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Black And White Shoebox: 1955 Chevy Bel Air


Hot off the presses here in the Barn Finds “What’s It Worth?” department, is this solid-looking shoe box Chevy. It can be found for sale here on craigslist in Grand Island, Nebraska. The asking is $7,500. The body looks straight, decent and complete, but as this first photo reveals, there doesn’t appear to be a drivetrain included, nor is one mentioned in the ad. What apparently is included but not shown however, is a four-door parts car, which is also a ’55. Whether that one has a drivetrain is also not mentioned, but the condition of the body is the real issue here anyway. The prospective ’55 Chevy of your dreams may very well have your own dream drivetrain in it as well, which you may already own, or would certainly source elsewhere anyway. So a tired six cylinder engine is not included with this one.


The car looks good, but for the price, I’d like to see pictures of the floors, rockers and maybe some close-ups of the panels and inside the trunk, as would most prospective buyers who are unable to view the car in person before driving out to see it. If the body is as straight and relatively solid as it looks, it may be a great deal for the price, as it might not need expensive replacement panels, and even more expensive labor to replace them, if you’re not doing the work yourself.


An additional big advantage, is that almost all of the exterior trim appears to be present. Other sellers of tri-fives sometimes gloss over the fact that their cars are missing copious amounts of trim and other parts, and some seem to imply that replacing it is no big deal because “everything’s available.”  These are probably the people who haven’t bought much of it!


The lone interior shot shows a dash panel and controls in good condition. More shots of the interior would also be nice, of course, but this single photo is probably enough to do what was intended, which is entice a local buyer to at least come out and take a look.


Tri-fives listed for sale are always interesting, as there are so many lookers who seem to be stuck in the 1980s, and think a running two-door sedan with a decent body can still be easily found for $2,500 or so. After all, it’s not a hardtop, right? While rare opportunities and deals occasionally happen, the running, $2,500 tri-five two-door is a thing of the past. Even the four doors bring a lot more these days. So about this one we ask you:  What’s it worth?


  1. Avatar photo Frankie Paige

    I imagine the seller has gotten about a hundred emails asking questions about the engine and transmission, whether it was in the car or not, does it run? Etc….
    For the asking price it looks from the pics to be a pretty good deal.

    Like 1
  2. Avatar photo 64 bonneville

    without an engine and transmission between $36-4200.00 Although it appears to be somewhat complete, the black primer can hide a lot of sins (extensive metal work). The fact that it appears not to have an engine or transmission, I would be inclined to do a late model 350 with a stick floor shift, but otherwise leave vehicle stock looking, down to 2 1/4″ whitewalls, and maybe baby moon hub caps. the car has a very strong appeal to me, if it was valued accordingly.

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Scotty G

    Great car, my favorite of the tri-five models: the 1955. This is yet another fun, winter project for someone with much more technical and restoration experience than I do.

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Gary Oliver

    Mine is complete and running as new. I figure it is worth around 15-20 thousand. 6cyl powerglide

    Like 4
  5. Avatar photo Jason Houston

    I had a ’55 210 4-door with 265 and 3-speed standard… a great running car. Would be a great donor car for this unit, which appears to have a standard, but the shift lever appears missing.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo randy

    This car has hit my “like” button as well. Much more so than the ’57’s. It will be interesting to see how high it goes.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Mark S

    I always liked the dash in these just very stylish, the mat black would have to go in favor of cheer red though. For me I’d be in favor of a 4 speed with a 60’s or 70’s 250 cid. I line 6 and a 3.75 rear axle. I too like the 55’s the most, also the one thing I can say about a post cars is they are a lot easier to keep the water out. I have a hard top dodge and have put in plenty of fiddle time to get the window alignment right so they will seal out the water, and I’m still not done. Nice find

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Mr. Bond

    Looks like a 265 in the parts car. You could build a nice 55 2 door, and sell the 4 door. Bet a capable guy could turn a buck on this package.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo FitzrodSS

    BBC and a 5sp. Go baby Go…

    Like 0

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