Dusty Dream Find: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air


After 21 years of storage this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air has escaped its captivity to see the light of day once again. Described as being in original condition, we are quite excited to see this clean example. Needing some tlc, this dream Bel Air is priced at $25,000. Find it here on craigslist out of Sonoma, California.


Under the hood isn’t quite as clean as we had hoped. The firewall has some surface rust and possible pitting. Also the underside of the hood looks to have some minor surface rust as well. The inner fenders look good, and the engine looks good enough. The 265 V8 is listed as a good runner, though we hope proper protocols were used when reviving this Chevy. Power from the 265 is transmitted through a 2 speed Powerglide automatic. There is also a possibility that this is a low mileage Bel Air. The seller cannot confirm the actual mileage of this Bel Air, but the odometer shows 37,000 miles.


The view is nice from the inside of this Bel Air.  The seats look solid, and rip free. The steering wheel is nice as is the dash. A solid detailing would likely bring the interior to top notch condition.


There is something slightly strange about this Bel Air. The interior looks to suffer from some mold and the chrome headliner trim has some pretty bad surface rust. Both indicating a moisture issue. But oddly, the rest of the interior and trim looks very nice. Almost as if the headliner trim parts were second hand parts that needed to be re-plated. Scrutinizing the exterior of this Bel Air reveals a solid, and what may be original exterior. Beneath the dirt and dust is what looks to be a solid, potentially original paint job that would likely buff up very well. The chrome work is clean and looks to be virtually mint. The only blemish we can see on the exterior is that there appears to be a little rust around the driver side taillight. It doesn’t appear to be anything severe, but it is there.


Solid overall, and potentially in original condition, there aren’t too many Bel Airs left in original condition. The color is interesting and this is a 2 door, so there is plenty working for this Bel Air to make it desirable. Who is itching for a ’55 Bel Air?



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  1. Rock On Member

    This one will be sold by weeks end. Price seems reasonable.

  2. S Ryan

    Find another one this original at twice the price. I doubt it.

  3. Woodie Man

    This “Barn Find” thing is getting out of hand! Come on……wash the car, polish it , detail it and THEN ask top dollar. Although I have to admit the spot light seals the deal for me. Early eighties plates are curious. I wonder if it is a California car to begin with or brought in decades ago. I’m all over the turquoise. Mold is weird…maybe the storage wasnt as dry as stated. Beautiful car.

  4. Joe Haska

    Love the car, had the twin to it in high school, and have always wanted another one. I’m not sure about the price, maybe reasonable, just depends on how much needs to be done to make it worth more. I kind of agree what’s the point of leaving it as it was found. At least clean it up, its not going to hurt the value, and you can get a better idea of what you have. You can always cover it back up with dirt!

    • Kman

      By leaving it dirty, it attempts to hide the evidence of the respray. I’d guess it was done in the eighties when it got new plates.

  5. Pete

    I’d go out on a limb here and say that the odometer might very well be correct. The 265 looks unfettered as does the rest of this beautiful car.

  6. Rustytech Member

    I would think the best of both worlds would be to take and post some “as found” pictures, then give it the detail it deserves and post those pictures also. My second car was 55 Belair hardtop and I would love to have another, but the prices are in the stratosphere.

  7. Yellowjax Member

    When you buy it and you can polish it all day.

  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    So it’s had a repaint….and pretty sure the motor has too…..wonder if it was a resto at one time….nice car.

  9. Chuck Foster Chuck Foster

    My junk yard find wasn’t as nice, but still my favorite car, my computer nickname has been 55chevy since the 80s.

  10. moosie Craig

    Back in ’69 when I found myself without a car I lucked into a ’55 BelAir 2Dr. HT, it was equipped with every option available except for A.C. (was it even an option back then ?) Power Pac 265, 3 Spd. with overdrive (that functioned perfectly), gas door guard fingernail guard, tissue dispenser, rear speaker, bumper guards front & rear, the whole kit ‘n kaboodle. Two tone green, green interior. what a nice car, only negatives was that it burned oil like a Detroit diesel and had rusty eyebrows, I paid a whopping $150.00 bucks for it from the owner who was very adamant that it burnt oil and all sales were final. Before I could address the oil burning a close friend spotted it and offered me $1500.00 for it, sold it and he promptly fixed the rusty eyebrows with window screen and concrete , painted it black, dropped in a mild 301″ chevy and drag raced it for a few years. Sometimes I miss that ’55

  11. DRV

    Clean it up and use it. The condensation on the inside of the windows shows a damp interior.

  12. Loco Mikado

    I can’t help but think some of these cars touted as original are actually older restorations from the early to mid 70’s. I know of a couple that were done and in those days with way better starting points(the cars were less than 20 years old). The one I especially remember was a ’55 wagon that looked like it came off the showroom floor. Everything that needed replacement was done with factory NOS parts. Of course then there were others that were original like a ’56 2dr Bel Air top of the line with a 6 and PG. A friend of mine bought it in ’70 with 30,000 miles for $300.00. It also looked like it had come off the showroom floor having been owned by a little old lady(no kidding). The upholstery had clear plastic seat covers and the carpeting had the same clear plastic floor mats. Today it it’s condition i would say $75,000.00. Unfortunately within a year both cars were wrecked and were in wrecking yards.

  13. Bob C.

    Could someone please educate me? I remember reading about these early 265s not having a proper oil filtration system from the factory. Is that blue cannister an add on? I would appreciate any info.

  14. Loco Mikado

    They had a partial flow oil filter that was an option in 55-56. It was the same way with almost all the auto makers in the day. The advent of full flow oil filtration systems brought on longer engine life along with improved oils. Today I have daily driver cars with engines that have lasted 2,3 to 4 times as many miles engines built in 55-56 without having any major engine work. 55-56 a valve job at 30,000-40,000 miles and an engine rebuild at 60,000-80,000 miles was normal. Of course other items on cars had similarity short lifespans in comparison to today.You were lucky to get 10,000 miles out of a set of tires, brakes the same, tuneups every 8-10,000 miles, oil changes 2,000 miles, flush and change your coolant every fall and spring, full chassis lubrication every oil change and so on down the line. As much as I hate to admit it today’s cars are a lot less maintenance intensive.

  15. Bob C.

    Thank you for the info Loco. You are right, we certainly have come a long way from that era. Still, a lot of us love those old cars.

  16. TonyM

    Gm should start making these again. They would make millions selling these for 25k each. Chrysler did it with the Dodge Challenger.3

    Like 1

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