Live Auctions

Big Dollar Beater! 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

Meet “Bella.” She is a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible that has been stored since 1969. Recently pulled from its resting spot, the car has had a frame-off restoration and features awesome performance components. It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $54,000. Originally a California black plate car, it is now located in Romulus, Michigan. Take a look at this car and let us know what you think of this type of build.

Apparently the engine isn’t your average Corvette LS2. It is in fact an LQ9 6.0L small-block Chevrolet out of a truck that has been topped with LS2 components. It features a Holley LS accessory drive kit along with a Comp Cams custom camshaft. The engine compartment has been cleaned up, and the firewall was painted; however, the seller was careful not to paint over the original trim tag and factory markings. Also, the brake booster has been re-located under the floorboard, and the battery has been moved to the trunk, which helps clean up the engine bay a bit.

You can see the passenger compartment has been updated with new parts. It features Vintage Air along with a Dakota Digital dash and Speartech wiring harness. As mentioned before, the battery has been relocated to the trunk where the tuck-n-roll theme of the passenger compartment continues throughout. The transmission is a 4L80e which features cruise control, which is a plus.

The suspension was redone using Ridetech components including a 4-link rear with coilovers. The wheels are 18’s upfront and 20’s in the rear. Brakes are 6-piston calipers with large rotors from Wilwood and Dynapro. The rear end is a 9″ with 3.55 gears, so this car should cruise well. Overall, this looks like a really fun car that won’t need dusted off and cleaned constantly. What do you think of this type of ride?


  1. Skorzeny

    Ok. I’m the first to comment. I like it EXCEPT for those rear skirts. So ugly… I would find the nearest dumpster… Plus, the wheels are too big for the car, 17’s would be fine, and I would go for a 4 or 5 speed manual.

    Like 15
    • Henrie

      I think the clever guys should remove the skirts , using Photoshop . I am also in 2 minds regarding same.

  2. JW454

    I’d have to scrap so much of this one to get to a starting point it would never be worth it.

    Like 11
  3. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    They forgot to paint it………….

    Like 37
    • Big_Fun Member

      “Unfinished Restomod” is more accurate description. Red paint so faded I thought it was a coral color…
      Ad says orginal owner painted back half black after purchase.
      Would you keep that paint scheme or go solid red?

      Like 4
  4. Keith

    Nice car, looks solid but as said lose the skirts, the wheels and add some good paint.

    This patina crap is to overdone.
    Theres a huge difference from nice original paint with a couple small rust issues to original rust with a couple small paint issues.

    I would also get rid of that steering wheel and go with a early vette wheel. Also would lose the billet interior stuff. Never cared for billet when it was all the rage. Still don’t.

    Like 22
    • Elmer

      I guess I’m the loner here on the fender skirts. Always loved them! But I’m old.

      Like 3
  5. Chris in Pineville

    if I had done the “patina” restoration like this, it would have had the original 265 V8, 3-on-the-tree with overdrive + original rims with correct size radials.
    but hey, that’s just me…….

    Like 13
  6. grant

    Non original motor, tired bodywork, ECT. Not to pick nits, but a “restoration” is the return of something to as-new condition. This car hasn’t been restored, it’s a rat rod.

    Like 16
  7. Ed Gross

    Patina just means I am too cheap to do the bodywork and paint.

    Like 8
    • Burger

      This world needs another restored 55 Bel Air like it needs another plague. The bastardization of the drivetrain and interior sucks and reflects the “Corvette” mentality that is too prevalent in the hobby. Sad, … how awesome it would be to see a car like this, more-or-less in a weathered-out, but as-built condition. They are only original once.

      Like 1

    I am on the fence. I liked it when I saw the first pic. The more I see the more I couldn’t see me enjoying it. Wheel and brake upgrades I am good with. I would rather see an old OEM engine V8 Gently weathered interior. A 58/59 Impala steering wheel. Most likely would like the car better the way it was. Not so much now. Don’t like the wheel choice or the red lines. The skirts need to go in the trunk. The newer LS doesn’t impress me under this hood. Where is the safety harness? Too overbuilt too fast for a brick with no solid roof.

    A frame off with a new power plant with all the electronics that you can shake a stick at. Too over restored in one part. Not restored enough in another. Something you could sit a beer on for sure. Forbid leaving it outside overnight. Don’t want to over patina.

    Someone in their 70’s on a whim will spend the money and drive it a few times and it will sit in a warehouse. Once you show it a few times. Then what?

    Like 7
  9. Paul

    I would drive the wheels off it! Half of the fun of owning a classic car is working on them and improving them…my 67 mustang is always broken or needing something.

    I know my mustang was not a quality built car when it was new, they where thrown together with cheap parts from the factory however I always have tried to keep it as much original as possible, but my mustang is so easy to work on or change any part..all you need is a craftsman standard socket set to do anything on it!

    however something like this would be fun to drive not worried about paint and have the reliability of a modern drive train.

    Like 2
  10. Comet

    Nice bones. But…am I the only guy hoping to get past this “patina” thing? It’s as realistic as the vinyl siding on my house masquerading as wood.

    Like 12
  11. Upchucked

    Ugh! Nothing to like here… bad choice of wheels and tires, what about the Cor/Truck owner who is looking for his LQ9? Why bother to put skirts on such an ugly car. Is he trying to sucker some poor VW owner into a street race?

    No, not for me. I wouldn’t bid if it was $100 with no reserve. Did I mention my first impression …. Ugh!

    Like 3
    • AMCFAN

      For the money this is approaching you are at just about used Hell Cat money. Any number of used Corvettes. A future no BS collectible car right now.

      For a little more $$ a new rear engined Corvette or any number of used technically advanced performance vehicles.

      An old looking car with some new parts or a newer car with some warranty left. The caveat is the factory built these. Not a guy in a garage.

      To each their own. $100,000 cash stacked on a table looks different then a bank check.

      Like 2
  12. Tort Member

    If they are asking that much, paint it! I would rather think it has unfinished body and paint work than patina.

    Like 2
  13. jimmy the orphan

    JUNK. Later…………………JIMMY

  14. James Turner

    It always makes me laugh when I read barn finds commentary about certain options a lot of of the 40,s, 50,s and 60,s cars had.At least I can assume the mentality and young ages of the youngsters that were not even alive during those years. Fender skirts, roof mounted sun visors, Dual rear aerials, Curb feelers, Mud flaps and many other options were the norm. In the late 50,s and early 60,s in our old cars we thought it was great to have your car painted with black primer paint and set the look off with bright red painted wheel rims, No hub caps and a mounted rear aerial with porta whitewall tires and mud flaps, Curb feelers, And lets not forget the 8 ball shift knob and rear view mirror hanging dice or a shrunken head, LOL So do not knock it if you never lived through it. Just saying.

    Like 2
  15. r s

    Mass potential!

  16. Miguel

    Montana, when you say in the write up that this car has had a frame off restoration, you meant a different car, right?

    The word restoration has a specific meaning and that meaning does not apply to the car in the pictures.

    Like 1
  17. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    Sold for $60,100 with 56 bids!

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