Estate Sale: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

Chevrolet redesigned its cars in 1955 and brought back the V8 engine. The styling and the newly found power boost would enable the GM division to sell more than 4.5 million cars over the next three years. The Bel Air 2-door sedan would be a big seller, almost as popular as the Sport Coupe. This example belonged to the seller’s father-in-law, it may have been sitting for a time, and has some wiring issues to sort out. Located in Mid Canyon, Montana, this “Tri-Five” is offered here on craigslist for $20,000. Barn Finder T.J. comes through with another vintage tip!

The big news for 1955 is the return of the V8 engine in a Chevy, the first in more than three decades. Its displacement was 265 cubic inches and it would be joined by a 283 version in 1957. The seller’s Bel Air has an eight-cylinder under the hood, but we don’t know if it joined the car after ‘55. We’re told the auto, which looks to have been stored in a barn of sorts, does run but will need some work before it can do a lot more on its own.

I’m not sure if the green paint on this Chevy is the Neptune Green that the company used that year. Or if it’s just a similar shade. It is especially worn on the hood compared to other parts of the vehicle that we can see. The body may be okay although there is a crinkle in the driver’s side rear quarter panel and tail section. The interior looks to have been mildly customized in terms of the upholstery which has been treated to some pleating. The odometer reading is 88,000, but there is no indication if that’s authentic.

The car sports a set of Rally wheels like the kind I had on my 1970 Nova. While not period-correct, they do look good on this mid-1950s Chevrolet. By his admission, the seller is not an “old car guy” so if you have any questions, you’ll need to consider that. Trades will not be considered as the cash proceeds from the sale of this Chevy need to go to the family estate. Other than getting it running right, how far would you go in working on this Bel Air?

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    First order of business is to find the original steering wheel and ditch that JC Whitney thing.

    Like 14
    • TortMember

      The first order of business would be to install a dual master cylinder. Very common issue with a car that has been sitting a long time and just sitting waiting out the winter in a garage can also.

      Like 3
      • Glenn SchwassMember

        Agreed. If it’s too “perfect” then you’re afraid to drive it.

        Like 0
    • Marty Ritchie

      The way I look at it..throw brakes, a few nos stuff, wipe her down and drive her.
      Life’s too short to spend time restoring to glory days perfect, OG’s appreciate the original look with min $$$$ spent.
      You can even park it in a space and not worry about the paint🤔.
      Time to ride with your arm out the window at 50 mph….ahhh.

      Like 15
    • Jack Quantrill

      I agree! Those stock tri-five steering wheels were great looking.

      Like 1
    • SS72

      Since the numbers in the odometer don’t line up, I was told by a mechanic. That’s an indication that the odometer was rolled back. Is that a possibility and would that effect the price in this type of vehicle?

      Like 3
      • Donnie L Sears

        That usually happens when they roll over. Like over the 100k.

        Like 0
    • Ed

      First order of business is to do what it takes to safely move under it’s own power, then you can work on upgrades to mechanicals and cosmetics.

      Like 3
  2. CadmanlsMember

    Really Rex? Car has later small block, headers just quick look and the steering wheel is a problem.I like the wheel and clean it up, upgrade the brakes and give the chassis and steering a once over and drive it.

    Like 13
  3. Bill W.

    Yup, not sure about the engine. The manifold and valve covers, at least are a later model. Looks like it “could be” original steering column and I think I see a third pedal with the floor shifter. Over all, I think it appears to be a decent value for the money, but I don’t know what it looks like undernieth.

    Like 3
  4. Frank Sumatra

    Looks like a good starting point. Hope it goes to a good home.

    Like 6
  5. Big C

    There’s more than a crinkle on the drinkers side quarter panel. It looks crispy.

    Like 3
    • John MaxsonMember

      It is damn near impossible to find a dual master cylinder for a tri-five.

      Like 0
      • George

        Any late 60s Chevy dual master cylinder bolts right in place. Just a few changes underwood to the lines and you’re done. Easy conversion.

        Like 3
  6. CraigR

    Alternator on a 55?

    Like 3
    • Rw

      It’s called upgrade craigr, also later model engine w/pcv.

      Like 3
      • Viper

        20 grand?…i ll pass….
        5 grand….mayb

        Like 1
  7. Rick R

    A lot of bondo in that rear quarter, more places to check for bondo under the tail lights just above the bumper, front fenders above the head lights ,bottom of the the front fenders and doors and who knows how much rust , trunk, floor pans and frame

    Like 8
  8. Rw

    It’s called upgrade craigr, also later model engine w/pcv.

    Like 1
  9. Joe Haska

    I am not excited at 20 K. I agree the color is off, not Neptune Green. Also the trim and badges indicate it was born as a 6 cylinder. From the pictures it’s not a 1955- 265, but it could be a 56-265 or 283 -57 and later. No way to tell from the photos. This car concerns me, the overall condition makes me think there could be some unseen problems.

    Like 4
    • al

      hard to see if has the V8 badges not good pic of rear end remember in 1955 did not use a v under Chevy sign to show v8 it was a little v under the tail light the v on trunk and hood under Chevy sign didn’t start till 1956

      Like 2
    • Ed

      Asking price is just that. Reality will prevail most times. Those that are saying $3 – 5k for a ’55 2 door, post or not, are also not living in today’s times. It is tough to find a shell in that range, let alone a fairly complete moving one.

      Like 4
      • Robert

        Perhaps you’ve never heard that a fool and his money soon part company. Take that body off the frame and you have a rusted frame and a heap of bondo for a body. Get real on your idea of modern day pricing.

        Like 1
  10. HoA Howard AMember

    I had one of my sappy comments, that didn’t take, but here’s how I see this car. The year was 1962, gramps heard about the all new ’63s, and junior, the sellers father-in-law, could use a car to get to school and the gas station afterwards. Little by little, week by week, the kid did what most did, floor shift, gauges, alternator, seats, wheels, all gotten for a favor, and above all, with gramps approval. The summer of 1965 wiped out many a young mans dream that had cars like this. The FIL made it back, or the seller wouldn’t be writing this. WW2 vets gone, Korea, all but gone, it slaps you around some when your Vietnam era buddies are fading away. This sappy message is dedicated to those that didn’t want to go, but did. Amen.

    Like 27
    • TheOldRanger

      There are times in your life where you go when you don’t want to go to places you’d never heard of and hope you got back in one piece. Some of us were luckier than others.

      Like 15
  11. Edward Rich

    Strange intake . Heater hose location and upper radiator hose. Things that make ya say huh?

    Like 1
  12. Hammer

    Strange intake . Heater hose location and upper radiator hose. Things that make ya say huh?

    Like 1
    • Norman K Wrensch

      the hoses are fine, but I do believe it is a later engine, the car looks like it may have came with a six, I just hate how so many destroy the radiator support when they changed engines, it doesn’t take much to remove the radiator support instead of cutting it up

      Like 3
  13. Mark

    This thing is dipped in putty.

    Like 2
  14. ZZ

    I’m from Montana, never heard of Mid Canyon Montana, wonder where it’s really from ???

    Like 0
    • TheOldRanger

      I think they meant Mid Canon …..

      Like 1
    • Rob HunterMember

      Mid Canyon is just a local name for the middle of the Missouri river canyon between Helena and Great Falls.

      Like 1
    • robert semrad

      He may have a typo and meant Mid-Canon, Montana….

      Like 1
  15. Rickyrick

    Howard & Ranger……..I agree my brothers. Amen

    Like 6
  16. Ashtray

    It’s what I always called ” a bondo buggy”.
    I would much rather have one that someone hasn’t tried to hide all the imperfections/rust with bonds.
    I believe it would cost far more to restore this back to somewhat original, than it would be worth?
    Plus, 2 to 3 years later? Then, you still have a two door post.
    Just my opinion!

    Like 2
  17. Rickyrick

    Howard & Ranger……I agree my brothers. Amen

    Like 6
  18. Joe Haska

    Howard, Ranger and Rickyrick. Question? How many Vietnam Vets does it take to change a lite bulb? Answer You don’t know you weren’t there! I suspect you guys knew that,

    Like 1
  19. Rich GraceyMember

    First thing I noticed under the hood was an alternator instead of a generator.

    Like 0
    • Wayne from Oz

      No fooling you is there?

      Like 0
  20. Robert Levins

    “ Time to ride with your arm out the window and drive 50 mph. Ahhh…..” I think we all need to enjoy life a little bit better and cruising around in this 1955 Chevy coupe sounds great to me. In addition to “ slowing down little “, I also think that the economy is doing just that. Along with prices of a lot of classic cars. Including this one. This 1955 Chevy Bel Air could be just the “ right , mild project “, for the right price. Which in my opinion would be around $5,000 max. That would be the initial “ buy price “, and when you’re all finished, you probably won’t need to spend more than $15,000 tops, out the door, leaving a nice cars and coffee talking piece. Hey , have a cup of coffee, visit with people, share some ideas and – “ Drive with your arm out the window “ and have some fun. Loved the article, great luck to everyone.

    Like 5
  21. Robert Levins

    P.S. – Just don’t spend a fortune.

    Like 2
  22. JONATHAN GIBSON

    A 1955 intake would have the oil fill tube on the front. Plus, I’d like to see if he used the original motor mounts on the front.

    Like 1
  23. Phipps

    Best of the Tri-Fives! to me. Fins are kinda silly on these. although I like them on a ’59 Bonneville

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds