Chevrolet Bel Air

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Chevrolet Bel Air
Chevrolet Bel Air

Chevrolet Bel Air

1954 - 1957
Country:
USA
Engine:
6 cyl. & V8
Capacity:
4639/6704 cc
Power:
115 - 283 bhp
Transmission:
3/4 spd. man 2 spd. auto
Top Speed:
n/a
Number Built:
n/a
Collectability:
3 star
 Chev Bel-Air
Chevrolet Bel Air
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3

Introduction



The 1950's are synonymous with young Americans enjoying rock 'n' roll, drive-in movies and cars that were fast and affordable. The Chevrolet Bel Air became one of the most popular American cars ever because of its unique style, engine modifications and affordable price.

The 1954 Bel Air was the beginning of a new, elegant look for Chevrolet - however that years model was only fitted with the 115bhp 6 cylinder engine. Customers did not have to wait long, however. The heads of Chevrolet had decided that, to keep ahead of its rivals, model changes would be made every two years, with a face lift inbetween!

1955 ushered in several changes for the Bel Air, including a new larger shape (to match the size of its competitors from Ford and Plymouth), and most importantly the option of a 'Turbo-Fire' small block V8 engine (borrowed from the Corvette). The new model had a wrap-around windscreen, hooded headlamps and, naturally for the 50's, tailfins. These changes resulted in a huge sales success, with production numbers soaring to a staggering 773,382. (Note: 1955 model pictured left).

By 1956, sales of the Bel Air had decreased, with only 669,281 manufactured. Chevrolet decided the car needed another change to send sales numbers up. The most obvious and fascinating change for 1957 was the introduction of rear fins above the taillights. Other exterior changes included a massive chrome bumper surrounding a concave grille and twin wind splits that dressed up the hood.

The 1957 Bel Air was also longer and lower than previous models. This Bel Air came to be known as a "muscle car" because of its powerful V8 engine and offered a range of horsepower from 140 to 283, depending on the model. Buyers had the option of choosing a new fuel injection system with the 283 engine. Production of this model reached 702,651. Today any 1950's model Chevy, particularly a model featuring the mighty tail fins, is extremely sought after and is sure to appreciate in the coming years...
1957 Chev Bel Air Wagon

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