Brown Beauty! 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

This 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop looks like a fun project, but it’s going to take some rust repair. It can be found here on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $12,500. You can see the car looks decent from a distance. All the trim is there and it runs and drives. Being offered by 500 Classic Auto Sales in Knightstown, Indiana, take a look at this car and let us know what you think.

The engine is a 265 cubic inch V8 topped with a Holley 4bbl carburetor. The seller says it runs and drives but the engine is an “old build” and has a bit of light compression on some of the cylinders. The transmission is a Muncie 4-speed connected to the original rear end with 3.55 gears. The aftermarket supports Tri-Five Chevys very well and this one looks like a great candidate for an engine swap! What would you drop in it?

The interior looks okay although I would ditch the household carpet if it was mine. As mentioned before, the engine has some go-fast goodies, so it’s no surprise that there are aftermarket gauges mounted under the dash. The shifter looks right at home contoured to the seat, which could use a little help on the driver’s side.

The rust issues on this car are definitely the biggest draw-back. You can see the chrome is nearly gone off of the rear bumper. There are also several spots of rot with the driver’s side being the worst. It looks like it’s deep into the rocker, door, and floor. As mentioned before, the aftermarket supports these cars really well. You can get pretty much everything shipped right to your door. If this was my build (and I had the funds), I would be tempted to slide a new chassis under it with a modern drive train. What about you?

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  1. jerry z

    I would fix what’s structurally needed, get rid of the 265 and replace it with a 327. Repaint it the same color that is on the car now. Like it better than the original color.

  2. Buck Neccid

    It desperately needs 3 deuces :)

  3. CCFisher

    Looks like “Anniversary Gold” to me, not mere “brown.” Also has the extra bumper trim that was part of the package.

  4. davew833

    The “Rural King” battery is an interesting touch…

    • Classic Steel

      Lol! They are about 45% cheaper to buy with double the warranty of most parts stores 💵👍
      I have one in a car now and was disappointed i bought a battery for more money in another vehicle with little warranty 🥺

  5. alan brase

    The holley spread bore is totally wasted on that tiny motor. 265, 283, 301 can keep up okay when set up correctly.

  6. Troy s

    Keep it old school, no gassers, just a street machine. Torque thrusts, 327, loud pipes….maybe a bigger small block.
    No dice hanging from the mirror or fur on the dash though.

  7. dave

    I agree with the no dice. I have a spare 383 stroker and would pop it in in quick.

  8. socaljoe

    Seems like a fair price but that car is donna need a lot of rust repair. I agree that may be the factory gold color.

  9. Del

    $12,500 BIN ?

    No way.

    This is worn out.

    Maybe 5 grand. If you really want it ?

    • PatrickM

      I agree. $5K tops. There is a lot of work needed here…and one must have DEEP pockets for this project. Keep the 265. Rebuild it. Use a smaller carb. and 4:11 (4:10?)gears. Should scoot really well. As for the ads… no under side pics, only one interior pic. Seller looking to pass it off for a bundle. Negotiate like a screaming eagle!!

  10. Dusty Stalz

    That’s a pretty gold shade of brown lol.

  11. JW454

    You could have bought it for 2/3 the price 2 weeks ago in Dayton Ohio. That’s what this seller did.

    • Del

      No way. Thats still 5000 to much.

      Flipper got flipped

    • Steve R

      Thanks for the link. The car is rough, I think the flipper paid closer to true market price.

      It’s the 4spd that will sell the car.

      Steve R

  12. Jay E. Member

    Sadly I agree with Del. It doesn’t take much to hit 10K with a 2 door tri-five, but the rust on this one is so extensive that I think it is going to be a tough sell. It is just a rusty worn out car at this point.

  13. Frogwarts

    After looking at all the pictures, this guy must really like rust. Didn’t see anything on his lot that wasn’t a home for the tin worms.

  14. Gaspumpchas

    I’m with JerryZ- fix it up and 327 along with that 4 speed. You do have your work cut out for you (pun intended) to bring this back. Seller does have the option to make an offer. Looker over good and best of luck. I like the color with the whitewalls and no hubcaps (hoodlum).

  15. Don H

    Can’t believe wy every one wants to get rid of the 265 it can be built up to have plenty of power ,if that’s what ya need.Its the engine that started the power wars with Ford and dodge .👀💪

  16. Don

    Big block no argument!

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