aircraft inspired side trim. Chevrolet changed much of the bodylines from the more wilder '59's. The Bel Air was again offered as the mid line just under the Impala and the Biscayne remained the lower level more affordable option. In 1959 Chevrolet offered new radical designs with the '59 Bel Air, Impala and Biscayne. The "batwing fins" and "cats-eye" taillights were just a few of the new designs. The new '59s rode a 119-inch wheelbase and stretched about 2 inches wider and longer, and 150 pounds heavier than the previous year '58. The Bel Air became the midrange series for '59. Production series total included about 447,000 produced.

 

 

 

1959 Chevrolet Bel Air Production Numbers

Model NumberBody/Style NumberBody Type & SeatingFactory PriceShipping WeightTotal Production
Bel Air Series 1500 - Six-Cyl
C194 dr Sedan - 6P$2,4403,600 lbsNote 1
C394 dr Hardtop Sport Sedan - 6P$2,5563,660 lbs
C112 dr Sedan - 6P$2,3863,515 lbs
Parkwood/Kingswood Station Wagon Series 1500 - Six-Cyl
C354 dr Parkwood - 6P$2,7493,965 lbsNote 1
C454 dr Kingswood - 9P$2,8524,020 lbsNote 1
Bel Air Series 1600 - V-8
D194 dr Sedan - 6P$2,5583,615 lbsNote 1
D394 dr Hardtop Sport Sedan - 6P$2,6743,630 lbs
D112 dr Sedan - 6P$2,5043,510 lbs
Parkwood/Kingswood Station Wagon Series 1600 - V-8
D354 dr Parkwood - 6P$2,8673,970 lbsNote 1
D454 dr Kingswood - 9P$2,9704,015 lbsNote 1

Notes:

Production was recorded by body style only: 4dr Sedan = 525,461 ; Sport Coupe = 164,901; Sport Sedan = 183,520 ; 4dr Station Wagon = 188,623 ; Convertible = 72,765. Chevrolet did not offer a breakout of numbers by series, model or engine.


Chassis Data

ModelWheelbaseOverall LengthWidthHeightFront TreadRear TreadTires
Chevrolet119 in210.9 in79.9 in54-56 in60 in60 in7.50 x 14
Chevrolet Station Wagon119 in210.9 in79.9 in56.3 in60 in60 in8.00 x 14

VIN Numbers

Serial Numbers were stamped on a plate on the left front door hinge pillar (center pillar on Corvair and on the driver-side door post on Corvette). The Fisher Body number plate on the right-hand side of the cowl gives additional information such as the body style number, the production sequence number, the trim (upholstery) number code and the paint number code.
First Symbol - Model & Series
A - Biscayne/Brookwood 1100 Series (6-Cyl.)F - Impala/Nomad 1800 Series (V-8)
B - Biscayne/Brookwood 1200 Series (V-8)G - Sedan Delivery or El Camino (6-Cyl.)
C - Bel Air/Parkwood/Kingswood 1500 Series (6-Cyl.)H - Sedan Delivery or El Camino (V-8)
D - Bel Air/Parkwood/Kingswood 1600 Series (V-8)J - Corvette
E - Impala/Nomad 1700 Series (6-Cyl.) 
Second & Third Symbol - Model Year
59 - 1959
Fourth Symbol - Assembly Plant
(A) Atlanta, Georgia(L) Los Angeles, California
(B) Baltimore, Maryland(N) Norwood, Ohio
(F) Flint, Michigan(O) Oakland, California
(G) Pontiac, Michigan(S) St. Louis, Missouri
(J) Janesville, Wisconsin(T) Tarrytown, New York
(K) Kansas City, Missouri(W) Willow Run, Michigan
Last Six Symbols - Production Sequence
Started at 100001

Engine Codes

Location Of Engine Code: 6-Cyl - stamped on a pad behind the distributor on right side of block. V-8 - stamped on the block in front of the right hand cylinder head.
Letter CodeEngineHorsepowerTorqueTransmissionCarburetor
A6-2351352173-Speed Manual2 BC
AE6-2351352173-Speed Manual2 BC
B6-235135217Powerglide2 BC
C8-2831852753-Speed Manual2 BC
CD8-283185275Overdrive2 BC
CQ8-2832303003-Speed Manual2 - 4 BC
CR8-2832503053-Speed ManualFuel Injected
CS8-2832902903-Speed ManualFuel Injected
CT8-2832303003-Speed Manual2 - 4 BC
CU8-2832303003-Speed Manual2 - 4 BC
D8-283185275Powerglide2 BC
DH8-283250305PowerglideFuel Injected
DJ8-283230300Powerglide2 - 4 BC
F8-3482503553-Speed Manual 4 BC
FA8-348280 3553-Speed Manual 3 - 2 BC
FB8-3483353623-Speed Manual 3 - 2 BC
FD8-3483203583-Speed Manual 4 BC
FG8-348300350Not Available4 BC
G8-348250355Powerglide4 BC
GB8-348280 355Powerglide3 - 2 BC
GD8-348350350Powerglide4 BC
H8-348250355Turboglide4 BC
HA8-348280 355Turboglide3 - 2 BC

Transmission Codes

TransmissionLocation
3-Speed Manual Stamped on rear face of upper right corner
3-Speed Manual (close-ratio)Stamped on rear face of upper right corner
4-Speed Stamped on boss on lower left side of case just below side cover.
PowerglideStamped on the bottom of oil pan
Corvette 2-Speed PowerglideNot Available
TurboglideNot Available

Plant and Type Designation PrefixPlantTransmission Type
WWarner Gear4-Speed
SSaginaw3-Speed, Overdrive*
CClevelandPowerglide
BToledoPowerglide (Corvair)
 

*Overdrive distinguished from 3-Speed by physical appearance only. The above transmissions will carry a production code number such as: S304 (S = Saginaw 3-Speed, 3 = March, 04 = 4th.)

Axle Codes

Location Of Axle Codes: The axles for Chevrolet will be built by Chevrolet Buffalo, Chevrolet Gear and Axle, Buick, Oldsmobile, and McKinnon. Divisional Manufacturer code letters will be metal stamped on the axle tube adjacent to the carrier for identification. Metal stamp on left rear axle tube on the rear side, letters and numerals 3/16 in. high, 3 in. outboard of carrier.
Codes - Non-LockingCodes - LockingRatioInspection Cover
Not AvailableNot Available3.55 12 Bolt
Not AvailableNot Available3.36 10 Bolt
Not AvailableNot Available3.0810 Bolt
Not AvailableNot Available3.70 Not Available

Paint Codes - Exterior Colors

Color Name / CodeColor ImageColor Name / CodeColor Image

903 - Aspen Green Metallic
Lucite® Code - 2933L
Dulux® Code - 181-92725

936 - Snowcrest White
Lucite® Code - 2697L
Dulux® Code - 93-91249

905 - Highland Green Metallic
Lucite® Code - 2932L
Dulux® Code - 181-92689

914 - Crown Sapphire Metallic
Lucite® Code - 2930L
Dulux® Code - 181-92945

910 - Frost Blue Metallic
Lucite® Code - 2925L
Dulux® Code - 181-92716

925 - Classic Cream
Lucite® Code - 2924L
Dulux® Code - 93-92459

912 - Harbor Blue Metallic
Lucite® Code - 2927L
Dulux® Code - 181-92297

938 - Satin Beige
Lucite® Code - 2928L
Dulux® Code - 93-93023

920 - Gothic Gold Metallic
Lucite® Code - 2929L
Dulux® Code -
940 - Grecian Gray Metallic
Lucite® Code - 2934L
Dulux® Code - 181-92944

923 - Roman Red
Lucite® Code - 2931LH
Dulux® Code - 93-93037H

942 - Cameo Coral Metallic
Lucite® Code - 2926LH
Dulux® Code -

NOTES: Color Combination Numbers are on a plate on the right side of the dash panel, under the hood, immediately below the heater water control valve (Ranco Valve).

 

Paint Codes - Two-Tone Combinations of the RPO-B, C, and D Series Cars are as Follows:

SeriesU (Upper Area)L (Lower Area)
B (11-1200 exc. 11-1270-1300-1400)Roof-OnlyLower Body
C (17-1800 exc. 17-1867)Roof & Side Molding Insert AreasLower Body
D (15-1600)Roof & Back Panel Cove AreaLower Body exc. Back Panel Cove Area
Paint CodeColor Name Lucite® Code Paint CodeColor NameLucite® Code
990(Upper) Aspen Green Metallic
(Lower) Classic Cream
2933L
2924L
973(Upper) Snowcrest White
(Lower) Roman Red
2697L
2931LH
953
(Upper) Snowcrest White
(Lower) Highland Green Metallic
2697L
2932L
987(Upper) Harbor Blue Metallic
(Lower) Frost Blue Metallic
2927L
2925L
962(Upper) Frost Blue Metallic
(Lower) Harbor Blue Metallic
2925L
2927L
988(Upper) Snowcrest White
(Lower) Grecian Gray Metallic
2697L
2934L
963(Upper) Crown Sapphire Metallic
(Lower) Snowcrest White
2930L
2697L
989(Upper) Satin Beige
(Lower) Cameo Coral Metallic
2928L
2926LH
970(Upper) Satin Beige
(Lower) Gothic Gold Metallic
2928L
2929L
 
 

Paint Codes - Interior Colors

Color Name / CodeColor ImageColor Name / CodeColor Image

Red
Duco® Code - 2967H

Not AvailableMedium Gray Metallic
Duco® Code - 93143
Not Available
Dark Blue Metallic
Duco® Code - 93141
Not AvailableCopper Metallic
Duco® Code - 93144
Not Available
Medium Green Metallic
Duco® Code - 93142
Not AvailableMedium Turquoise Metallic
Duco® Code - 93145
Not Available
Sours: https://www.oldride.com/library/1959_chevrolet_bel_air.html

Chevrolet Bel Air

The Chevrolet Bel Air nameplate came to represent the middle-line breadwinner among Chevy's full-size models, but as this article demonstrates, it didn't begin that way.

The Chevrolet Bel Air name made its debut for 1950 on the Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Bel Air.This car was actually near the pinnacle of that year's Chevy offerings and was in fact Chevy's first hardtop car.


Classic Cars Image Gallery

In addition to covering the 1950 Bel Air, this article also looks at the 1950 Chevrolet Special and DeLuxemodels from which it sprang. You'll also find information on the 1954 Chevrolet Bel Airas well as the lineup that generated the 1954 240 Bel Air: the 1954 Chevrolet 150 Special, 210 DeLuxe, and Delray.

Further down you can visit articles on the Bel Air through the 1961 model year, by which time the nameplate had settled comfortably into its middle-ground role. The Bel Air badge had one final flourish, however, and that came with the 1958 model year, when the Bel Air designation was used to launch a classic new Chevy nameplate, the Impala.

For coverage of the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala, and for the 1962 through 1975 Bel Airs, check out our article on the Chevrolet Impala.
1959 Chevrolet Bel Air four-door sedan rear view
The Chevrolet Bel Air, like this 1959 sedan,
came to symbolize big-Chevy value.

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1950 Chevrolet Special and Deluxe

Redesigning the 1950 Chevrolet Special and Deluxe was a costly undertaking, so its major revamping had to last a few years to pay off.

Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe
The 1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe
sport coupe changed little from 1949 models.

Following up on a hugely successful 1949, 1950 Chevrolets showed only mild styling changes, led by a touched-up grille. Not that it mattered. Shoppers still clamored for new cars, and Chevrolet ended the year with record sales -- nearly 1.5 million.

As one ad noted, "Chevrolet has the whole town talking." What many of those folks talked about was gearshifting -- or the lack of it: namely, Chevy's new Powerglide transmission, the first automatic in the "low-priced three."

Optional for $159 on DeLuxe models only, Powerglide operated through only a single speed unless the driver selected "Low" range manually. In theory, the torque converter's variable ratios would meet all driving needs. Besides, cars with Powerglide carried a stronger (105-horsepower) and larger (235.5 cubic inch) six-cylinder engine, with hydraulic lifters and a higher-lift cam.

Despite those extra horses, Powerglide sopped up lots of engine power, and automatic-equipped cars took off at a decidedly leisurely pace, slowed further by an EconoMISER rear-axle ratio. On the other hand, they ran quieter, avoiding the annoying tappet clatter that Chevrolet owners endured for years. Manual-shift cars kept the smaller solid-lifter engine, boosted from 90 to 92 horsepower.

Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Convertible
The 1950 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe
convertible sold as well as the 1949 model.

1950 Chevrolet Special and Deluxe Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

HJ Styleline Special

3,025-3,120

$1,329-$1,450

194,853

HJ Fleetline Special

3,080-3,115

$1,403-$1,450

66,959

HJ Styleline DeLuxe

3,090-3,460

$1,482-$1,994

846,320

HK DeLuxe Fleetline

3,115-3,145

$1,482-$1,529

313,796

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1950 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Bel Air

The new 1950 Chevrolet Bel was Chevrolet's first hardtop and the pioneer pillarless coupe in the low-priced market. Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile turned out sumptuous "hardtop convertibles" in 1949, but neither Chrysler nor Ford had one on the market.

1950 Chevrolet Bel Air
The pillared 1950 Chevrolet Bel Air
was promoted for elegance over sportiness.


A Bel Air, advised the sales brochure, was "open to the summer breeze" yet "snug against the wintry wind," with "the coziness and permanence of an all-steel top." In short, you got both sportiness and all-weather comfort.

Chevrolet offered just one hardtop (in the Styleline DeLuxe series), versus four versions of Pontiac's similar Catalina, but far more Bel Airs went to customers -- 76,662 in all. Priced at $1,741, a Bel Air brought $106 less than a convertible but $243 more than a sport coupe.

From the beltline down, a Bel Air looked exactly like other Stylelines. Convertible-type frame reinforcements made up for some loss of structural rigidity due to the lack of B-pillars. Rather than the usual broadcloth, upholstery was leather and pile-cord fabric.

Bright metal headliner bows helped give the feel of a real ragtop, while rolling down the windows delivered an airy, jaunty experience. Before long, hardtops would overtake convertibles in the sales race.

1950 Chevrolet Bel Air, Interior
The interior of the 1950 Chevrolet Bel Air
continued the outward trend of two-toning.

1950 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Bel Air Facts

Model

Weight (lbs.)

Price (new)

Number built

HJ Styleline DeLuxe

3,225

$1,741

76,662

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1951 Chevrolet Styleline and Fleetline

The 1951 Chevrolet Styleline and Fleetline looked softer and rounder, though little changed in overall contour. The softer and rounder look was credited to a smooth new "Fashion-Front" grille and integrated "Reflector-Guard" taillights. Parking lights moved to the outer edges of the grille molding to yield a wider, more substantial appearance.
Chevrolet Fleetline DeLuxe Sedan
The 1951 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe sedan
was stylish but felt outdated to buyers.


DeLuxe models wore neat fender skirts, accentuating the clean body lines. They also displayed such extras as stainless steel moldings on front fenders and doors, and a 39-hour wind-up clock inside. Of course, any Chevrolet could be dressed up with an outside sun shade, bumper wing tips, or a grille guard -- and many were.

Within the new curved "Safety-Sight" instrument panel, gauges were grouped in two circular clusters with non-glare lighting. Control knobs sat below in a recessed panel.

Also on the safety side, "Jumbo-Drum" brakes demanded as much as 25-percent less pedal pressure and were promoted as the largest in the low-priced field.

Chevrolet started the season with 14 models in two body styles -- notchback Styleline or fastback Fleetline -- again in either Special or DeLuxe trim. Most Fleetline fastbacks left the lineup at midyear, leaving only the two-door DeLuxe. Americans no longer were drawn to slantback body shapes, which many believed to be old-fashioned.

Bel Air production rose sharply, to 103,356 cars, despite the fact that both Ford and Plymouth added hardtop body styles this year. Songstress Dinah Shore got Americans to whistle and hum the tune "See the USA in your Chevrolet," and that slogan also began to appear in print ads.

More than 43 percent of DeLuxe Chevrolets came with Powerglide. Obviously, customers weren't worried about its reputation for slippage and slowness. Claims of "smooth flow of power from zero to cruising speed" were accurate enough, but promises of "sensational 'hillability'" and "flashing acceleration" didn't quite measure up in the real world.

Sales dipped slightly from record-breaking 1950, to below 1.25 million, but Chevrolet clung tenaciously to its first-place ranking, again finishing comfortably ahead of Ford.

1951 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Convertible
The 1951 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe drop-top
epitomized the era's long-deck look.

1951 Chevrolet Styleline and Fleetline Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

JJ Styleline Special

3,040-3,130

$1,460-$1,595

175,285

JJ Fleetline Special

3,090-3,130

$1,540-$1,594

9,805

JK Styleline DeLuxe

3,110-3,470

$1,629-$2,191

855,293

JK Fleetline DeLuxe

3,125-3,155

$1,629-$1,680

189,603

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1952 Chevrolet Styleline and Fleetline

1952 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop
The 1952 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop
was praised as reliable and reasonably priced.

Ads insisted that the 1952 Chevrolet Styleline and Fleetline models were "more beautiful than ever," but at a glance, little difference was discernible between 1951 and 1952 Chevrolets.

Wider parking lights stood at the ends of a touched-up grille, which featured a row of "teeth" along the formerly smooth bar.

Mechanically, too, the cars carried on as before: a 105-horsepower, 235.5-cubic-inch engine for those with Powerglide, but a 92-horse, 216.5-cubic-inch rendition of the Stovebolt Six for manual-shift models. As before, the bigger engine had hydraulic lifters, while stick-shift drivers endured the familiar clatter of solid tappets.

A Fleetline two-door fastback remained on sale, but for the last time, and only in DeLuxe trim. Otherwise, the lineup was a duplicate of 1951: four Styleline Special body styles and a half-dozen Styleline DeLuxes. Powerglide remained available only on DeLuxe models, whose freshened interiors harmonized with body colors.

Reacting to the Korean conflict, civilian automobile production was cut this year, causing all automakers to post considerably smaller totals. Even with only 818,142 cars built, Chevrolet again scored well ahead of Ford, with Plymouth and Buick trailing far behind.

Edward N. Cole replaced Edward H. Kelley as head of engineering -- a portent of major mechanical changes in the works.

1952 Chevrolet Fleetline DeLuxe sedan
The 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline DeLuxe
was Chevy's last fastback sedan of the era.

1952 Chevrolet Styleline and Fleetline Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

KJ Styleline Special

3,045-3,115

$1,530-$1,670

84,409

KK Styleline DeLuxe

3,100-3,475

$1,707-$2,297

671,472

KK Fleetline DeLuxe

3,110

$1,707

37,164


For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1953 Chevrolet 150 Special and 210 Deluxe

With the new 1953 Chevrolet 150 Special and 1953 Chevrolet 210 Deluxe, words like "Startlingly New!" and "Wonderfully Different!" rang true amidst the usual advertising hype.
1953 Chevrolet Two-Ten
The 1953 Chevrolet Two-Ten offered
sharp looks at less cost than the Bel Air.

Structurally, the cars largely carried on the 1949-52 design, but new squared-off, rounded-edge bodies provided a rather different look. They also served as an evolutionary link to the forthcoming mid-Fifties shape.

Among other changes, a one-piece curved windshield replaced the prior twin-pane setup. Totally fresh front-end styling, Chevrolet insisted, "accentuates the appearance of power and fleetness."

Trunk openings were larger, and shoulder room greater, so each model could hold "six big people without crowding." Inside, the driver now started the engine with the ignition key, which replaced the short-lived pushbutton.

Chevrolet issued a total of 16 models in three series: bare-bones One-Fifty, mid-range Two-Ten, and upmarket Bel Air. Two-Tens could look nearly as sharp as Bel Airs, especially when two-toned, while the One-Fifty series exhibited a bargain-basement demeanor -- right down to its bare rubber windshield moldings and virtual lack of body trim.

All Chevrolets now carried 235.5 cubic inch engines, but again, models equipped with Power-glide got more power: a new 115-horsepower Blue Flame six with hydraulic lifters and 7.5:1 compression. Manual-shift cars held a Thrift-King six-cylinder engine, delivering 108 horsepower on 7.1:1 compression. Both had full-pressure lubrication.

Powerglide gained a new automatic starting range for true two-speed operation, making it better able to deliver the promised "breath-taking acceleration from a standing start" as well as swift pickup for passing. Both Two-Tens and Bel Airs could get Powerglide for $178 extra.

Power steering was newly optional on all models, but it cost exactly as much as automatic -- one reason why it took a while to gain acceptance. As the model year ended, Chevrolet had moved more than 1.3 million cars, but its lead over Ford was narrowing.

1953 Chevrolet Two-Ten
The 1953 Chevrolet Two-Ten four door
was the year's best-selling Chevrolet.

1953 Chevrolet 150 Special and 210 Deluxe Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

150 Special

3,140-3,420

$1,524-$2,010

176,579

210 DeLuxe

3,190-3,495

$1,707-$2,273

649,821


For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1953 Chevrolet 240 Bel Air

The 1953 Chevrolet 240 Bel Air rose to meet the challenge posed by the changing tastes of American auto buyers. Instead of mere transportation, increasingly affluent families sought cars that reflected their upscale lifestyles.
1953 Chevrolet 240 Bel Air convertible
1953 Chevrolet Bel Air sales proved
a market existed for a low-priced uplevel car.

As city dwellers gravitated from cramped apartments to ranch houses in the growing suburbs, a stripped-down vehicle seemed increasingly out of place.

Like several other American automakers, Chevrolet had an answer for these social shifts. The Bel Air -- which was formerly offered only as a hardtop coupe -- now became a full four-model top-line series, easily identified by their unique two-toned spears on the rear fenders.

In addition to the two-door hardtop, now called a Sport Coupe, the series included a convertible and two- and four-door sedans. Why buy a lower-priced sedan, customers apparently wondered, when a Bel Air commanded only $113 more than its Two-Ten equivalent, and just $204 more than a spartan One-Fifty.

A Sport Coupe and convertible were also included in the Two-Ten lineup, but neither body style would last beyond this year in mid-range form. Like its less-costly mates, Bel Airs had a clean new dashboard but wore more lavish trim and heavy chrome.

New center-fold seatbacks swung in toward the center, allowing more room for entering and leaving the front seat. Crank-type regulators, similar to those that rolled windows up and down, now operated the front ventipanes.

Chevrolet asserted that the Bel Air stood "in a class all its own," and plenty of customers agreed. A total of 514,760 were produced, including nearly a hundred thousand alluring Sport Coupes and better than 24,000 convertibles.

Bel Airs thus accounted for more than 38 percent of total sales, pleasing dealers who'd wondered whether a line of upmarket Chevrolets really would catch on. Sure, Two-Tens sold better yet, but the One-Fifty series trailed its more glamorous siblings by a wide margin.

1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe
The 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe
boasted a 108-horsepower standard engine.

1953 Chevrolet 240 Bel Air Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

240 Bel Air

3,230-3,470

$1,820-$2,175

514,760


For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1954 Chevrolet 150 Special, 210 DeLuxe, and Delray

1953 Chevrolet Two-Ten Sedan
The 1954 Chevrolet 210 sedan remained
Chevy's best-selling mid-level car.

The 1954 Chevrolet 150 Special, 1954 Chevrolet 210 DeLuxe and 1954 Chevrolet Delray all featured modest touch-ups that gave them a slightly sharper edge, with revised styling at both the front and rear.

New bumpers extended farther around the fenders, taillights wore surrounding brightwork, and a reworked vertical-tooth grille flared neatly into oval parking lights, below fluted headlight rings. The 210 series shrunk considerably, losing its hardtop coupe and convertible but adding a Del Ray club coupe.

Both the 150 and 210 lineups included six-passenger Handyman station wagons.

A new Blue Flame 125 engine went into Powerglide-equipped cars, delivering 125 horsepower -- 10 more than before. The manual-shift's engine got a boost to 115 horses. A new muffler, said the sales brochure, "hushes engine sounds to a whisper." Powerglide could now be installed on any model, including the low-budget 150 series.

Fresh vinyl and fabric interiors harmonized with new "fashion fiesta" body colors. Green-tinted E-Z-Eye glass was optional on all Chevys. Electric-powered front-window and front-seat controls were optional on 210s and Bel Airs, for $86 each. Power steering cost only $135 this year. Newly available power brakes brought just $38, but "zippy thrifty" Powerglide still added $178 to the tariff.

1954 Chevrolet Two-Ten Club Coupe advertisement
1954's Chevrolet 210 Club Coupe
was a "sport model" with whitewall tires.

1954 Chevrolet 150 Special, 210 DeLuxe, and Delray Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

150 Special

3,145-3,455

$1,539-$2,020

129,459

210 DeLuxe

3,185-3,470

$1,717-$2,13

524,222


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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1954 Chevrolet 240 Bel Air

1954 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible
The 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air series,
like this convertible, remained top sellers.

The 1954 Chevrolet 240 Bel Air again had a contrasting color panel on rear fenders, which matched the roof colors of two-tone paint jobs. Production of the five-model Chevrolet Bel Air lineup approached that of the less-expensive 210 series, now offered in only four body styles.

Dramatically upgraded interiors were finished in twin-hued blends of cloth and vinyl, bringing unheard-of style inside moderately priced automobiles. The Bel Air line now included an eight-passenger Townsman wagon, which still carried vestiges of woodgraining on its steel body panels.

Sport Coupes and convertibles were now offered only in Bel Air form, but ragtop production dropped below 20,000 cars. Clearly, hardtops were gaining steadily in popularity over true convertibles as a result of their all-weather coziness.

Continuing the upscale trend that had been developing, the Bel Air four-door sedan ousted the equivalent 210 as the most popular model, despite a $113 price difference.

The 30-millionth Chevrolet was built on December 28, 1953, but for the model year, production dropped a little behind Ford's -- an uncomfortable position for the automaker that claimed to offer "America's favorite car." Ford now had an overhead-valve V-8 engine available, but Chevrolet engineers were busy with a V-8 that would turn into a phenomenon.

1954 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport coupe
The 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe
offered a wealth of options at a low price.

1954 Chevrolet 240 Bel Air Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

240 Bel Air

3,220-3,540

$1,830-$2,283

486,240


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1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible was,
and is, a highly coveted automobile.

When the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air arrived, Chevrolet enjoyed an all-new image practically overnight. Rather than a car driven mainly by dads and aunts, the sensationally redesigned "Motoramic" models quickly gained a reputation as "The Hot Ones."

In this landmark year, Chevy finally had a bold response to Ford in the performance battle: a lively 265 cubic inch V-8 that would nurture a whole generation of muscular engines. Better yet, that V-8 was slipped into a fresh, contemporary body sporting a rakish beltline dip and a Ferrari-inspired grille.

Chief engineer Edward N. Cole earned credit for Chevrolet's first V-8 in 35 years. Simple in construction and economical to build, the 265 cubic inch Turbo-Fire was a model of efficiency.

Instead of common rocker shafts, for instance, the short-stroke V-8 used independent rocker arms, each retained by a fulcrum ball and lock nut. That meant less reciprocating weight and greater rev potential. In basic trim, the V-8 delivered 162 horsepower, but an optional Plus-Power Package with dual exhausts hiked output to 180 horsepower.

"Try this for sighs," said the sales brochure of the Bel Air's color-coordinated interior. Even a sedan, it continued, "looks as young as you feel behind the wheel." Half a dozen Bel Air body styles went on sale, topped by a glamorous convertible and sleek hardtop Sport Coupe.

Whatever the body style, ads called Bel Air a "blue-ribbon beauty that's stealing the thunder from the high-priced cars." Sales leader was the four-door sedan, with over 345,000 built. A new Bel Air Beauville four-door station wagon ended the season with triple the sales of a comparable '54 wagon.

Those who liked their Bel Airs loaded could order everything from Touch-Down overdrive and Air Temp air conditioning to power steering and brakes, electric windows, Continental kit, and a power seat. A convertible paced the Indianapolis 500 race, piloted by general manager Thomas H. Keating, and a gold-trimmed hardtop rolled off the line as the 50-millionth car built by General Motors.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Wagon
The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Wagon
sold triple the units of its Ford counterpart.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Bel Air

3,140-3,370

$1,888-$2,262

764,852


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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad merged
station wagon utility with hardtop style.

The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad was in a class all its own. No other station wagon has ever achieved the near-classic status granted to Chevrolet's glorious 1955 Nomad -- or come close. Even Pontiac's similarly shaped Safari never matched a Nomad's style and flair.

Because hardtops accounted for nearly one-fifth of the market and wagons nearly 15 percent, logic dictated a marriage of the two. Nomad began as a popular Corvette-based dream car at the 1954 GM Motorama. Blending the posh airiness of a hardtop with a wagon's practical virtues, the production Nomad debuted in February 1955.

Rakish is the only way to describe the Nomad, with its hardtop door-glass framing and sloping rear quarters that paralleled the angle of the wide B-pillars. Styling touches included a fluted roof, wraparound rear side glass, and rear-wheel cutouts.

From the cowl back, Nomads shared little sheetmetal with other Chevrolets, except for the basic floorpan. Doors differed, because Nomads lacked a beltline dip, and quarter panels were unique due to the wheel cutouts. A special interior featured waffle-rib upholstery.

Though handsome, the glassy greenhouse made the car hot on sunny days, air circulation wasn't top-notch, and tailgates leaked rain. Highest-priced of the '55s at $2,571, only 8,386 Nomads were built this year, and sales sagged further in the next two seasons.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
The flashy 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
was outsold by less ostentatious wagons.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad Facts

Model

Weight (lbs.)

Price (new)

Number built

Bel Air Nomad

3,285

$2,571

8,386


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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1955 Chevrolet 150, 210, and Delray

1955 Chevrolet Two-Ten Club Coupe
The 1955 Chevrolet Two-Ten continued
to prove the popularity of mid-level sedans.

When the 1955 Chevrolet 150, 1955 Chevrolet 210 and 1955 Chevrolet Delray arrived, dealers had plenty to be enthused about. Not only were these Chevys longer, lower, and wider, but their "New Look" body was remarkably free of chrome excess -- a growing affliction of the Fifties.

Chevrolets featured a Sweep Sight wraparound windshield and jaunty beltline dip, both inspired by limited-edition GM cars. Drivers faced new Swing-Type brake and clutch pedals and an "airliner look" twin-cove instrument panel with central glovebox.

Bel Airs garnered the attention, but the half-dozen mid-range Two-Tens sold almost as well, and the bare-bones One-Fifty series had its own following. A Two-Ten sedan was the most popular two-door model, and the four-door wasn't far behind its Bel Air cousin.

In addition to the Two-Ten hardtop coupe, Chevy issued a Delray Club Coupe -- similar to the two-door sedan but more alluring inside. Any model might have a 180-horsepower Super Turbo-Fire V-8, a 162-horsepower Turbo-Fire, or the familiar Blue Flame six, now rated at 123 or 136 horsepower.

Billed as "red-hot hill-flatteners," the V-8 sedans were "setting the drag strips on fire," according to ads. Chevrolet easily beat Ford in sales during a year that saw records set throughout the automobile industry.

1955 Chevrolet One Fifty Police Car
This 1955 Chevrolet One-Fifty police sedan
showcases the versatility of the line.

1955 Chevrolet 150, 210, and Delray Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

150

3,070-3,275

$1,593-$2,030

125,446

210

3,130-3,355

$1,775-$2,127

805,309


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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1956 Chevrolet 150 and 210

1956 Chevrolet Two-Ten sedan
The 1956 Chevrolet 210 sedan's
two-tone paint emphasized its clean lines.

Four 1956 Chevrolet 150 models and eight 1956 Chevrolet 210s went on sale that model year, including a pair of 210 pillar-less hardtops: a two-door Sport Coupe and new four-door Sport Sedan.

A nine-passenger Beauville station wagon joined the 210 lineup, giving Chevrolet a total of six suburban haulers. The Delray coupe returned, too, rounding out the 210 selection.

Even a looks-tame 210 sedan promised "quick and nimble ways," with up to 225 horsepower available from a 265-cubic-inch V-8 carrying twin four-barrel carbs -- the same engine as offered in the Corvette.

A chrome "V" on the hood revealed the presence of V-8 power, starting with the basic 162-horsepower version. Inside, dashboards repeated the symmetrical look from '55.

In each series, proclaimed the sales brochure, "fine-car quality has been delightfully blended with heart-stirring, high-stepping performance." Properly equipped, an ordinary Chevrolet could reach 60 mph in under 10 seconds. Not even the venerable six was forgotten, earning a boost to 140 horsepower.

Ads promoted "frisky new power...to make the going sweeter and the passing safer." Chevrolet once again beat Ford in sales -- though not by much -- but competition was heating up as the horsepower wars continued, and no one could count on staying in the number one spot forever.

1956 Chevrolet Two-Ten sedan
This 1956 Chevrolet 210 sedan
shows off the optional Continental body kit.

1956 Chevrolet 150 and 210 Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

150

3,117-3,299

$1,734-$2,171

157,294

210

3,167-3,490

$1,912-$2,348

737,371


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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe
This 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe
shows off the popular hardtop body style.

The 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air was the first of many Chevrolets to receive a face-lift. This gave Chevrolets a more conventional full-width grille, pleasing those customers who didn't favor the Ferrari-inspired '55 front end.

Distinctive two-tone bodyside treatments on Bel Airs imparted a look of motion -- even when standing still. Graceful front and rear wheel openings completed the "speedline" restyling. Single housings incorporated the taillight, stoplight, and backup light, and the left one held the gas filler -- an idea popularized on Cadillacs.

Among the seven Bel Air models was a new Sport Sedan, a pillarless four-door hardtop that looked handsome with all the windows rolled down and allowed easy entry into the back seat. Production exceeded 103,000, compared to 128,000 two-door hardtops.

Shapely two-door Nomad wagons topped the price chart at $2,608, but now carried the same interior and rear-wheel sheetmetal as other Bel Airs, lacking the original's unique trim. Only 7,886 were built. The least costly Bel Air, at $2,025, was the two-door sedan.

Seatbelts, shoulder harnesses, and a padded dashboard were available, and full-size cars could even get the hot Corvette 225-horsepower engine.

In September of 1955, Chevrolet engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, driving a disguised '56 Bel Air four-door sedan, set an American Stock Sedan record for the 12.5-mile ascent up Pike's Peak.

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
The 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible
sold well despite the popularity of hardtops.

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Bel Air

3,187-3,506

$2,025-$2,608

669,064


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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe
For 1957, the Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe
wore flashy fins and an updated grille.

The 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air epitomized the newly-facelifted Chevy line and led the way for the '57 Chevy to become one of American's most memorable cars. What's hard to believe is that so many shoppers shunned Chevrolets back then, turning instead to restyled Fords.

Chevy trailed Ford in model-year output by 170,000 cars, as Plymouth rose to number three. Not until years later was the '57 recognized by many as the sharpest Chevy of the decade -- best looking of the 1955-57 "classic" era, if not the make's full life span -- as well as an engineering marvel.

Sure, the basic design was getting a little dated, but masterful reworking cleverly concealed the car's origins, making it look almost brand-new. Riding new 14-inch rubber, Chevrolets stood 2.5 inches longer and 1.5 inches lower. Twin lance-shaped windsplits down the hood substituted for the customary ornament. Modest, if sharp, fins brought up the rear -- a mere hint of things to come.

Bel Airs came in seven models, wearing anodized aluminum trim panels on their rear bodysides. In pastel shades, such as turquoise and white, a '57 convertible or Sport Coupe is enough to send shivers through many an enthusiast today, especially when it's loaded with factory extras.

Nomad again was the costliest Bel Air, with just 6,103 built -- far below the 166,426 Sport Coupes and 47,562 ragtops. For every Nomad, more than four times as many Bel Air Townsman four-door wagons were purchased. The best-selling Bel Air was a practical pillared four-door sedan.

Under the hood, customers could get anything from the long-lived six or 265-cubic-inch V-8, to half a dozen interpretations of the enlarged 283-cubic-inch engine. Some Bel Airs even carried fuel-injected V-8s, on loan from Corvette and whipping up as much as 283 horsepower -- one horse­power per cubic inch -- in an ordinary passenger car from the low-priced three.

It seemed only fitting that Ed Cole, who'd been responsible for the original V-8 and its offshoots, now served as Chevrolet's general manager.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible,
the iconic "'57 Chevy" prized by collectors.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Bel Air

3,232-3,465

$2,238-$2,757

702,220


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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1957 Chevrolet 150 and 210

1957 Chevrolet Two-Ten Sport Coupe
Continuing a trend, the 1957 Chevrolet 210
sold almost as well as the Bel Air.

1957 Chevrolet 150s and Chevrolet 210s were part of the year's new line of Bel Airs. In one of the ironies that make automotive history fascinating, Chevrolet used the "1 USA" logo in ads for the first time in 1957 -- a model year when Ford finished in the number one position.

Chevy seemed to have it all -- gorgeous body, startling selection of V-8 engines, even a new transmission choice -- but scads of shoppers ordered Fords. "Sweet, smooth, and sassy," pledged some of Chevrolet's ads, yet new-car buyers said "ho-hum."

Those who did buy liked Bel Airs best, despite their higher prices, but the eight-model 210 series sold almost as well. Less than a hundred dollars separated the 210 Sport Sedan and Sport Coupe from their upscale mates, and Bel Airs trounced their mid-range counterparts when the totals were tallied.

Obviously, most people who wanted a sharp car were willing to pay a little extra to get the best Chevy had to offer. As usual, the low-budget 150 sold slowest, though a Utility sedan -- lacking a rear seat -- started at a mere $1,885, versus $2,122 for the cheapest 210. The 210 Beauville was the only nine-passenger station wagon, priced $107 higher than a six-passenger Townsman.

"The road isn't built that can make it breathe hard," declared an ad for V-8 models. Any Chevrolet might be fuel-injected, right down to the blandest 150 sedan, but the $484 tariff helped limit sales. However, a special run of fuelie two-doors was prepped for Daytona Speed Weeks.

Plenty of Chevys made do with the 140-horsepower six, but V-8 choices stretched all the way from 162 to 283 horsepower. Powerglide remained available, but triple-turbine Turboglide vowed to perform "without the slightest hint of a shift." Sadly, that new transmission developed a poor reputation for reliability.

Inside, an all-new dashboard abandoned the symmetrical layout. Popular factory accessories included everything from air conditioning and a power antenna to Autronic Eye headlamp control, seatbelts, Continental kit -- and a "Kool Kooshion" ventilated seat pad.

1957 Chevrolet One-Fifty Utility Sedan
The modest 1957 Chevrolet 150 offered
optional fuel-injection for extra kick.

1957 Chevrolet 150 and 210 Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

150

3,163-3,406

$1,885-$2,307

856,080

210

3,225-3,561

$2,122-$2,563

651,358


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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air, Delray, and Biscayne

1958 Chevrolet Delray
The entry-level 1958 Chevrolet Delray
still offered style to spare.

The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1958 Chevrolet Delray and 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne actually were better as well as bigger, if leaning more toward luxury than roadability. "Look Ma, no fins" could have been a slogan, as other makes heeded a trend toward wild rear ends.

Quad headlights followed yet another fashion. The "low, thrusting silhouette" was nine inches longer and five inches lower, on a wheelbase stretched 2.5 inches. As might be expected, the '58s were also heavier -- by 200 to 300 pounds.

A three-model Delray series displaced the One-Fifty, and Biscayne sedans edged aside the Two-Ten, while Bel Air/Impala topped the line. Nomads were now ordinary four-doors, so the only two-door wagon was the bottom-line Yeoman. Shoppers had five wagons to choose from.

Enlarged liftgates hinged into the roof and raised out of the way. Sedans featured slim door-pillar styling, and even a Delray wore plenty of brightwork. Newly optional Level-Air suspension was patterned after Cadillac's, with a rubber bellows at each wheel. Expensive and unreliable, it proved a short-lived fad.

For the first time, full-size cars could have a bigger, more potent engine than Corvettes. A low-budget Delray might carry the top 348 cubic inch big-block, or even a 283 fuelie. Styling cycles normally went three years, but the tasteful '58 body lasted only one season.

1958 Chevrolet Delray
The 1958 Chevrolet Delray featured
dual exhausts and twin taillights.

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air, Delray, and Biscayne Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Delray

3,156-3,442

$2,013-$2,262

178,000 (approx.)

Biscayne

3,404-3,450

$2,236-$2,397

100,000 (approx.)

Bel Air

3,424-3,514

$2,386-$2,618

592,000 (approx.)

Station Wagon

3,693-3,839

$2,413-$2,835

187,063

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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and Biscayne

1959 Chevrolet Biscayne sedan
The 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne sedan
featured wing-like fins and a long wheelbase.

Chevy's sales brochure for 1959 models, including the 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne, said it simply: "all new all over again." Totally restyled, flaunting dramatic horizontal fins, Chevrolets adopted a new 119-inch wheelbase -- longest in the low-priced field.

Thinner doors helped deliver five extra inches of interior space. Wide horizontal "nostrils" up front held the parking lights. Thin windshield and ultra-slim raked C-pillars freed hardtop bodies of blind spots. Compound-curve, wraparound windshields grew in size, boosting visibility.

The Delray series disappeared, replaced by Biscayne, promoted as "beauty on a budget." That move made Bel Air the mid-range line, offering a hardtop Sport Sedan and regular pillared sedan. Bel Airs sold best, followed by Impalas. Station wagons came in four series.

Engines were unchanged, as the "horsepower race" eased for the moment. Choices ranged from the new 135-horsepower Hi-Thrift 235 cubic inch six through a selection of 283- and 348-cubic inch V-8s. A fuel-injected rendition of the 283 again developed 290 horsepower, while the top 348 provided 315.

More than one-third of this year's cars carried six-cylinder engines. Five transmissions were available: Turboglide, Powerglide, four-speed, three-speed, or overdrive. Chevrolet ended the model year in the top spot again but led Ford by only a tiny margin this time.

1959 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan
The 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air also sported
fins and a new wraparound windshield.

1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and Biscayne Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Biscayne

3,480-3,605

$2,160-$2,419

311,800 (approx.)

Bel Air

3,510-3,660

$2,386-$2,674

447,100 (approx.)

Station Wagon

3,860-4,020

$2,571-$3,009

214,400 (approx.)

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

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  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1960 Chevrolet Bel Air and Biscayne

1960 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Hardtop Coupe

The 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Hardtop Coupe
conveyed a subtle style.

The 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air and 1960 Chevrolet Biscayne didn't sell as strongly as the lavishly outfitted Impala, but they nonetheless continued to attract a following of their own.

In fact, adding a hardtop Sport Coupe to the Bel Air lineup -- joining the also-pillarless Sport Sedan -- gave shoppers a stylish automobile for $108 less than a comparable Impala.

Actually, not everyone coveted the Impala's extra helping of brightwork. Some preferred the less-adorned body surfaces of a "lesser" model, espe­cially since the same engines could be installed in any Chevy -- right down to the most humble Biscayne sedans. In addition to the ample selection of V-8s, many Chevrolets held the venerable Blue Flame six, still chugging out 135 horsepower.

In addition to the pair of hardtops, the Bel Air series included two- and four-door sedans. Biscaynes came only in sedan form. Four wagon lines were marketed: luxury Nomad, economical two- or four-door Brookwood, four-door Parkwood, and nine-passenger Kingswood.

Not counting wagons, about 381,500 Bel Airs were built, versus 287,700 Biscaynes -- and close to half a million Impalas. Obviously, Americans still leaned toward luxury, whenever pocketbooks could withstand the assault. In any series, those wild rear ends -- starting off as popular, then derided as gauche -- don't look half bad today.

1960 Chevrolet Bel Air Sedan
The 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air four-door Sedan
was toned down from previous years.

1960 Chevrolet Bel Air and Biscayne Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Biscayne

3,455-3,570

$2,175-$2,423

287,700(approx.)

Biscayne Fleetmaster

3,480-3,560

$2,230-$2,391

N/A (included in Biscayne)

Bel Air

3,490-3,620

$2,384-$2,661

381,500 (approx.)

Station Wagon

3,845-4,000

$2,586-$2,996

212,700 (approx.)

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.

1961 Chevrolet Bel Air and Biscayne

1961 Chevrolet Bel Air Sedan
The 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-door sedan
was toned down from previous versions.

The 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air and 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne clearly showed the influence of Bill Mitchell, who had headed GM styling since 1959. Though far from compact, the totally redesigned Chevrolets -- a tad shorter and narrower, but roomier than ever with their widened door openings -- were called "parkable."

Freshly sloped A-pillars nearly eliminated the annoying "dogleg" below the windshield. Final vestiges of tailfins disappeared.

The '61s were also claimed to have "the most quiet, vibration-dampened, relaxing ride you've ever tried," assisted in that quest by the rugged X-built Safety-Girder frame.

An easy-to-reach instrument console placed everything, including the glovebox, ahead of the driver. Seats were higher, but trunk sills sat lower, extending full width for easier luggage loading.

Billed as "America's most popular model," the Bel Air assortment included both a hardtop Sport Coupe and a Sport Sedan, along with pillared sedans. Low-budget Biscayne sedans sold the slowest, as usual. Six station wagons rounded out the lineup. Model-year output totaled 330,000 Bel Airs, 201,000 Biscaynes, and 168,900 wagons.

Chevy promoted 24 power teams, centered on five transmissions. Outputs for the 348 cubic inch big-block V-8 ranged from 250 to 280 horsepower (with 305-, 340-, and 350-horse versions listed as "special order" options) while the 283 cubic inch V-8 delivered either 170 or 230 horsepower.

1961 Chevrolet Bel Air Sedan
Even the Chevrolet Bel Air two-door Sedan
shed its fins for 1961.

1961 Chevrolet Bel Air and Biscayne Facts

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Biscayne

3,390-3,505

$2,175-$2,423

201,000 (approx.)

Biscayne Fleetmaster

3,410-3,500

$2,230-$2,391

3,000 (approx.)

Bel Air

3,430-3,555

$2,384-$2,596

330,000 (approx.)

Station Wagon

3,845-3,935

$2,653-$3,099

168,900 (approx.)

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:

  • Muscle Cars: Look back at tire-smoking Chevys and scores of other machines from the golden age of American high performance.
  • Sports Cars: Discover the pleasure of sports motoring at its purest in these captivating articles on the best sports cars from around the world.
  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.
Sours: https://auto.howstuffworks.com/chevrolet-bel-air.htm
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Chevrolet Bel Air Generation 2 348/320 Impala Convertible 1959

Car producer : 

Chevrolet

Model:

Bel Air Generation 2 348/320 Impala Convertible 1959

Year:

1959-1960

Type:

Cabriolet



For the second time in as many years, Chevrolet again came up with a totally new car. From the front or rear the 1959 Chevrolets resembled nothing else on the road. From the headlights, placed as low as the law would allow, to the cats-eye tail lights, the 1959 Chevrolet was a brand new car with all new sheet metal, a new frame, and even new series names. The most visual new change was the flat, wing shaped tailfins. The car was built on a 119 in (3,000 mm) wheelbase and was 211 inches (5,400 mm) long-which was 11 in (280 mm) longer than the 1957 model. This made Chevrolet the longest car in the low-priced range, whereas two years before it had been the shortest. In addition, the car was 3 in (76 mm) wider outside and had 5 in (130 mm) more width inside than it did in 1958, through the reduction of door thickness. The frame was new, called GM X frame, and it had no side rails.

The Bel Air, which had been the top line series since 1953, was now the middle range. Wagons were still classed by themselves, but had model numbers matching the car series. Parkwood 6-passenger and Kingswood 9-passenger wagons had Bel Air's model number, and as such were the middle range wagons. Under the hood, little change took place. A variety of speed options, such as fuel injection, special cams and lowered compression, gave horsepower ratings up to 315. Bel Air production was 447,100. The new Impala line surpassed Bel Air production by 20,000 units. A parking brake warning light was optional.

Little change was made for 1960. The new models were refinements of the 1959 style with a much more restrained front end, the return of the double cone tail lights of 1958 rather than the startling "cat's eyes" of 1959. Under the hood, things remained constant. Fuel injection was no longer available, but with the 348 cubic inch engine, a horsepower rating of 335 at 5800 rpm was now achieved. This involved the use of three double-barrel carburetors, a special cam and an 11.25:1 compression ratio, all sold as a package. New to the Bel Air series was the Sport Coupe, which used the Impala's two-door hardtop body, but lacked the Impala's luxury trim. The Bel Air Sport Sedan continued to use a rear window overhang and a huge wraparound rear window. Bel Airs (and Biscaynes) had two tail lights per side; the Impalas had three tail lights per side—a situation that would persist for most years through 1975. Many of the same options and accessories that were available on the Impala were also available on the Bel Air. The Bel Airs had more interior and exterior bright work than the Biscayne.

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala was redesigned. Sharing bodyshells with lower-end Buicks and Oldsmobiles as well as with Pontiac, part of a GM economy move, the Chevrolet's wheelbase 1-1/2 inches longer. Using a new X-frame chassis, the roof line was three inches lower, bodies were two inches wider, and curb weight increased. Its tailfins protruded outward, rather than upward. The taillights were a large "teardrop" design at each side, and two slim-wide nonfunctional front air intake scoops were added just above the grille,

The Impala became a separate series, adding a four-door hardtop and four-door sedan, to the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible. Sport Coupes featured a shortened roof line and wrap-over back window. The standard engine was an I6, while the base V8 was the carryover 283 cu in (4,640 cc), at 185 hp (138 kW). Optional were a 283 cu in with 290 hp (220 kW) and 348 cu in (5,700 cc) V8 up to 315 hp (235 kW). Standard were front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front vent windows. A contoured hooded instrument panel held deep-set gauges. A six-way power seat was a new option, as was "Speedminder", for the driver to set a needle at a specific speed and a buzzer would sound if the pre-set was exceeded.

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Sours: https://www.rmw.lv/car/en/bel-air-generation-4-348320-impala-convertible-1959

Chevrolet Bel Air

American full-size automobile

Motor vehicle

The Chevrolet Bel Air is a full-size car that was produced by Chevrolet for the 1950–1975 model years. Initially, only the two-door hardtops in the Chevrolet model range were designated with the Bel Air name from 1950 to 1952. With the 1953 model year, the Bel Air name was changed from a designation for a unique body shape to a premium level of trim applied across a number of body styles. The Bel Air continued with various other trim level designations, and it went from a mid-level trim car to a budget fleet sedan when U.S. production ceased in 1975. Production continued in Canada, for its home market only, through the 1981 model year.

The Chevrolet Bel Air, especially its third generation design, has been considered an icon of the 1950s. Well-maintained and preserved examples are highly sought after by car collectors and enthusiasts.

History[edit]

First generation (1950–1954)[edit]

Motor vehicle

First generation
1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Bel Air Hardtop Coupé.jpg

1951 Chevrolet Bel Air

Production1949–1954
Assembly(main factory)
Flint, Michigan, (Flint Assembly)
(branch assembly)
South Gate, California, (South Gate Assembly)
Tarrytown, New York, (North Tarrytown Assembly)
Lakewood Heights, Georgia, (Lakewood Assembly)
St. Louis, Missouri, (St. Louis Assembly)
Oakland, California, (Oakland Assembly)
Norwood, Ohio, (Norwood Assembly)
Body style2-door hardtop
2-door coupe (1953–54)
4-door sedan (1953–54)
2-door convertible
(1953–54)
4-door station wagon (1954)
PlatformGM A Body
RelatedPontiac Star Chief
Engine215.5 cu in (3.5 L) "Thriftmaster" 1-bbl. valve-in-head 92 hp I6[1]
235.5 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6
Transmission3-speed manual
2-speed powerglideauto.
Wheelbase115"[1]
Length197.5"(1950–1952);[1][2] 15"(1954)[1]
Curb weight3,345[3]

From 1950 to 1952, the Bel Air Sport Coupe name was used only for the two-door hardtops in the Chevrolet model range, to distinguish the car from the Styleline and Fleetline models. It was named for the wealthy Bel Air neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles.

First year production reached only 76,662 models built. The car cost $1,741 and weighed 3,225 lb (1,463 kg).[4] Front suspension was independent, named "knee-action".[2] The first Bel Airs of this era shared only their front sheet metal ahead of the A pillar with the rest of the range. The windshield, doors, glass, and trunk were common with the Styline DeLuxe Convertible Coupe, however the roof, rear quarters and rear windows (3) were unique. The chassis and mechanicals were common with the rest of the passenger car range, and the overall appearance was the same as the rest of the range, except that the roof line was lower and the unique three piece rear window gave it a longer and more balanced look. The first Bel Airs were available with only the "DeLuxe" premium trim level and specification.

Apart from the usual annual grille and trim changes, the 1951–1952 Bel Air differed from the earlier 1950 model with introduction of the higher and squarer rear guards that were across the whole range.

In 1953 Chevrolet renamed its series, and the Bel Air name was applied to the premium model range. Two lower series, the 150 and 210, also emerged (as successors to the Special and Deluxe series, respectively). The 1953 Chevrolet was advertised as "Entirely new through and through," due to the restyled body panels, front and rear ends. However, essentially these Chevrolets had similar frame and mechanicals to the 1949–1952 cars.

The Bel Air was given a facelift in 1953. The pre-war technology, such as torque tube drive, six-cylinder splash feed engines, knee-action suspension, and split windshields of the early models was phased out and the foundations for the first post war modern Chevrolet passenger car were finalized. The Bel Air series featured a wide chrome strip of molding from the rear fender bulge to the rear bumper. The inside of this stripe was painted a coordinating color with the outside body color, and "Bel Air" scripts were added inside the strip. Lesser models had no model designation anywhere on the car, having only a Chevy crest on the hood and trunk. 1953 was the first year for a curved, one-piece windshield.[1][5]

In the July 1953 issue of Popular Mechanics, a tested 1953 Bel Air went from 0-60 mph in 19.6 seconds.[6]

Bel Air interiors had an optional massive expanse of chrome across the lower part of the dashboard (most were painted), along with a deluxe Bel Air steering wheel with full chrome horn ring. Carpeting and full wheel covers rounded out Bel Air standard equipment. For 1954, the Bel Air stayed essentially the same, except for a revised grille and taillights, and a revised engine that had insert bearings and higher oil pressure, needed for the full-flow oil filtration system that was not available prior to 1954. Prior to 1954, the 235 and 216 cubic inch six cylinder engines had babbit bearings and scoops to create oil pressure at the bottom of each rod and the oil pressure was standard at 15-30 PSI. During these years, there were three engine choices, depending on the transmission ordered. Both 235 cubic inch engines were "Blue Flame" inline six cylinder OHV engines, featuring hydraulic valve lifters (in 1953 with automatic transmissions) and aluminum pistons. The 106 hp (79 kW) 235 cubic inch displacement engine was standard on stickshift models, with solid lifters and splash plus pressure lubrication including babbit bearings. Powerglide cars got a 115 hp (86 kW) version which had hydraulic lifters and full pressure lubrication.

In 1953 and 1954, Bel Airs could be ordered in convertible, hardtop coupe, two- and four-door sedans, and, for 1954, the Beauville station wagon which featured woodgrain trim around the side windows. Many new options, once available only to more expensive luxury cars, became offered starting in 1953, including power steering and the Guidematic headlight dimmer in 1953; and power brakes, power 2-way front seat and power front windows in 1954. All 1954 models equipped with the standard transmission used the 1953 Powerglide engine.

  • 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

  • 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe

Second generation (1955–1957)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Second generation
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air cnv - fvrT.jpg

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible

Production1954–1957
Model years1955–1957
Assembly(main plant)
Flint, Michigan, (Flint Assembly)
(branch assembly)
Caracas, Venezuela[7]
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (Oshawa Car Assembly)
Arlington, Texas, (Arlington Assembly)
South Gate, California, (South Gate Assembly)
Baltimore, Maryland, (Baltimore Assembly)
DesignerBill Mitchell
ClassFull-size
Body style2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop (1956–57)
4-door sedan
2-door convertible
2-door Station wagon
4-door station wagon
LayoutFR layout
PlatformGM A Body
RelatedChevrolet 210
Chevrolet 150
Chevrolet Nomad
Pontiac Chieftain
Engine215.5 cu in (3.5 L) ThriftmasterI6
235.5 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6
265 cu in (4.3 L)
Small-BlockV8
283 cu in (4.6 L)
Small-Block V8 (1957)
Transmission3-speed manual[8]
2-speed Powerglideauto.
3-speed Turboglide auto.
Wheelbase115"[9]
Length195.6"

The Bel Air received new, revamped styling for the 1955 model year. The Bel Air was 3,456 lb (1,568 kg) and 15 ft (4.6 m) long. It was called the "Hot One" in GM's advertising campaign. Bel Airs came with features found on cars in the lower models ranges plus interior carpet, chrome headliner bands on hardtops, chrome spears on front fenders, stainless steel window moldings,[1] full wheel covers, and a Ferrari-inspired front grille. Models were further distinguished by the Bel Air name script in gold lettering later in the year.[9] For 1955 Chevrolets gained a V8 engine option and the option of the 2 speed Powerglideautomatic, or a standard three speed Synchro-Mesh manual transmission with optional overdrive. The new 265 cu in (4.3 L) V8 featured a modern, overhead valve high compression ratio, short stroke design that was so good that it remained in production in various displacements for many decades. The base V8 had a two-barrel carburetor and was rated at 162 hp (121 kW) and the "Power Pack" option featured a four-barrel carburetor and other upgrades yielding 180 bhp (134 kW). Later in the year, a "Super Power Pack" option added high-compression and a further 15 bhp (11 kW). Warning lights replaced gauges for the generator and oil pressure.[10] This was not the first Chevrolet to be installed with a V8 engine; the first Chevrolet with a V8 engine was introduced in 1917 and called the Series D, which was built for two years, and was manufactured before Chevrolet joined General Motors.

The 1955 Bel Air was very well received. Motor Trend magazine gave the Bel Air top marks for handling.[10]Popular Mechanics reported acceleration for a V8 Bel Air with Powerglide as being 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 12.9 seconds, plus a comfortable ride and good visibility. On the other hand, the horn ring blocked some of the speedometer, regular gasoline made the engine knock and the first V8 engines off the line burned too much oil.[11] Front legroom was 43.1".[1] Brakes were 11" drums.[12] A new option for V8-equipped 1955 models was air conditioning, with outlets on each side of the dashboard; a heavy-duty generator was included on cars equipped with this option; in 1955 and 1956, air conditioning could be installed on cars ordered with the standard three-speed manual transmission, overdrive or Powerglide, but from 1957 onward, an automatic transmission (or minus that, 4-speed manual transmission) was a pre-requisite option.

The 1956 Bel Air received a face-lift with a more conventional full-width grille, pleasing those customers who didn't favor the Ferrari-inspired '55 front end. Two-tone bodyside treatments and front and rear wheel openings completed the "speedline" restyling. Single housings incorporated the taillight, stoplight, and backup light, and the left one held the gas filler - an idea popularized on Cadillacs. Among the seven Bel Air models was a new Sport Sedan, a pillarless four-door hardtop that looked handsome with all the windows rolled down and allowed easy entry into the back seat. Production exceeded 103,000, compared to 128,000 two-door hardtops. Shapely two-door Nomad wagons topped the price chart at US$2,608 ($24,825 in 2020 dollars [13]), but now carried the same interior and rear-wheel sheetmetal as other Bel Airs, lacking the original's unique trim. Only 7,886 were built. The least costly Bel Air, at US$2,025 ($19,276 in 2020 dollars [13]), was the two-door sedan. Seatbelts, shoulder harnesses, and a padded dashboard were available,[10] and full-size cars could even get the hot Corvette 225-horsepower engine. In 1956 sales material there was an optional rain-sensing automatic top,[14] which was first seen on the 1951 LaSabre concept car. However, it is believed that it was never installed on a car.[15]Popular Mechanics reported only 7.4% of owners in their survey ordered seat belts. A '56 Bel Air 4-door hardtop, prepared by Chevy engineer Zora Arkus Duntov, set a new endurance/speed record for an automobile ascending Pikes Peak.

In 1957 engine displacement grew to 283 cu in (4.6 L) with the "Super Turbo Fire V8" option (shared with the Corvette), producing 283 hp (287 PS; 211 kW) @ 6200 rpm and 290 lb⋅ft (393 N⋅m) @ 4400 rpm of torque[16] with the help of RochesterRamjet[17]continuous mechanical fuel injection (closed-loop).[18] These so-called "fuelie" cars are quite rare, since most Bel Airs were fitted with carburetion.

The 1957 Bel Air is considered by many to be "an icon of its age. . .right alongside Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and Leave it to Beaver," and is among the most recognizable American cars of all time;[19] well-maintained examples, especially sport coupes and convertibles are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. They are roomy, with tastefully restrained, period use tail fins and chrome. A second automatic transmission, Turboglide was optional. While the original two-speed Powerglide continued unchanged, Turboglide provided a continuously variablegear-ratio which made "shifting" imperceptible. The shift quadrant on Turboglide cars followed a "P R N D Gr" pattern.[20][21]

From 1955 to 1957, production of the two-door Nomadstation wagon was assigned to the Bel Air series, although its body and trim were unique to that model. Prior to becoming a regular production model, the Nomad first appeared as a Corvette-based concept vehicle in 1954. Chevrolet has since unveiled two concept cars bearing the Nomad name, most recently in 1999. The 1955–1957 Chevrolets are commonly referred to as Tri Fives.

The 1955-1957s were made in right-hand drive and shipped from Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, for local assembly in Australia (CKD), New Zealand (SKD) and South Africa. All three model years had a reversed version of the '55 LHD dashboard and did not get the LHD models' 1957 redesign.

A black 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air was featured in the 1973 movie American Graffiti. The 55" features a big hood scoop, and a signature cowboy hat in the rear window. In the movie, it races against a yellow 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe and crashes into a ditch. The Bel Air had a 454 cubic inch chevrolet motor, with aluminum heads, tunnel ram intake and dual Holley carburetors.

  • 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door Hardtop

  • 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-door Sedan

  • 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sport sedan

  • 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air interior

Third generation (1958)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Third generation
1958 Chevrolet Bel Air.jpg

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe

Production1957–1958
Model years1958
Assembly(main plant)
Flint, Michigan, (Flint Assembly
(branch assembly)
Arlington, Texas, United States)
South Gate, California, (South Gate Assembly)
Baltimore, Maryland, (Baltimore Assembly)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (Oshawa Car Assembly)
Body style2-door sedan
2-door hardtop
4-door sedan
4-door hardtop
2-door convertible
PlatformGM B platform
Related1958 Chevrolet Delray
1958 Chevrolet Biscayne
1958 Chevrolet Impala
1958 Chevrolet Yeoman
1958 Chevrolet Brookwood
1958 Chevrolet Nomad
Engine235.5 cu in (3.9 L) 145 hp Blue FlameI6
283 cu in (4.6 L) Small-BlockV8
348 cu in (5.7 L) Big-Block 250–315 hp V8[1]
Transmission3-speed manual
2-speed Powerglideauto.
Wheelbase117.5" [22]
Length209.1"[1]
Height57.1"[23]

For 1958, Chevrolet models were redesigned longer, lower, and heavier than their 1957 predecessors, and the 348 cu in (5.7 L) was now an option. The Bel Air gained a halo vehicle in 1958, the Impala, available only as a hardtop coupe and convertible in its introductory year. Impala styling followed the basic lines of the other Chevrolet models but received special styling cues including a different roof line, a vent above the rear window, unique side trim, and triple tail lights housed in slightly broader alcoves. Two significantly cheaper models, the Biscayne (formerly the 210) and the Delray (formerly the 150) were also available during this model year.

Chevrolet's design for the year fared better than its other GM offerings, and lacked the overabundance of chrome found on other sedans at the time. Complementing Chevrolet's front design was a broad grille and quad headlights; the tail received a fan-shaped alcove on both side panels, which housed dual tail lights. Despite being a recession year, consumers made Chevrolet the No. 1 make of automobile, and the Bel Air was at the core of Chevrolet's popularity. With its wide variety of body styles and models, Bel Airs could be optioned with almost every conceivable luxury within the Chevrolet line. The Nomad station wagon name also reappeared in 1958 when the vehicle bowed as the premium four-door Chevrolet station wagon, lacking the unique styling of the 1955-57 Nomads. Most Chevrolet station wagon models had two tail lights (one on each side of the body) housed in abbreviated alcoves, which were made smaller to accommodate the rear gate. A new dash was used.[24]

Safety[edit]

The 1958 Bel Air featured Chevrolet's new "Safety-Girder" cruciform frame. Similar in layout to the frame adopted for the 1957 Cadillac, it featured box-section side rails and a boxed front cross member that bowed under the engine. These "x-frames" were used on other 1958 to 1964 Chevys, as well as Cadillac. The rear was tied together by a channel-section cross member.[25] This design was later criticized as providing less protection in the event of a side impact collision, but would persevere until 1965.

For the first time, Powerglide models featured the "PRNDL" transmission selector arrangement, replacing the oft-criticized "PNDLR" quadrant that many considered confusing at best, dangerous at worst.

Fourth generation (1959–1960)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Fourth generation
Chevrolet Bel Air 1959 1.jpg

1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-Door Sedan

Production1958–1960
Model years1959–1960
Assembly(main plant)
Flint, Michigan, (Flint Assembly)
(branch assembly)
Arlington, Texas, United States
South Gate, California, (South Gate Assembly)
Baltimore, Maryland, (Baltimore Assembly)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (Oshawa Car Assembly)
Body style2-door sedan
2-door hardtop (1960)
4-door sedan
4-door hardtop
PlatformGM B platform
Related1959–1960 Chevrolet Biscayne
1959–1960 Chevrolet Impala
1959–1960 Chevrolet Brookwood
1959–1960 Chevrolet Parkwood
1959–1960 Chevrolet Kingswood
1959–1960 Chevrolet Nomad
1959–1960 Chevrolet El Camino
Engine235.5 cu in (3.9 L) Blue FlameI6
283 cu in (4.6 L) Small-BlockV8
348 cu in (5.7 L) Big-Block V8
Transmission3-speed manual[1]
4-speed manual
2-speed Powerglideauto.
Wheelbase119"[1]
Length210.9"[1]

The Bel Air received a major redesign for the 1959 model year. The most visual new change was the flat, wing shaped tailfins.[1] The car was built on a 119 in (3,000 mm) wheelbase and was 211 in (5,400 mm) long-which was 11 in (280 mm) longer than the 1957 model. This made Chevrolet the longest car in the low-priced range, whereas two years before it had been the shortest. In addition, the car was 3 in (76 mm) wider outside and had 5 in (130 mm) more width inside than it did in 1958, through the reduction of door thickness. The "X" frame from 1958 was continued, but enlarged and strengthened to support the new body.[26]

The Bel Air, which had been the top line series since 1953, was now the middle range. Wagons were still classed by themselves, but had model numbers matching the car series. Parkwood 6-passenger and Kingswood 9-passenger wagons had Bel Air's model number, and as such were the middle range wagons. Under the hood, little change took place. A variety of speed options, such as fuel injection, special cams and lowered compression, gave horsepower ratings up to 315. Bel Air production was 447,100. The new Impalaline surpassed Bel Air production by 20,000 units. A parking brake warning light was optional.[27]

Little change was made for 1960. The new models were refinements of the 1959 style with a much more restrained front end, the return of the double cone tail lights of 1958 rather than the startling "cat's eyes" of 1959. Under the hood, things remained constant. Fuel injection was no longer available, but with the 348 cubic inch engine, a horsepower rating of 335 at 5800 rpm was now achieved. This involved the use of three double-barrel carburetors, a special cam and an 11.25:1 compression ratio, all sold as a package. Body style offerings followed 1959, with hardtops and sedans available. The convertible was reserved for the Impala series. The Bel Air Sport Sedan continued to use a rear window overhang and a huge wraparound rear window. Bel Airs (and Biscaynes) had two tail lights per side; the Impalas had three tail lights per side—a situation that would persist for most years through 1975. Many of the same options and accessories that were available on the Impala were also available on the Bel Air. The Bel Airs had more interior and exterior brightwork than the Biscayne.

  • The special rear design of a 1959 Bel Air, here a 2-door Sedan

  • 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-door Sedan

Fifth generation (1961–1964)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Fifth generation
1961 Chevrolet Bel Air.jpg

1961 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-Door Sedan

Production1960–1964
Model years1961–1964
Assembly(main plant)
Flint, Michigan, (Flint Assembly)
(branch assembly)
Arlington, Texas, United States
South Gate, California, (South Gate Assembly)
Baltimore, Maryland, (Baltimore Assembly)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (Oshawa Car Assembly)
Body style2-door sedan
2-door Hardtop (1961–62)
4-door sedan
4-door wagon (1962–64)
4-door Hardtop (61)
PlatformGM B platform
RelatedChevrolet Biscayne
Chevrolet Impala
Engine230 cu in (3.8 L) ChevroletI6
235.5 cu in (3.9 L) ChevroletI6
283 cu in (4.6 L) Small-BlockV8
327 cu in (5.4 L) Small-Block V8
348 cu in (5.7 L) Big-Block V8
409 cu in (6.7 L) Big-Block V8
Transmission3-speed manual
4-speed manual
2-speed Powerglideauto.

For 1961, the Bel Air received a new body. Its wheelbase remained 119 in (3,000 mm), but its length was now reduced slightly to 209.3 in (5,320 mm). All engines options of the previous year remained in effect with the standard engines being the 235.5 CID Six of 135 hp (101 kW) or the 283 CID V8 of 170 hp (130 kW). The V8 cost $110 more than the Six and weighed 5 lb (2.3 kg) less.

The Bel Air 2-door sedan used squared-off roof styling and large wrap-around rear window as opposed to the hardtop's swept-back design. The Bel Air 4-door Sport Hardtop still used a different roof line than did the 4-door sedan.

For 1962, all sheet metal except the door panels was changed. Overall length was stretched slightly to 209.6 in (5,320 mm). The 4-door Sport Hardtop was no longer offered in the Bel Air series. Standard engines remained the same as the previous year. A new 327 cu in (5,360 cc) V8 of 250 or 300 hp (220 kW) was offered in addition to the giant (for the time) 409 cu in (6.70 l) V8 of 380 hp (280 kW) or 409 hp (305 kW) with the dual four-barrel carburetor setup. All wagons this year were 4-door models and separate distinctions for wagons were dropped. Now all models were either Biscayne, Bel Air or Impala series. Full carpeting returned as standard equipment on all 1962 Bel Air models for the first time in several years. The Bel Air Sport Coupe was in its last year of U.S. production, and its roofline was a carryover from the 1961 hardtop coupe.

The Bel Air was given a facelift in 1963. Its overall length increased to 210.4 in (5,340 mm). Replacing the older 235 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine as standard equipment was a new 230 cubic-inch six-cylinder of more modern design with a 140-horsepower rating that was based on the 194 cubic-inch six introduced on the compact Chevy II Nova the previous year. The base V8 remained the 283 CID, which was upgraded to produce 195 hp (145 kW). The 409 CID V8 was now offered in 340, 400 and 425 hp (317 kW) versions, while the small block 327 V8 continued with options of 250 and 300 horsepower. The Bel Air continued to be Chevrolet's middle range, but it now consisted of only two car models- the 2-door sedan and the 4-door sedan. 6 and 9-passenger Bel Air station wagons were again offered.

For 1964, very few changes were made except the expected sheet metal and trim renovations. Cars were 209.9 in (5,330 mm) in length while the wagons were 210.8 in (5,350 mm) long. In addition to the un-changed standard engines, there were two different 327 CID engines were offered, developing from 250 hp (190 kW) to 300 hp (220 kW) and three 409 CID engines ranging from 340 hp (250 kW) to 425 hp (317 kW). Except for a chrome belt line and $100 difference in price there was little exterior difference between the Bel Air and Biscayne version.

RHD Bel Airs continued to be imported into Australia. Some of these cars featured a reversed 1961 Pontiac instrument panel, but others had a mirror image of the more attractive current North American panel. Even more curious was the fact that some of these Bel Airs featured Impala-style triple taillights; the center lens was amber in keeping with Australian legal standards.

  • 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-Door Sedan

  • 1964 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan

Sixth generation (1965–1970)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Sixth generation
1965 Chevrolet Bel Air.jpg

1965 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door Sedan

Production1964–1970
Model years1965–1970
Assembly(main plant)
Flint, Michigan, (Flint Assembly)
(branch assembly)
Arlington, Texas
Doraville, Georgia, (Doraville Assembly)
South Gate, California, (South Gate Assembly) United States
Baltimore, Maryland, (Baltimore Assembly) United States
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (Oshawa Car Assembly)
Body style2-door sedan (1965–69)
4-door sedan
4-door wagon (1965–69)
PlatformGM B platform
RelatedChevrolet Biscayne
Chevrolet Impala
Chevrolet Caprice
Engine230 cu in (3.8 L) ChevroletI6
250 cu in (4.1 L) Chevrolet I6
283 cu in (4.6 L) Small-BlockV8
307 cu in (5.0 L) Small-Block V8
327 cu in (5.4 L) Small-Block V8
350 cu in (5.7 L) Small-Block V8
396 cu in (6.5 L) Big-Block V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) Small-Block V8
409 cu in (6.7 L) Big-Block V8
427 cu in (7.0 L) Big-Block V8
Transmission3-speed manual
4-speed manual
2-speed Powerglideauto.
3-speed Turbo Hydramatic auto.

For 1965, the full size Chevrolet was totally restyled, and the cars were stretched to 213.3 in (5,420 mm) overall, even though the wheelbase remained the same. The new stamped grille had a lower extension below the bumper which was slightly veed. Curved window glass and round taillights mounted high characterized the new styling. The interiors were also redesigned and a very attractive dash resulted. The standard V8 remained the 283 CID model of 195 hp (145 kW), but options included two new 396 cu in (6,490 cc) CID engines of 325 hp (242 kW) and 340 hp (250 kW) and two 409 CID blocks of 400 hp (300 kW) and 425 hp (317 kW).

The Bel Air used a stainless-steel belt and rocker molding, identifying signature on the rear fenders, a glove compartment light and power tailgate on 9-passenger wagons to distinguish itself from the lower-priced Biscayne series.

1966 Chevrolet Bel Air Wagon

For 1966, Chevrolet was in its second season of a totally new body change, so mild facelifting sufficed including forward thrusting, blunted front fenders and a revised grille. At the rear, a break with the traditional round taillamps took place. Bel Air and Biscayne featured dual rectangular lamps with back-up lamps built in. Overall length was 213.2 in (5,420 mm). The standard six-cylinder engine this year was the larger 250 CID version of 155 hp (116 kW). New for the speed set was a 427 cu in (7,000 cc) V8 of 390 hp (290 kW) or 425 hp (317 kW). Bel Air was readily distinguishable from Biscayne by its full length body side molding and rear fender Bel Air signatures. All-vinyl interiors were now standard on station wagons while cloth and vinyl trims continued on sedans.

For 1967, full-sized Chevrolets featured a new body with bulging rear fenders, one of this year's styling trends, not necessarily appreciated by everyone. Bel Air 2 and 4-door Sedans continued in addition to 6 and 9-passenger wagons. This year Bel Air featured triple taillights unlike Biscayne's dual units. Standard engines remained the same as the previous year. Optional engines were a 327 CID V8 of 275 hp (205 kW), the 396 CID V8 of 350 hp (260 kW); or the 427 CID V8 of 385 hp (287 kW), plus various speed packages.

1968 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door Hardtop

For 1968, the Full-sized Chevrolets received some changes but were quite similar to the 1967 models, though they had grown one inch to 214.7 in (5,450 mm). Chevrolet's new grille design bore a strong resemblance to Cadillac's, but Bel Air's dual round taillight design was strictly Chevrolet. In an unusual move, the taillights were mounted in the bumper. In 1968 the U.S. additional safety features were required in all motor vehicles, bringing about a new standard in car safety.[28] These features included shoulder belts for outboard front-seat occupants and side marker lights. Chevrolets with optional V8s got the engine size, in cubic inches, displayed as part of the front side maker lights.

In addition to the 250 CID Six of 155 hp (116 kW), standard engines included the new 307 cu in (5,030 cc) V8 of 200 hp (150 kW). The Bel Air with the standard 250 Six was capable of a top speed of 90 mph (140 km/h) and 18.4 mpg‑US (12.8 L/100 km; 22.1 mpg‑imp) at cruising speeds. When powered by the new 307 CID V8, the Bel Air series cars had a top speed of 105 mph (169 km/h) and 17.1 mpg‑US (13.8 L/100 km; 20.5 mpg‑imp) at cruising speeds.

1969 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door Sedan

For the 1969 model year, the Bel Air was redesigned, with a new length, new fender and body lines, and a new front and back end, but continued using the basic 1965 chassis, innerbody structure and even the rooflines of pillared two- and four-door sedans. The cars also remained on the 119 in (3,000 mm) wheelbase, but grew to a new length of 219.9 in (5,590 mm), while the wagons grew 4.3 in (110 mm) to a new length of 217.7 Engine offerings included a standard 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder and 235 hp (175 kW) 327 V-8, and optional V-8 engines included two 350s of 255 hp (190 kW) and 300 hp (220 kW), a 396 rated at 265 hp (198 kW) and three 427 V8s of 335 hp (250 kW), 390 hp (290 kW), and 425 hp (317 kW). This was the final year for the Bel Air 2-door sedan and the Bel Air-based station wagon was renamed Townsman, as part of a Chevrolet move to revert to the pre-1962 practice of using different nameplates on station wagons than other models. Three- and four-speed manual transmissions were again offered along with the two-speed Powerglide automatic with the six-cylinder, and 327 and 350 V-8s; and the three-speed Turbo Hydramatic, offered only with the big-block V-8s since its 1965 introduction, was now available with all engines.

For 1970, the Chevrolet line was very little changed and regulated primarily to a redesigned front end. The standard Six was still the 250 of 155 hp (116 kW). The standard V8 in full-size Chevrolets was now the 350 cu in (5,700 cc) of 250 hp (190 kW). Optional V-8 engines included a 300 hp (220 kW) 350 and 265 hp (198 kW) 400, with the top offering a 454 cu in (7,440 cc) of 345 hp (257 kW). The Bel Air series was now a one model 4-door sedan while the station wagon was again sold under the Townsman nameplate.

The 1965-70 GM B platform is the fourth best selling automobile platform in history after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T and the Lada Riva.

Seventh generation (1971–1975)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Seventh generation
Chevrolet (4935617034).jpg

1975 Chevrolet Bel Air Sedan

Production1970–1975
Model years1971–1975
Assembly(main plant)
Flint, Michigan, (Flint Assembly)
(branch assembly)
Arlington, Texas
South Gate, California, (South Gate Assembly) United States
Baltimore, Maryland, (Baltimore Assembly) United States
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (Oshawa Car Assembly)
Body style4-door sedan
2-door coupe
4-door wagon
PlatformB-body
RelatedChevrolet Biscayne
Chevrolet Impala
Chevrolet Caprice
Engine250 cu in (4.1 L) ChevroletI6
350 cu in (5.7 L) Small-BlockV8
400 cu in (6.6 L) Small-Block V8
454 cu in (7.4 L) Big-Block V8
Transmission3-speed manual (standard, 1971–73 on six-cylinder cars)
3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic auto. (optional 1971–73 on six-cylinder cars; standard on V-8 powered cars from mid-1971 on)
1971 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-Door Sedan in Police trim

By the late 1960s (with the introduction of the Caprice), the Bel Air and its Biscayne stablemate were primarily marketed to automotive fleet customers. However, the Bel Air remained available to retail customers who sought a basic full-sized car that was better trimmed than the low-line Biscayne. When the Biscayne was discontinued after 1972, the Bel Air was demoted to the low-level model. Bel Airs again used two-segmented taillights as opposed to the triple-segmented lights of higher-level Impala and Caprice models, except in 1972 when all models shared the same triple-segmented lights mounted in the bumper.

1972 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-Door Sedan. The 1972 ImpalaSedan shared the same body with the Bel Air Sedan

A 250-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine and three-speed manual transmission with column shift remained standard equipment through the 1973 model year on sedans with the 350 V8 and automatic standard on wagons—the Turbo Hydramatic automatic had been the sole transmission choice on V-8-powered Bel Airs since the spring of 1971 though the old two-speed Powerglide was still offered with the six-cylinder engine through the 1972 model year. Only about 1,400 cars were built with the inline six in 1973. The engine and manual transmission were shelved by the end of the model year—marking the last full-size body-on-frame American car to offer a manual gearbox.

All Bel Air sedans built in 1974–1975 listed a 350 two-barrel V8 engine and Turbo-Hydramatic transmission as standard, with station wagons getting the 400 cu in (6,600 cc) four-barrel V8, again with Turbo-Hydramatic standard. The 400 V8 was optional on sedans and the 454 was available on both models.

With the discontinuation of the Bel Air two-door sedan after the 1969 model year, all U.S.-market Bel Airs sold between 1970 and 1975 were four-door sedans or station wagons—the latter carrying the Townsman nameplate from 1969 to 1972 and Bel Air from 1973 to 1975. However, a Bel Air hardtop coupe—based on the Impala Sport Coupe body—was sold in Canada from 1970 to 1975. This body even had a roofline similar to the original '66-67 Caprice coupe style for 1974–1975.

Most other changes to the Bel Air during its final years were identical to the more expensive Caprice and Impala lines, some of which were mandated by government safety regulations in the U.S. that included 5 mph (8.0 km/h) front bumpers in 1973 and similar-designed rear bumpers in 1974. The 1975 models had a new roofline and (along with the Impala) grille that was a direct copy of the 1974 Caprice front end. Inside, there were new instrument cluster markings, radio and climate control graphics (the speedometer read up to 100 mph (160 km/h), and had smaller numbers for kilometers per hour). Customers could buy their 1975 Bel Air with two new options: an Econominder gauge package (which included a gauge that monitored fuel economy, due in part to growing demands for fuel economy as well as a temperature gauge) and intermittent wipers.

In 1975, Consumer Reports tested a Bel Air four-door sedan with the 350 V8 engine and Turbo Hydramatic against other U.S.-built full-sized cars of that period including the Pontiac Catalina, Ford LTD and Plymouth Gran Fury. Although the car performed well in its tests and placed second to the Pontiac, Consumer Reports pointed out the Bel-Air had less noise insulation and a less-comfortable rear seat than its higher-priced siblings, and that a comparably equipped Chevrolet Impala (with additional sound insulation, and upgraded upholstery and seat padding, a $203 premium over the Bel-Air) "would be even closer to the Pontiac in overall quality." Even so, the magazine stated that—for instance—the Bel-Air was "only slightly noisier than the Pontiac". Consumer Reports concluded in its report that prospective buyers should pay the extra $200 or so to upgrade to the costlier Impala, noting advantages such as greater resale value and interior-exterior appointments more comparable to the other tested full-sized vehicles.[29]

The last Bel Airs for the U.S. were manufactured for 1975. For 1976, a lower-trimmed Impala "S" four-door sedan was a one-year offering which had less standard equipment than regular Impalas and functioned as a replacement for the Bel Air.

Canada-only models[edit]

Bel Air-based Pontiacs[edit]

From 1954 through 1969, GM Canada produced a unique Bel Air-based Pontiac marketed as the Laurentian. While body panels resembled contemporary U.S. Pontiacs, the Canadian Pontiac Laurentian had the chassis, power train, wheelbase, even the interior (except for the instrument panel), of the Chevrolet Bel Air. These models were exported in SKD kit form in factory right hand drive to right hand drive markets, such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and locally assembled under the Pontiac marque. All RHD export ceased after 1968 at the behest of GM in the United States.[30]

Early generations (1970–1976)[edit]

While the last Bel Air 2-door sedan was available in the United States in 1969, Chevrolet introduced a Canadian market-only two door hardtop, the Bel Air Sport Coupe, from 1970 to 1975. Based on the Impala Sport Coupe, this new model featured Bel Air trim at a lower price than the Impala. Each year through 1975, this model's body followed the design of the contemporary Impala Sport Coupe. The 4-door sedan and station wagon continued in production, identical to the U.S. models. For 1976, the Canadian Bel Air Coupe featured the same body as the Impala Custom Coupe, with the large fixed rear quarter window and frameless front door glass.

Unlike the United States, all 1976 Canadian full size Chevys (including the Bel Air) came with steel belted radial tires and an electric rear window defroster as standard equipment.

Although the last Bel Air was produced in 1975 in the U.S., the Canadian big Chevy lineup continued to include the Bel Air for 1976 and beyond in two door, four door and station wagon body styles. The U.S. 1976 Impala line included an "S" model line, consisting of a 4-door sedan, to function as the Bel Air's replacement.

Eighth generation (1977–1981)[edit]

Motor vehicle

In Canada, Chevrolet retained the Bel Air as its lowest-priced full-size car through the 1981 model year. For 1977, Canadian Bel Airs received the same downsizing as their Impala/Caprice counterparts in the U.S. Body styles offered during this period were a four-door sedan, two-door coupe and station wagon. Reflecting the smaller size of these downsized big cars was a lineup of generally smaller engines for improved fuel economy with Chevy's 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder reinstated as standard power in sedans for the first time since 1973, with the 140 hp (100 kW) 305 V8 available as an option in sedans and standard on wagons. The 170 hp (130 kW) 350 V8, available in both models, was now the top option as the larger 400 small block and 454 big block V8s were no longer available. Standard equipment on Bel Airs during this period included small hubcaps, cloth-and-vinyl upholstery in sedans or all-vinyl in wagons, cigarette lighter, ashtray, automatic dome light for front doors, full carpeting, Astro Ventilation, Delco Freedom battery, variable-ratio power steering, power front disc brakes and Turbo Hydramatic automatic transmission. Unlike most previous model years and body styles where only two taillights were used per side, the Bel Air shared the Impala's rear end triple-taillight setup.

The 1980 Bel Air along with other full-size Chevrolets, was revised with all-new exterior sheet metal, which helped improve aerodynamics and thus fuel economy; the car was also fitted with a new grille, identical to that of the higher-priced Impala; the rear-end triple-taillight setup also continued to be shared with the Impala. Also that year, the engine lineup was revised with the inline six replaced by a new 3.8-liter or 229 cubic-inch V6 based on the small-block V8 as the base engine in sedans. The new base V8 (standard on wagons, optional on sedans) was a smaller 267 cubic-inch small-block with two-barrel carburetor, while the 305 small-block (optional on all models) got a 15 hp (11 kW) increase to 155 hp (116 kW) thanks to the change from a two-barrel to four-barrel carburetor. The 350 V8 was now restricted to police-option vehicles. Another new option for 1980-81 was the Oldsmobile-built 350 Diesel.

With a dramatic downturn in full-size car sales, the Bel Air was dropped after the 1981 model year, as were a number of other low-trim full size cars in the Canadian market including the Pontiac Laurentian, Mercury Marquis Meteor, and the Ford LTD Custom 500.

2002 concept[edit]

Motor vehicle

In 2002, a concept Bel Air convertible was shown at the North American International Auto Show. It features a few styling and design cues from the best remembered tri-five (1955–57) models, such as the chrome windshield frame, traffic light viewfinder, and a gas filler cap behind the tail light, similar to 1956–1957 Chevy's gas cap behind the chrome trim on the back of the tail fin, but more reminiscent of the 1948–1958 Cadillac gas cap tail light. It also features the same body on frame hydroforming technology (used in the frame rails of the Corvette and GM's midsize sport-utility vehicles) and a sheet metal body, on a 111 in (2,800 mm) wheelbase, and a 65 in (1,700 mm) track. Suspension is short long arm up front and Hotchkiss drive in the rear. It rides on five-spoke aluminum wheels with 18 in (46 cm) red line tires and anti lock discs all-round. The elegant, yet simple interior features a twin-element instrument panel, column-mounted gearshift and bench seats covered in soft high-tech fabrics colored red to match the exterior that are cleverly designed to slide forward for easier backseat entry. It also served as a showcase for their new turbocharged inline five-cylinder concept engine based on the L52 (Vortec 3500), straight-5 truck engine. According to a September 2002 GM press release, the all-aluminum 3.5 L (211 cu in) 20-valve DOHC engine, with a bore of 93.0 mm (3.66 in), and a stroke of 102.0 mm (4.02 in), that delivers up to 315 hp (235 kW) and 315 lb⋅ft (427 N⋅m) of torque, mated to a Hydra-Matic 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic. A virtual "turbo boost" button on the steering wheel activates the powertrain control module to trigger a more aggressive spark and fueling calibration for maximum horsepower. It also led the 13th Annual Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous as the official vehicle in September 2002. General Motors has shown no interest in producing the car.[32] In 2006, it was spotted stripped down in a GM parking lot.[33]

Drag racing[edit]

Of noteworthy importance is the 1962 Bel Air Sport Coupe, the last year a Bel Air pillarless hardtop was available in the US. This model featured the "bubbletop" roof from 1961 rather than the 1962 Impala Sport Coupe's more upright roof, and was popular with drag racers who ordered the car with the new-for-'61 409 cubic inch "W-block" V8 with up to 409 bhp (305 kW); a special package including aluminum body panels, heater delete, and four-speed manual transmission. A car with this configuration is a valuable collector vehicle that commands a big premium over other 1962 models including the Super Sport.

Australian Bel Airs[edit]

During the 1960s, Bel Air sedans were available in export markets such as Australia, where they featured right-hand drive. Due to Australian regulations requiring amber rear turn signal lamps, these Bel Air sedans featured Impala-style triple taillights during the 1960s. The center lamp was the amber turn signal lamp and the innermost lights were backup lamps. Most of these RHD Bel Airs used a 1961 Pontiac instrument panel.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ abcdefghijklmFlory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946–1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN .
  2. ^ ab"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1951_Chevrolet/1951_Chevrolet_Foldout". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  3. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1952_Chevrolet/1952_Chevrolet_Specs". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  4. ^Sixty years of Chevrolet by George H. Dammann
  5. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1953_Chevrolet/1953_Chevrolet_Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  6. ^"The Owners Report on the 53 Chevrolet". Popular Mechanics. Hearst Magazines. July 1953. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  7. ^"Gm En Venezuela Y El Mundo - Historia". Gm.com.ve. Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  8. ^"1956 Chevrolet (U.S.) Bel Air 2-Door Sedan performance data, specs & photo". Automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  9. ^ abGunnell, John A., ed. (1982). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975. krause. ISBN .
  10. ^ abcConsumer Guide Chevrolet 1955–1957. Publications International. 1991. ISBN .
  11. ^"Popular Mechanics". google.com. Hearst Magazines. March 1955.
  12. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1955_Chevrolet/1955_Chevrolet_Prestige_Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  13. ^ ab1634 to 1699: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy ofthe United States: Addenda et Corrigenda(PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700-1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How much is that in real money?: a historical price index for use as a deflator of money values in the economy of the United States(PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  14. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1956_Chevrolet/1956_Chevrolet_Accessories". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  15. ^Flory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946-1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN .
  16. ^"1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe 283 V-8 Corvette Ramjet FI 283-HP close-ratio". automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  17. ^Paul Niedermeyer, ed. (June 15, 2016). "1957 Chevrolet Fuel-Injected 283 V8 – Ahead Of Its Time And The Competition". curbsideclassic.com. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  18. ^"1957 Chevrolet Bel Air". myclassicgarage.com. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  19. ^Edsall, Larry (11 December 2014). "What's so special about the '57 Chevy (part 2)". The ClassicCars.com Journal. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  20. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1956_Chevrolet/1956_Chevrolet_Owners_Manual". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  21. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1957_Chevrolet/1957_Chevrolet_Owners_Manual". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  22. ^"Popular Mechanics". Hearst Magazines. January 1958.
  23. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet_Owners_Manual". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  24. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet_Owners_Manual". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  25. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet/1958_Chevrolet_Wagons". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  26. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1959_Chevrolet/1959_Chevrolet_Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  27. ^"Directory Index: Chevrolet/1959_Chevrolet/1959_Chevrolet_Owners_Manual". oldcarbrochures.com.
  28. ^US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (January 1, 1968). "Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208 - Occupant Crash Protection Passenger Cars".
  29. ^"Full-Sized Sedans: Pontiac, Chevrolet, Plymouth, Ford", Consumer Reports, February 1975, pg. 103
  30. ^"Australian Story".
  31. ^Newbury, Stepehn (2002). The car design yearbook 1. Merrell Publishers Limited. ISBN .
  32. ^2002 GM press release
  33. ^McCausland, Evan (2006-06-08), 2002 Chevrolet Bel Air Concept, retrieved 2021-08-01

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Bel_Air

Air 1959 convertible bel chevy


1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 235 Blue-Flame 6 ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 235 Blue-Flame 6 overdrive ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 235 Blue-Flame 6 Powerglide ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Turbo-Fire ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Turbo-Fire overdrive ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Turbo-Fire Powerglide ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Turbo-Fire Turboglide ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Super Turbo-Fire ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Super Turbo-Fire overdrive ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Super Turbo-Fire Powerglide ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Super Turbo-Fire Turboglide ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Ramjet Fuel Injection ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)


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1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Sedan 283 V-8 Ramjet Fuel Injection 4-speed close ( © GM Corp. CC-BY 3.0)
Sours: https://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/chevrolet_usa/full-size_chevrolet_5gen/full-size_bel_air_3gen_2-door_sedan/1959.html

The stranger put his hand around me from behind and covered his mouth. Be quiet, or you will be in great pain. If you are an obedient girl, you will go home safe and sound.

Similar news:

We know such clever people. Either you do as I say, or then I will fuck you half to death. The girl tensed noticeably, but did not show it. She was no longer glad that she started all this.



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