It is one thing for a classic car to be sought after for its look or its smooth ride, but you really add value when that classic car breaks down design barriers and changes an entire industry. The 1955 Chevy Bel Air is a mandatory vehicle for every movie or television show set in the 1950s, and that is because the Bel Air was the most popular vehicle of the 1950s. Not only was this car sought after for its look and its ride, but it also set design standards that Chevrolet used for decades.
A Trend Setter
The 1955 Chevy Bel Air was the first economy vehicle to offer elite amenities such as carpeting, stainless steel window moldings, and chrome headliner bands. It came in a hardtop and convertible model, and both models had a revolutionary wrap-around windshield that became standard in all Chevy vehicles after 1955.
The V8 engine in the 1955 Chevy Bel Air was an improvement over the 1954 model, and it also wound up being the small footprint design that Chevy would use for the next several decades. This engine was easy to install, easy to repair, and easy for the customer to maintain. It paved the way for the modern engine designs we know today. The 1955 Chevy Bel Air was also the first non-luxury car to offer wheel covers and chrome decorations on the front fender.
The 1955 Chevy Bel Air had a 265 cubic inch V8 engine that delivered 162 horsepower. This was one of the first Chevy vehicles with the Powerglide brand of automatic transmission, and it also had one of the first front ball joint suspensions for durability and comfort. In the back, the heavy duty semi-elliptic leaf springs and coiled shocks help to keep the ride smooth for everyone in the vehicle.
Only the rear wheels had covers on them, and the rear wheels featured a 115-inch wheel base. The two-tone paint design was also new, and customers had plenty of color options to choose from. The front grill was modeled after the Ferrari line of sports cars, and the front bench seats featured separate adjustable backs for the passenger and driver.
The 1955 Chevy Bel Air Legacy
When Chevy introduced the 1955 Bel Air, it called the car the “Hot One” because of all of its innovative features. The car measures 15-feet in length, and it was low to the ground for better handling. The car’s easy maintenance and repair features, along with its ability to go from 0 to 60 in less than 13 seconds, made it the most popular car of 1955.
The most popular options for the Bel Air were the AM radio, heating, and fender skirts. When the 1955 Bel Air was first on the market, it had the distinction of being a desirable family car and a car that teenagers wanted to drive as well. When it first hit the dealership lots in late 1954, the 155 Chevy Bel Air had a sticker price of $2,321.
The 1955 Chevy Bel Air is one of the most treasured classic cars available today. It is also one of the few classic cars that collectors buy just to drive it around. It is not unusual to see a collector get a 1955 Chevy Bel Air, invest time and money into making it look pristine, and then driving it around town just for the experience.