HomePick of the Day1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air


 The ’55 Chevrolet Bel Air looks clean and original, but with a modern 350 V8 under its hood

The ’55 Chevrolet Bel Air looks clean and original, but with a modern 350 V8 under its hood

What do you do if you have a beautiful, low-mileage ’55 Chevy with a crapped-out engine that wasn’t supplying enough power anyway? You want it to drive nicely in today’s traffic, but you also want it to look correct. Behold, the birth of a resto-mod, an original vintage car with modern mechanicals underneath.

The Pick of the Day is a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop with a gleaming coral-and-gray two-tone paint job, in which has been transplanted a new Chevy 350 cid V8, making the car drivable and easy to maintain but still authentic looking, aside from some period-appropriate custom wheels.

The Bel Air model got a major helping of chrome trim
The Bel Air model got a major helping of chrome trim

According to the Gig Harbor, Washington, classic car dealer advertising the Chevy on ClassicCars.com, this is a 40,000-mile beauty with all its body parts intact, with new paint and interior, no rust or corrosion, and it looks good and runs well.

“We have never seen a ’55 Tri-Five with virgin metal on it like this one,” the seller says in the listing. “I dare you to find flaws in any of the car’s metal, trim, rubber seals, etc. The car is as close to perfect as you can get. Not only does she look good, she drives even better.

“The brakes are still drum all the way around and for the most part, all original parts with the exception of the new engine, which has maybe 100 miles on it. The paint is relatively new, as is the interior.

“Someone loved this car A LOT and it shows in areas most people forget to pay attention to.”

The ’55 Chevy was always a favorite of mine, the best-looking of the 1955-57 models with its simple egg-crate grille and well-proportioned body contours. The two-door hardtop with its extra chrome trim, like this one, is the most desirable. Many of these went hot rodding, so one that is clean and original-looking is special indeed.

The asking price is $29,750, which seems like a fair price for such a nice car, even if it’s not entirely authentic. Probably not a great investment, but a cool car that you could enjoy without reservation. The dealer says that whatever you choose to do with it, you can’t go wrong because of the high quality of its preservation and refurbishment.

“Leave it alone, take it back to original, or hot rod it; any way, she is the best ’55 we have ever seen,” the dealer says.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. Not my choice for colors, original or not, but you have to admit, the chrome is superb. And the price is extremely fair, too — in my town a pristine ’55 like this would go for about double what this one’s asking. I’m kind of skeptical because of this, and if I were prospecting, I’d be certain to do a really thorough inspection of it.

  2. Nice original car with the right look by using the right wheels and tires. Engine compartment could have came out better with less Billet looking pieces and some OEM GM Performance parts from earlier LT-1/Corvette valve covers etc. or something more period correct even with the updated 350 power and transmission upgrades. Very Nice Car at a reasonable price!

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