1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible Project

The owner of this 1956 Bel Air Convertible has put in the hard yards on the vehicle. All of its rust issues have been addressed, and it is ready for someone to take the car and add the finishing touches that they want. It comes with a fair collection of extra parts that the buyer could hold as spares into the future. Located in Merritt Island, Florida, the Bel Air has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $16,100, and the reserve has been met.

The Bel Air is virtually complete bodily, with most of the trim and chrome stored away waiting for refitting. It is missing the windshield, but the rest of the glass appears to be present. The Convertible top is looking ragged, and a replacement will need to be purchased. These can be found for between $400 and $800, depending on the choice of material. The body and frame of the Bel Air are completely rust-free. The frame has been cleaned and painted, while the floors and trunk pan have been replaced. The owner supplies some photos of the vehicle’s underside, and it is spotlessly clean. Both rear quarter panels are new, and the doors have been replaced. The only work left to do is to install a new rocker panel on the passenger side. The old one has been removed, and the area is clean and ready to go. The owner has two new ones, which would mean that the buyer won’t need to search for replacement parts. The seller includes a collection of parts with the car, and amongst these are four spare doors that look to be in good condition.

The interior of the Convertible will need to be completely restored, and there will be some parts that the buyer will need to find. It appears that all of the trim pieces for the dash and steering column are present, as are the seats. The upholstery will need to be replaced, as items like the door trims are missing. I also can’t spot a gauge cluster or a steering wheel in the photos. How the interior is tackled will depend on personal preferences. The buyer might choose to go for a custom look, or a faithful restoration would certainly be eye-catching. With this in mind, an interior trim kit would seem to be an obvious choice. These are readily available, and prices vary according to quality. A high-quality kit in the correct material and color that includes everything required will cost around $2,500. That’s a lot of money, but it also represents a one-off expense. If the interior is treated with respect, there is no reason why it shouldn’t still look good in another 50-years. What you can see in this photo is just how clean the floors now look.

It isn’t clear what originally resided under the Chevy’s hood, but what is there now is a 305ci TPI V8 that started its life in a 1985 Camaro. This should be good for around 215hp in good health, which would make the Bel Air a reasonable performer. The motor will need to be pulled to bring the presentation of the engine bay up to scratch. However, this may be unavoidable anyway. The owner describes the engine as being “high mileage.” That would seem to suggest that a rebuild could be on the cards for this V8. That raises the question of whether to do this or whether the buyer might want to source something different to slot in. Whatever the final choice, they will need to find a transmission. There is none fitted to the car at this stage. What has come in for attention is the front end and brakes. A set of 2″ drop spindles have been fitted along with slotted and ventilated front discs. That has to run rings around the original brakes and will make the Bel Air a much safer car when it hits the road once again.

This 1956 Bel Air Convertible has attracted plenty of interest since it was listed for sale. It is easy to see why, because the buyer isn’t going to be faced with the prospect of replacing acres of rotted steel as a starting point. The collection of additional parts is a bonus, and purchasing the car at this stage leaves the buyer the opportunity to build the Bel Air of their dreams. They could choose to go mild or go wild, or they might want to create a sleeper from this blank-canvas classic. They will only be limited by their imagination, and this is a vehicle that I would love to look at once it is finished.


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  1. 8banger David Mika Member

    There doesn’t look to be any way to make this mill work anyway, unless you want to blast the upper radiator hose into the throttle body. Not advised, get a GM 383 in there and call it a day.

    Like 3
  2. William Fox

    This `56 I should say, is a lot better than the wreck from that week! LOL This one is well on its way back on the road, given the floor pans, etc. have been replaced. The best part? Nearly everything you need to complete this is available in the aftermarket world. Trim, taillights, interior, etc. This beauty would look great done in Crocus Yellow & Ebony black! Matching interior! Sure, you’ll need deep pockets to complete this, but well worth it. `56 Is my favorite tri-5 Chevy, and I can envision what this would look like back to showroom new. Crate 265 V8’s are available too.

    Like 5
  3. BobH Member

    First thing that caught my attention… The lead photo displays it with 6-cylinder hood trim. Not that it makes any difference, but I wonder why?

    Like 2
    • KKW

      Uh….maybe it came from the factory with a 6cyl.? Or, Uh….maybe it’s not the original hood? Hmm

      Like 3
  4. Stan Marks

    Bid is up to 20 Gs…..IMHO, Prolly take another $50-$60K, to bring it up to snuff, when it’s all said & done.

    Like 1
  5. Little_Cars

    Looks like the ’56 Greg, of the Brady Bunch, brought home and “instantly” restored in the course of a half-hour TV show.

    Like 2
  6. Moses

    Dang! Less than 4 miles from me, but might as well be on the moon as far as the price goes for me. I have a wagon with a steering column a rad. a bell housing, engine a 3 and a 4 speed, rally’s, clutch pedal, and an engine already drilled and tapped for front mounts I built for my 55 truck that I kept when I sold the truck. (DOH!) Don’t like rag tops. Guess it doesn’t matter any way since I can’t afford it. Dang obama cost me my retirement savings since I had to use it to live since I was 55. Now retired and no 56 or money. Someone will have a lot of fun with this car!!!

    • Stan Marks

      I don’t think you want to get into politics here, Moses. My retirement did very well, during that time.
      Now, we have to contend with many lives lost, unnecessarily, because nothing’s been done, during this pandemic.
      Around the bend, my _ss…..

      • Moses

        Your right! Just meant got laid off. And no work. Just read rules right under my post. Won’t happen. Uh, sorry?

        Like 1
      • KKW

        Nothing’s been done? What do you think should be done? Until someone miraculously pulls a vaccine out of their hind end, it will be what it is.

  7. Stan Marks

    No problem, Moses. These are trying times for all of us.

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