1955 Chevy Bel Air History

Lyle Ellerbee

The story of the Bel Air began in 1953 when it became the new name for Chevrolet’s premium line of cars. It was in these early models that the unique characteristics of the car’s body appeared. They received a strip of chrome molding, with a stripe of paint that coordinated with the color of the body. The interiors were also fitted with their fair share of chrome accents. It was installed across the lower region of the car’s dash, and also made up the horn ring on the Bel Air’s premium steering wheel.

In 1954, the Chevy Bel Air was updated with new grille and taillight designs, and also came with two different options of engines. The type of engine the car had depended on the transmission.  If your model was a stick shift, a 115 hp inline six cylinder engine would have been providing the power, and those with Powerglide would have the same the inline six, but with 125 hp. The Powerglide transmission was a two speed automatic transmission designed by General Motors. It was primarily found on Chevrolet models in the 1950s through the beginning of the 1970s. The ’54 Chevys were available in a convertible, hardtop coupe or 2 and 4-door sedan models.

It was in 1955 that the Chevy Bel Air was fitted with a V8 engine, and earned the reputation as the “The Hot One” among car enthusiasts. The 265 cubic-inch V8 engine’s overhead valve high-compression and short stroke design worked so well that it stayed in production for many years to follow. The V-8 engine produced 180 hp which was considered to be quite a lot of power at the time. The ’55 Chevy’s styling was also seen as being far superior to any Ford or Plymouth available at the time. The Bel Air had interior carpets, headliner bands made of chrome, fenders with chrome spears and chrome window moldings just to name a few. The gold Bel Air script that was present on the ’55 also helped to distinguish it from the others. This classic, refined look  set it apart from any of its competitors.

The’55 Chevy Bel Air‘s perfect combination of power and style is what makes it one of the most highly sought after classic cars of today. It is also one of the most recognizable cars that ever rolled out of an American factory. The ’55 Chevy’s combination of roomy interior, tasteful design and power are what makes it so popular among enthusiasts. The Chevy Bel Airs produced between the years of 1955 and 1957 are regarded as the TriFive, because of their superiority in design and performance over the models that rolled out in the following years of production,which were often times seen as being over sized, and over decorated.

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