BF Auction: 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Hardtop

Sold for $31,500View Result

If you ever doubted whether there are fantastic classics hidden away in barns and sheds, this 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Door Hardtop should ease those fears. It is an estate find that began hibernating in 2003. It recently emerged and has been revived. You will soon learn that this classic is more than a pretty face because it possesses performance of which its original creators could only dream. The seller has too many vehicles to enjoy so they’ve made the hard choice to let this potent classic go to a new home. Therefore, they have listed it exclusively with us at Barn Finds Auctions.

There is so much to consider with this Bel Air that I struggle to know where to start. The owner describes the Matador Red and India Ivory paint as flawless, and there is no arguing with the assessment. It shines impressively, and the comprehensive selection of images, including close-ups, confirms there are no chips or marks to spoil its beauty. It shines like a mirror, cloaking panels that are laser-straight and rust-free. This classic is as solid as a rock, with no surface corrosion anywhere. The chrome and trim are as immaculate as the rest of the exterior, and the glass is crystal clear. The overall presentation makes it easy to understand why this magnificent classic hasn’t looked out of place doing the rounds of car shows. First impressions are this Bel Air represents a stunning restoration, but the sparkling 14″ Cragar SST wheels suggest there could be more to this classic than meets the eye. Thankfully, that impression isn’t misleading.

Okay, this is when we need to draw breath and plunge headlong into this Bel Air’s specifications. They will leave you in no doubt that the driver will have significantly more power under their right foot than the original owner had in 1956. Hiding under the hood is a built 400ci V8 featuring some of the most reliable and bulletproof components known to enthusiasts. The best way to squeeze power from any engine is to improve breathing, and the builder has certainly done that. The starting point is a Crane Cam, solid lifters, and Fuelie heads. The engine draws great gulps of air via an Edelbrock intake and carburetor. Spent gases exit via Headman Hustler fender pipes and Borla stainless pipes and muffler. The owner includes baffled exhaust tips for those who want to get the full exhaust note out of the engine. They ran the car at Limerock and mufflers were required to get the exhaust below the sound limit, but they can be removed and the exhaust reverted back to the baffled tips. A Be Cool aluminum radiator keeps things cool, and a collection of Moroso components adds some bling to the engine bay. The power feeds to a close ratio Muncie four-speed manual transmission coupled to a crossmember-mounted cast iron bellhousing, complete with a new clutch. The final piece of the puzzle is a Posi rear end with Lakewood traction bars, and Ride Leveler shocks to a panhard bar. It is unclear what the power output is, but I’d estimate it is somewhere around “a lot!” The front end features a selection of Mustang II components, including unassisted front disc brakes and unassisted rack-and-pinion steering. The rear Cragar wheels are new, there is a matching spare, and all are wrapped in new tires. They describe the motor as strong and the Bel Air as fast. Those are two claims I find very believable. It would seem that this is a turnkey proposition ready to provide years of motoring fun.

The good news doesn’t end when we focus on this Chevy’s interior. The original front seat has made way for what appears to be a pair of GTO buckets. The upholstered surfaces are finished in Black vinyl, free from wear and other imperfections. The carpet is equally impressive, and the driver grips a beautiful ’59 Impala wheel colored to complement the car’s overall Red theme. The painted surfaces match the exterior and are free from scratches. A retro-style stereo occupies the space previously reserved for the factory radio, a Sun Super Tach is column-mounted, and there is a collection of Stewart Warner gauges under the dash to monitor the health of that beast under the hood. The Hurst Competition Shifter with pearl white shift ball is a nice touch that rounds out the performance look. Some tasks await the winning bidder, but they will involve little more than tinkering in a home workshop. The glove box liner is out so the buyer can wire in the amp gauge and radio, and a new speedometer cable is waiting to be installed. The buyer needs to install a new sender unit to ensure the fuel gauge reads accurately, and that appears to be a complete list of required tasks. None are urgent, but addressing them might be a productive way to occupy a few hours during winter. The owner includes a spare front disc kit and a trunk full of parts that can be squirreled away as cheap insurance. Also included with the car is a set of vinyl stickers, just like the ones the car wore when it was autocrossed at Limerock this past June, just in case the next owner wants it to sport the number 56!

We have scrutinized the supplied photos of this 1956 Bel Air Hardtop, and it is almost impossible to find anything to criticize. The seller notes a small imperfection in the paint near the side mirror and some small scuffs on the front right corner of the chrome bumper, but they must be very minor issues as they aren’t noticeable in the photos. It is a complete package with no evidence of compromise. It presents superbly, its interior looks comfortable and inviting, and its drivetrain combination promises neck snapping performance. It would suit an enthusiast who is not in a position to undertake a project build, and it would be a practical alternative for a potential buyer with a family. Cars like this don’t appear every day, and the winning bidder can drive away in a classic guaranteed to draw crowds. If that sounds appealing, submitting a bid or two could be the way to make the dream a reality.

  • Location: Torrington, Connecticut
  • Mileage: 5,656 TMU
  • Engine: 400ci V8
  • Transmission: Close Ratio Muncie 4-Speed Manual
  • VIN: VC56T003962
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $31,500
Register To Bid
Ended: Sep 7, 2023 10:00am MDT
Winner: Jeff W (Made An Offer)
  • 2manyvettes bid $25,500.00  2023-09-03 04:02:33
  • Eddie bid $21,000.00  2023-09-02 19:14:56
  • 2manyvettes
    bid $20,000.00  2023-09-02 18:50:12
  • Eddie bid $19,000.00  2023-09-02 18:34:41
  • 2manyvettes bid $18,000.00  2023-08-30 17:12:28
  • Mrmax
    bid $16,500.00  2023-08-30 17:02:32
  • 2manyvettes bid $15,500.00  2023-08-30 13:07:28
  • Jeff bid $12,500.00  2023-08-30 13:05:32
  • 2manyvettes
    bid $12,000.00  2023-08-30 12:50:27
  • Jeff bid $8,000.00  2023-08-30 12:49:32
  • 2manyvettes bid $7,500.00  2023-08-30 12:32:24
  • Pirpo
    bid $5,000.00  2023-08-30 10:53:31
  • belairphil bid $200.00  2023-08-30 10:07:56

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bunky

    Nice non stock example. Small block 400, while containing some “bulletproof components”, is arguably one of the worst sbc engines. The siamese center cylinders, with no center water jacket, are problematic. (“Ask the man who owns one”.) Hence the popularity of the hybrid 383, 350 block with 400 innards.

    Like 3
    • This 56’ (The Seller)

      So many factors make or break any motor… the build, care.. abuse ..amount of use.. fuel supply.. and the most likely operator error
      It was a 100 degree day at its last show 40 miles from home and ran far cooler than many vehicles I own.. any overheating is no concern here
      Sorry that you have issues with yours

      Like 13
    • Mr. D

      Yeah, those Siamese cylinders are problematic. I had a warped head from them. Required shaving then replacing. I started with 265’s then 283, 307, 327, 350(sweet spot), 409(only 1), 427, and finally the 454 brute throughout my Chevy days. The late 1950’s had the solid, heavy cars and my older brothers all had the 1955-57 Chevys so I got a good introduction into the battle of keeping one original versus beefing up the engines. I owned over 40 cars while my 3 car garage was turned into a shop where all sorts of fun occurred.

      Like 1
      • This ‘56

        Sometimes folks like to be different than most every other tri5 seen at shows
        Like any classic car
        Some cars have their original lives
        others get transplants for life support or how a rebuilder wanted
        Originally this car left the factory two tone blue! .. and there isn’t a trace of that to be seen anywhere other than the back side of one trunk hinge
        Things get changed

        Like 0
  2. Bill


    Like 0
    • This ‘56

      Ac and power accessories were unwanted extra weight and expend wanted horsepower.. as the builder.. would have said
      (He was always old skool drag racer thinking even on his daily drivers)

      Like 6
  3. Rw

    Looks like original rear end,don’t know what ratio but believe me they are not bulletproof, maybe BB proof at best.

    Like 0
    • This ‘56

      4:11 posi
      Tuff enough to go anywhere it wants to go.. owner never got to see and enjoy the car completed

      Like 7
  4. Rudy C

    Love it! Wasn’t expecting a road course, maybe a quarter mile run but certainly not a road course. GLWTA!

    Like 1
    • This ‘56

      Girlfriend signed it up we were not aware it was on a gokart track, not their ‘big road’ (next year they may have a day though after I asked) I could have ran laps for many more but wasn’t worth the squeeze.. couldn’t leave 2nd gear.. still made the Miata’s say huh? And oh wow lol great day anyway
      Definitely a ton of nostalgia drags potential
      The kind words are appreciated

      Like 5
      • Ocean Beach lady

        I think this is exactly what my other half is looking for. I can’t wait to show him when he gets home. And it’s close by.

        Like 3
  5. Gental ben

    Nice car one of my wife’s favoret she passed do to cancer my health went down hill never will be able to buy one.real nice ride her dad had 56s all of her young life thanks for the memories

    Like 6
  6. Robert West

    You have my permission to bring it to my house and park it in my driveway. I won’t even charge for storage 😂

    Like 1
    • This ‘56

      It’s comfortable, covered in a climate controlled garage awaiting its new home.. storage is no issue
      I’ll keep it in mind though if no sale ;)
      Nice to have friends with Pitt stops when on roadtrips haha

      Like 2
  7. Jay E.Member

    Great looking car with so many upgraded features. Love the 4 speed. I recently sold my ’57 and miss having a Tri-Five in the garage. I can already imagine how to make it mine, new wheels, 2″ exhaust and cherry bombs out the back and other fun touches. We will see how the price goes, perhaps it will be making a drive to Oregon..

    Like 3
  8. Ocean Beach lady

    I think this is exactly what my other half is looking for. I can’t wait to show him when he gets home. And it’s close by.

    Like 3
  9. Richard

    I was lucky enough to be selected to photograph this amazing car. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous it is throughout, and the car’s iconic form and color scheme just jumps out from every angle of view.

    The best part was getting a short but very memorable ride to and from its garage home.

    Like 2
    • This ‘56

      You have a great talent sir
      your help was greatly appreciated
      See ya again soon

      Like 1
  10. This ‘56

    Think your seriously
    in the wrong place .. wasn’t cancer
    And we don’t live forever

    Like 2

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