1960 Chevrolet Bel Air: Found in India

India Bel Air

To me, one of the best parts about finding cars in far-off places is wondering how they got there. This 1960 Chevy Bel Air was spotted in India by Barn Finds reader Olaf E. The car is stripped and ready for paint, but the seller doesn’t have time to finish the job. For a vehicle that was commonly seen on American roads, this land behemoth must be a curiosity for the locals that pass by it everyday. Was it brought over by a member of the military? Did it belong to an American re-located on business? It seems strange to cart such a large car over for a temporary stop, but given how infrequently old, American muscle cars are likely seen in India, I’m sure its story is an interesting one. The question now is, who will buy it? India has no shortage of high net-worth individuals, so perhaps this ex-pat Bel Air still has a shot at a restored future despite its far-off location.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Horse Radish

    It still is ONLY a Bel-Air, not an Impala, therefore who would invest in it ??
    The slabs of bondo all around would take days to chisel off.
    If the drivetrain has a little life left in it, then it will be saved, but not by somebody with money…..
    One rock through a window and that would be the final blow.
    I DO hope it will be saved, but times are different everywhere on this planet.
    It may/would serve well as a wedding limousine (?)

    • Horse Radish

      The seller sure will wonder why close to 2000 people (a lot of barn find lookers) looked at the ad, but not a single phone call…
      Well, not really.
      The 1.5 million (Indian rupies = US$ 22,700) asking price could be the other….

      And check out that phone number:
      Does that mean they are using (9.8) billion telephone numbers in that country ?

  2. Horse Radish

    The only other ‘car’ choice for 1960 on that ad-site is this: vintage Ford vans for $1300

  3. The Walrus

    I’ve spent about half my days over the last 3 years on the subcontinent (something I wouldn’t wish upon an enemy). I haven’t crossed paths with many pre ’90’s cars. I once saw a ’53 Buick convertible that was being used in a wedding.

    There’s an older Fiat 4 door (from the 50’s I think, not sure the model) that continued to be produced in India until just a few years ago. There are lots of customized versions of those, but otherwise not much customization, either (unless you consider huge Ferrari stickers plastered down the side of a Tata or Mahindra customization, then you’re in luck).

    The wealthy tend to drive Range Rovers, Jaguars and the occasional Bentley or Porsche. Most people with the means to own an old car don’t drive themselves. A very good driver can be had for about $100USD (5000INR) a week. The roads are horrible and the driving worse. I don’t think much of a collector car hobby exists. The country is ‘cracking down’ and supposedly not allowing cars older than 20 years to be registered due to emissions concerns. Although that shouldn’t be too much of an impediment, as cheating the system and bribing officials is something of a national sport.

    • Abhi

      Im shocked at how knive you westerners are. The car collector hobby exists in Indi and in a big big was, if you get a chance to google, just google ‘the 21 gun salute car rally’ and the ‘The statesman rally’, you’ll know what a big hobby it is. I personally know of a dozen people who have greatttt collections, cars probably you haven’t even heard of. I guess ones should gather all information, before talking ill about the largest democracy in the world about bribing/ferrari stickers on trucks. Theres is a waiting of 6/8 months to buy a supercar in India, where supercars go for twice the amount of what u can buy thrm in your country, i guess thatll give you an insight into the wealth of this country. Fail to understand how people can spend time here if they hate it soo much, making money out of this country and then bad mouthing it. Its better to live in America, where you chuck your parents out in their old age. All thr best.

  4. Olaf E

    Hi The Walrus,
    Have you seen this warning overthere?
    Image is a little bit small, here is the link. It’s image 4, http://olx.in/item/mercedes-w-123-300-d-IDY8lht.html#4c8530ca93

    • The Walrus

      In most states, only the number is issued, not the actual plate. Dealers and sign shops make the plates. The state sets min and max letter height and color. There’s lots of peripheral stuff written on both plates and cars. The commercial trucks in particular are highly decorated. That’s actually one of the most coherent things I’ve seen on a car there. They speak English, we speak English, but it’s not the same English.

  5. Harit Trivedi

    Hi! I am a regular visitor to your site from India, having read all your postings from the inception. As I was traveling, I have been catching up on the last 12 days of postings and saw this post. I have some comments to make as what has been put up is very erroneous, to put it mildly.

    India officially stopped imports of foreign manufactured and Indian assembled cars by 1957.Only 3 Makes remained, Fiat, Ambassador and Standard Herald manufactured locally. Yet many imported cars came into the country with diplomats, accredited journalists, company representative, transfer of residence, Government imports, United Nations agencies etc. These added considerable numbers. In the 1960’s and 70’s American cars were very popular among film stars and businessmen. Many models came into the country in extremely limited numbers, and my collection was always focused on such cars. We know of 4 Dodge Chargers in India, I have 2 of them. Later Mercedes Benz and the Japanese took over being cheaper and more fuel efficient. American cars have been used extensively and destroyed in Indian movies, later Bollywood. As to who will buy it, in India there is a vibrant and ever growing vintage and classic cars community, there are collectors spread all over the country, and we have concourse events like Cartier’s held every 2 years apart from other local annual events held all over the country. Have a look at this link, http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintage-cars-classics-india/ This links directly with the vintage section, one needs to navigate the various threads. BTW, I am “harit” on this thread. Today there is a high demand for collectible cars and many ask for too much money, as in this ad. Lately the Indian Government has permitted the import of cars up to 1950, and many cars have come in, some found on this site. The duty amounts to about 220%, some were over enthusiastic and then failed to honor their commitment after they multiplied the amount by 66 being the current exchange rate. The most popular make being imported under this scheme are Cadillac’s.

    Going into the comments, yes in all likely hood it will be a Biscayne as even in those days fuel economy was of prime importance. Many such cars were refitted with diesel engines as the fuel was cheaper. But today a reasonably serious collector will redo the entire car. Someone in India even manufactures windshields for this model, there are still that many around. Because of a lack of availability, far worse wrecks are restored, many cars seen on this site are deemed as good only for parts would be restored here, similar to what a colleague in Australia commented earlier. True the advert price is too high, but his phone number is a mobile which is 10 digits in India, one needs to prefix 0091. I saw the ad for these Ford Transit vans of the 1960/70’s for the first time, there appear to be 3. Maybe from a Government auction. This site OLX does advertises many more “collectible” vehicles, the 3 local Indian manufactured ones and all sorts of Austin’s, Morris, Mercedes etc.

    As mentioned before, there are many collectible cars in India, about 5 museums with many more coming up. I planned to reply to the individual uncomplimentary comments but am refraining as some are quite ugly, not entirely true and we here are enthusiasts who should focus on the vehicles. If anyone needs assistance or info about India, I am willing to help.

    Cheers Harit

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