40 Year Sleep: Chevy Bel Air and Delray Combo

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Lately, I’ve begun to realize just how possible it is to have a car languish despite your best intentions of restoring it. I recently sold one project car to purchase two others, and I have to say, it’s hard not to feel a bit overwhelmed at times. The seller of this pair of clean Chevys claims to be offering them for the first time in 40 years, and this Bel Air / Delray duo here on craigslist is available for $16,500 in Asheville, North Carolina. 

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The 210 Delray may look like it has a replacement front clip, but it doesn’t – the seller got as far as sanding down the nose for a repaint many years ago but didn’t get any further. The car is equipped with overdrive and retains its original clock and radio delete panels. A six-cylinder car, it has not been cranked recently but was running when parked. The floors will need rust repair but the seller claims that’s the worst of the corrosion.

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The Bel Air looks even better, with similar rust issues and a six-cylinder that used to run but hasn’t fired recently. Both cars have very complete interiors and roll on their original wheels; the Bel Air also comes with its factory radio. There was some bodywork performed above the headlights but the seller claims that’s the only evidence of cosmetic alterations on the car. It appears as if both cars have good glass, too.

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I do think it’s safe to say these cars were stored inside with good temperature and dampness controls, as neither one looks grungy inside. They actually look dry enough to drive right now, but you’ll have to get the running issues sorted first. I think the price seems fair to me, but I don’t know if the seller’s preference to sell as a pair will hold back a sale. What do you think – would you take both of them home or try to negotiate for one of the two?

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Comments

  1. Doug

    Both….one for me….one for my wife.

    Like 1
  2. Terry J

    If all the pictures you had were the interior, you could tell which was which. The Del Ray was mostly an interior option with the new “Naugahyde” material. Had a very nice ’56 Del Ray 20 years ago, but it was in beautiful shape in and out. :-) Terry J

  3. Ed P

    In the mid 50’s cars started to sprout hoods over the headlights. This seemed to be a common place for rust to grow. Nobody seemed to be immune from this tinworm.

  4. Chuck

    I don’t think the Delray designation came out until 1958 ? The cars pictured are a Bel Air & a 210.

  5. Terry J

    The Del Ray was a “Trim” option of the 2 door 210 that came out (I think) in 1954, mostly regarding the new for the time Naugahyde seats and door panels. That was not cheap vinyl. That old Naugahyde was thick and wore like iron. In 1958 the Del Ray became an actual low end model. :-) Terry J

  6. Joe Nose

    Naugahyde. Made from the Nauga monster. Great ad copy.

    • kyle skiles

      My brother has a green nauga monster!

    • Loco Mikado

      Even Johnny Carson like a Nauga

  7. Ed P

    The thought of those once great herds of naugas that once roamed the earth sickens me.

  8. PaulieB

    My brother had a ’55 Delray with a beautiful interior black and white checkerboard type naugahyde material, powerglide, radio, and heater. Black with a white top. The kid that he sold it to wanted to hot rod it.. He sold it in 1967 for $150.. a year later he said “I regret selling that car!” Indeed. What a beautiful car.

  9. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Just the way I would want to find them, untouched for the most part and totally original.

  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Soooo…..just not thinking either one of them is a $8000 car…..

  11. GRAY WOLF

    Del Rey’s were in the lineup in 1956, because I had an original on with 43,000 miles. It was from a little old lady from Burbank, Ca! for Real!! Still cryin’ about that one getting away!🙀🙀

  12. Mike

    Anybody ever get their clock to keep running for any length of time in their 55 Chev? Dang clocks never ran well for very long and I had more than one of them!

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