Bat-Wings: 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air

'59 Belair

Were you looking for some “bat-wings”. If so, a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air could be what you were looking for. In a land far, far away from many of us is the 1959 sitting around Fairbanks, Alaska. Listed here on craigslist in Anchorage for $3K or best offer, this Bel Air roller is looking for a new home.

'59 Belair int.

There is no engine or transmission in this car. What are you going to drop in the front-end? The trunk and floor-pans are rusty and may need to be replaced.

'59 Belair right

All the glass is said to be good. Do you also need a Saab 96? We would guess you could also pick that up while you are there! So do you like your Bel Airs with wings?




  1. Dairymen

    Road trip…..

  2. JW

    Always loved those cat eye taillights. 3K is too high though, even in Alaska money.

    • dave


  3. Frankie Paige

    Jeepers creepers!

  4. Wayne Thomas

    Vortec 4200 with turbo just for the looks on people’s faces after you smoke ’em and tell them that you’re just running a six cylinder.

    • Chebby Staff

      It would be really retro cool if the new Camaros and Mustangs were running straight sixes. I heard the 4200 was a great motor, and all they ever put it in was the Trail Blazer?

      • Wayne Thomas

        Like most of Pre-bankruptcy GM, confining the Vortec 4200 only to the Trailblazer/Envoy was not a smart business decision. Stock, and restricted, the 4.2L makes 291hp in later models, but it is rather easy to bump over 300hp. The 5.7L LS1 made 345hp when new and the Atlas 4.2 can easily match that with headers and a port-n-polish with tuning. With a turbo and tuning, you can go anwhere from 350hp-2000hp. YouTube has a few videos of what is possible with the best one being a Nova drag racing.

        Cheaper than an LSx engine, the Vortec 4200 is such an underrated engine even with the likliehood that you’ll need to modify the oil pan.

  5. Paul R

    I thought that was one of the ugliest cars Chevy ever made when I was younger. They are starting to grow on me as I get older.

    • Stang1968

      I must still be too young.

    • Ed P

      I agee with Stang. I thought these cars were ugly in ’59 and still do.

  6. z1rider

    I’m usually a Ford guy, but I have always liked these. The ultimate for me would be a 59 El Camino

    • Jim

      If it were an El Camino I would be on my way to Alaska right now!

  7. packrat

    Avocado Green dash, Blue/blue door cards, grey seats, orange-ish doorsills, and maroon exterior: Does anyone have a plausible explanation of what has happened here, that doesn’t involve the Johnny Cash song running through my head about sneaking parts out of the assembly plant?

    • Jason Houston

      Yes, someone scabbed it together, “one piece at a time”!

  8. ydnar

    The front end looks wrecked. Scrap price only on this one, sorry.

  9. Glen

    No snow in Alaska in the Winter, strange days indeed.

  10. piper62j

    The nose is stuffed a little, but parts are available.. Bringing this one back to the lower 48 would be a bank breaker.. Probably take up to 6 months to get it here..LOL

    Nice project if you’re up for it.. But then a gain,,, “Road Trip !!!”

  11. Pookie Jamison

    I’m still partial to the 58 Impala. I would find an old Corvette 427 and donate the engine and trans. Lot of potential, and the main thing is the glass is intact.
    Good luck to whoever obtains it

    • Jim

      My aunt had a 58 Bel air 4dr sedan, blue and white, 283 powerhouse and I have great memories of going on vacation with them and driving all over the north east. They didn’t have kids and treated nieces and nephews like royalty. I’ll always miss them but I wouldn’t mind having a Bel air too. They are very cool looking cars. Think American Graffiti! Who wouldn’t want that in their collection? Thanks for reminding me.

  12. DENIS

    2 dr post would be great…looks more like $500 though…long ways from done…

  13. Mark S

    That’s a long way to go to get an old car, even for me and I live in western Canada. As for the car when I was young I too thought these to be butt ugly but I have to admit they have grown on me. Can you imagine being on the design team sitting in on the meeting that got this car its final ok. I would bet that they were sitting around a conference table passing a big fatty around smoke rolling out through the door jam. I would guess that they were patting each other on the back, and laughing about how goofy this car looks and how they will be remembered for decades to come for there design.

  14. dave

    I could part this car out and pull 5000 plus

  15. redwagon

    wow what a combination: green dash, blue steering wheel (but not steering column – that’s green) and door cards, grey seats, red exterior. its obvious the seats are not stock, so if i had to guess it would be highland green exterior with the interior blue bits from a donor vehicle and a resale red repaint. just b/c i cannot imagine a red exterior and green interior car. yuck!

  16. Ray

    Never liked the 59 but love (and own) the 60.

  17. charlie Member

    In 1959 – 1960 I was in Manhattan a lot, a college kid, and these were the most common taxis. The taillight lenses were fragile and had been replaced by a sheet of red plastic on many of them. The drivers who I talked to were unanimous that, apart from the engine, they were a piece of s..t. Not a sturdy body/frame/transmission/doors, let alone the window cranks and interior everything. Not like the Checker which cost twice as much and was solid and could take the beating they gave them.

  18. Jim

    In ’78 I bought a black with white top and deck lid 2 door Impala, red and white houndstooth interior, 283 2brl, powerglide, 69,000 miles from the original owner. Cleaned and waxed, under dash stereo and the first night out cruising with friends I was sitting at a red light on a main Blvd and 2 idiot drunk girls came off an expressway and rear-ended my friend behind me, a 65 Comet wagon, 351c, 4spd, 9″ rear, it was his first night out also. The police estimated she was doing 60+mph, hit his wagon, bent the car and pushed it 15-20 feet into my Impala, bent the chassis and the X broke open, I got pushed about ten feet and stopped just shy of my buddies 62 Impala SS. Police were close and saw it, they were the only thing that kept me from killing them. They had broken noses, cut and bruises but nothing major, I was 19 pissed off. Two friends in the wagon went to the hospital, nothing serious, both cars junk, my friend and I were bruised up but ok. I have strong feelings for DWI, thankfully no one died that night. Beautiful cars gone because of stupidity.
    Yes if I didn’t have 2 projects already I might jump on the Bel air, sheet metal is available, lots of aftermarket parts also and those tail lights!!

    • Jason Houston

      Wow, you sure went through a routine. Too bad the two dingleberries didn’t end upside down in a lake, or something. What were they driving? I love a ’65 Comet wagon and owned a ’62 Impala conv with 283 O/D, so I can relate. Glad you’re still with us, ’59 Impala or not.

  19. Jim

    Sorry I forgot to say it was a 1959 Impala that I bought, the Bel air is close enough.

  20. Jim

    They were driving a 4door ’72 Buick Skylark sedan, it was junk from the front seat forward.

  21. Jason Houston

    God bless you…!

  22. Robert White

    If the front bumper and grill is nerfed in, the car is a parts car IMHO.

    gotta love the dash if you remember Cheech & Chong days, eh.


  23. Jim

    I wouldn’t scrap it because if that, any 59 front bumper will fit and some of the 60 bumper parts interchange, grills turn up at swap meets. That’s part of the fun of building, searching and sourcing just what you want. A factory a/c dash would be a score. Engine mounts, headers for any gm engine are available for the X-chassis cars including ls engines. Lots if possibilities.

    • Robert White

      Personally, I don’t like any resto that starts with a nerfed front clip. I know everything can be either straightened, or replaced with NOS, wrecker parts, et cetera, but if one starts with a perfect front clip, it makes the project proceed that much easier IMHO. Sure I would replace floor pans, and trunk pans, quarters, door skins, if necessary, but if one researchers enough, and sources enough, another car can always be found to replace a poor substrate with a nerfed front bumper, grill, or clip.


  24. Jim

    I see your point and I have a friend who searchers for the most perfect specimens for his cars and I’ve been shocked at the cleanliness and lack of rust on some. His last purchase was a 71 Ranchero and we found one dime size spot of rust on the drivers floorboard. It was caused by a hold drilled in the floor at some point. It was like a time capsule, 41,000 original miles. But he searched for two years and looked at a few dozen before he found it. I don’t have his patients. Your way saves time and possibly money, I enjoy the search and don’t mind spending a year or two bringing a car together. More power to both of us! Keep building.

  25. Jim

    Btw the evil looking low rider looks great!

  26. Daytona

    Looks great

  27. mtshootist1

    I always had a fond spot for these, I remember my dad came home with an all black brand new 59 Impala when I was about 8. That was to replace the 55 Chevy Bel Air. We took a road trip down to Del Rio Texas in that car that summer to buy sheep. The old man had decided to get into the sheep business for some odd reason. On the way home,it was my job to open the bottle caps of the Mexican beer in the cooler and pass them up to the front seat. I remember that rear window with all that glass made the interior of that black car hotter than Hades in Texas.

  28. Russ

    I like 59’s, but… where would you start? WHY would you start, with one like this?… I start to think of that Chevy dealer in Nebraska that sold off a ton of very old cars which had been sitting for many years, most of which had to be far better than this disgusting mess.

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