Estate Sale Find: 1956 Chevrolet 210 Sport Coupe

For some people, taking on a restoration project is not a viable proposition. That is where cars like this 1956 Chevrolet 210 Sport Coupe fit so nicely into the equation. Until recently, this classic had belonged to the one family since new, and as you will see from the photos, it is a car that is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately. For some people that is an opportunity that is just too good to pass up, and it would help to explain why bidding has been pretty solid up to this point. The 210 is located in Brighton, Colorado, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $20,100, and the reserve has been met.

For the 1956 model year, Chevrolet offered a total of fourteen different two-tone paint combinations on the 210. This car is finished in Laurel Green and Crocus Yellow, and it does look very nice. The owner says that the vehicle did receive a repaint before he purchased it, but it isn’t clear when this occurred. This is because whilst the 210 had spent its life with the one family since new, the owner purchased it from an estate sale from that family. It sounds like some of the car’s history might have been lost along the way, including when the repaint was performed. The panels appear to be nice and straight, while the fender skirts add a further touch of class to what is already a very attractive car. Rust? There’s nothing to worry about on that front. The panels look really clean, and while the underside of the Chevy sports the sort of dusting of surface corrosion that you might expect on a vehicle of this age, there is no actual rust to be found anywhere down there. The trim, chrome, and glass all look good, giving the impression that this is a car that needs little more than a new owner to drive and appreciate this great classic.

For me, the interior of the 210 poses one of those interesting conundrums. To start with, it needs nothing. The upholstery and headliner all look good, while the dash is free from any obvious flaws. The original radio is still in the dash, and there are no signs of any aftermarket gauges or a stereo. However, on the question of originality, we do strike a stumbling block. The seats have recently been treated to new covers, and I have to say that they do look extremely nice. However, the material and the pattern bare no resemblance to the original upholstery, which is what we find on the door trims. I don’t find this mismatch to be a huge issue, although I will say that I would have preferred if everything matched. What about you? If you were seriously considering buying the 210, would you leave it exactly as it stands, or would you change either the covers or the door trims so that everything matched? To me, there really is no right or wrong answer. It is simply going to come down to a matter of personal preference. Before we do get too excited about the preservation of the Chevy’s originality, we probably should take a look under the hood.

Lifting the hood reveals the single biggest change to the 210, but even then, it isn’t particularly dramatic. It isn’t clear just which engine filled the engine bay when the car was new, but whatever it was is said to have disappeared many years ago. What we find now is a 283ci V8, which is backed by a 2-speed Powerglide transmission. There are no indications as to whether the engine is stock, or whether it has received any performance updates at any point in the past. What we do know is that the Chevy has recently been treated to a fresh battery and a new set of tires. Most importantly, the owner says that the 210 runs and drives perfectly. What more could you want?

This Chevrolet 210 Sport Coupe does tick a lot of the right boxes and is a car that would seem to be ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately. Having said that, I have seen plenty of cars like this where the new owner has made changes in a bid to place their own mark upon it. That is certainly a possibility here, and I wouldn’t rule it out for one moment. However, for me, the whole idea of grabbing the keys and hitting the open road would be way too tempting to ignore. Don’t you think?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Favorite Tri-5. Not sure why, I suppose, a bit fancier than the ’55, but not the glitz of a ’57, which I never cared for. It’s so refreshing to see the type of car so many Americans bought and drove, not some fire-breathing monster. I hope it stays as is, and before you get all bent out of shape on the fender skirts, I happen to like them. It was the style at the time. What a great find.

    Like 24
    • ken tilly UK Member

      The fender skirts just MAKE this car, especially as the paint appears to flow around the rear wheel. Love it.

      Like 9
    • Rich

      I am an original freak & I would put in a New Original type interior & find a ’56 265 & what ever else is needed. Since the car was not drastically modified, that doesn’t seem like a Long Time project! Nice car & by the way, if my #’s are correct, only about 18,000 210, 2 Dr Hdtps were produced! I own a stock ’56 B.A. 2 dr. hdtp. Harbor Blue & Nassau Blue! Great Find here!!!

      Like 3
  2. sir_mike

    Beautiful…don’t change a thing.

    Like 9
  3. Little_Cars

    One of the best color combinations for 1956. I’ve seen a Nomad done this way and it really pops. Probably not for everyone. There is a 56 four door hardtop near my workplace that has been sitting partially exposed for at least two decades in this shade, along with a 69 Falcon with a vinyl roof — slowly becoming one with the earth below.

    Like 5
    • jerry hw brentnell

      that 56 4 door hardtop wouldn’t happen to be a 210 instead of a belair would it? if it is ,its a fairly rare car gm didn’t build a lot of them same with the 55 chev! 210s that is!

      Like 2
      • Little_Cars

        Pretty certain it is a Bel Aire. The property owner seems like the kind of guy who might not wait for you to approach the car before targeting you with his gun full of bird shot.

        Like 3
  4. rocketbrian

    Nice example, a mid series model, which must be fairly rare as a hardtop. I would remove the skirts, not my taste, and install wide whitewalls and also install the correct upholstery, which is readily available. It would be nice to see a tri-five remain stock, not many like this left.

    Like 1
    • Thom Higdon

      That would be my plan as well. The Tri Fives looked there best with wide white wall tires.

  5. Joe Haska

    I agree with most of the comments , however the skirts would be 86ed in record time. The interior is not terrible, but the neastest things about these 210’s is the Del Ray interior. The color is also a consideration, I have seen this combo where it is absolutley awsome and then you see it and it is just creepy. What I like about this is you can drive& enjoy it and work on while your having fun. If timing was right, I would be all over this car.

    Like 2
  6. Car Guy Beancounter

    Way back in late 1955, my father purchased one of the first ’56 models to arrive in the small village of Hesperia, Michigan. Surprisingly, it was a 210 four door hardtop. A rare car indeed. Only options: WSW tires, an AM radio, 4 BBL carb, and two-tone paint (dark green lower and top, white middle). No power steering, no power brakes!
    Unfortunately, I cannot remember the V8 engine displacement. The engine option was termed “Power Pak”. I think?

    Like 2
    • Rich

      That was a 265 Car Guy! Basically the same as a 283, with a slightly smaller bore! Even early ’57’s also had a 265.

      Like 2
  7. Stevieg

    I too prefer the ’56 over ’55 & ’57. The other two years are just too “comm9n” for me.
    Not a fan of the color scheme, but I could live with it, as well as the non-original interior. It looks like it is begging to be driven. That’s what I would love to do with it.

    Like 5
  8. Tman

    I was 4 years old when dad bought a 4 door Bel Air. 265 powerglide. Same color. He missed his 55 2 door Bel Air that was wrecked. It had the power pack and 3 spd overdrive and the power output was very noticeable. This car featured is perfect even with the 283. I remember standing on the backseat in the 55 looking over his shoulder or between mom n dad until he slammed on the brakes, flying face first into the metal dash breaking my nose. Never did that again. My baby sister safely inside a basinette on the floor.

    Like 3
  9. LarryS Member

    In ’56, Chevys with V8’s had a “V” under the Chevrolet emblem on the hood and trunk lid. Unless the hood and trunk emblems were changed a some point this one probably came with the 265 V8.

    Like 2
  10. Gary D. Oliver

    I would get rid of the fender skirts. Looks like a car from the deep South back in the 50s. I would drop the front end a bit.

    Like 2
    • Russell Ashley

      Gary, I’m curious: Do you mean that the skirts make it look like a car from the South in the fifties? I never thought of skirts as a southern thing. Just wondering.

      • Gary D. Oliver

        In the mid fifties the boys from the South used to move up to Michigan to work in the factories. At that time they were lowering their cars in the back and adding fender skirts. Some of them even put mud flaps on their cars. This car lookis like one.

  11. Ken Cwrney

    Beancounter, it sounds like your Dad’s car
    was powered by either a 265 or a 283.
    These were the choices you had when
    ordering a V-8 engine for your Chevy in ’56 and ’57. The term Power Pak refers to
    an option for either of these engines. It
    consisted of a 4 bbl carb and dual exhaust. Sounds to me like your Dad
    wanted a bit of spice in his Chevy for
    his day to day driving duties. And if
    your Chevy didn’t have it, you could add it
    yourself over the weekend or your days off. This is one of these cars I’ve always
    wanted to own but never did. Now,
    they’re priced out reach of the average
    hobbyist with examples running as much
    as $50-60K. Way too much for this old man nowadays.

    Like 2
    • Car Guy Beancounter

      Rather interesting that the old man didn’t order the car. It was in early dealer stock A 1956 model purchased in late 1955. Rather if the dealer ordered it that way or it was an early car spec’ed by the factory I’ll never know. Sometimes the first cars the dealer gets of a new model were spec’ed by the factory to suit their material stocks.

      Like 2
    • PatrickM

      If it was powered by a 283, it was a swap job. 283 introduced in early ’57 model year. 265 available for a while, too.

  12. LarryS Member

    As far as I know, only the 265 in ’56. 283 was introduced in ’57.

    Like 2
  13. MorganW Morgan Winter Member

    Great car. I’d lose the skirts real quick, and maybe drop a 327 in. Wonder why the pics look like they were taken in ’63 with an Instamatic?

  14. charlie Member

    The problem with the skirts is that the fender flares out. If the fender were flat at the opening, like the Jag XK 120, or the shoebox Fords, then they “fit”. The chrome applied at the bottom of the rear window, on the sides, may be a Bel Aire only feature, applied by the owner, likewise the big bumper guards are an option. I had a ’56 210 off and on for 14 years, it was a great car, reliable, fast enough with the 6 and Powerglide, sat 6 in relative comfort. Handled well for l956, except in crosswinds, where it felt like the suspension was very loose and about to fall apart. Was terrified once, crossing the bridge over the Hudson River at Tarrytown.

    Like 2
  15. stillrunners Stillrunners Member

    Not buying the one owner estate find.

    • Rich

      I’m not buying it either Stillrunners! I’ve heard too many stories about original owner cars for sale & most have turned out to be a farce! Just as the Original ’61 Impala Super Sport! My wife is the original owner of a ’61 Impala. I took it to a car show in Portland, Ore. many years ago & low & behold, there was a guy there who had 3 – ’61 Imp. Super Sports which he said they are all Original SS’s! After talking with him for a few minutes, he struck me as a Big BS’er! At that show is when I found out that all the SS parts for the ’61 SS were reproduced & Any ’61 impala could be made into a SS!!!! After talking with Danny Howell, who knows his Late Greats very well, he informed me & a few others that NONE of this guy’s ’61’s were ORIGINAL Super Sports!!!! Of course, being SS’s, his car got more attention than my wife’s White w/red trim & interior plain Impala 2 Dr. Hdtp!

      Like 2
  16. NOMADER

    Ken C = wrong; Larry S= right.

    Like 1
  17. TimM

    Really nice looking car!! Wouldn’t be my first choice of color combination but overall looks to be a really solid car!!

    Like 1
  18. Dennis6605

    I would ditch fender skirts [paint on pass. side doesn’t match] up date door panels to match seats, drop front, add ralley wheels, clean up engine compartment and adda lot of mileage.

    • Rich

      I would restore it back to its Original state as Chrevrolet produced it, & adding wide white wall tires!

      Like 2
  19. ted kovalan

    my father had 56 2 door hard top black & white. boy was that a sharp car .it had the 265 with a 4-barrel carb. and 3 speed on the tree. he wreck it racing a 1959 pontiac bonneville .he told me later in life the needle was peg at 120.than a girl pull out in front them .the rest is history. but in did tell he was right on the rear bumper of that pontiac.

  20. Jay E.

    Still at $23,300.00, which is a SCREAMING bargain. This is 4 door price for a coupe. I expect a lot more bidding as the end comes, anything under 30 is really well bought. Really nice car, but the color is not to my taste. I prefer the red/white and turquoise/white combinations, especially on the 57’s. But this one will not be duplicated dozens of times at a drive in.

    Like 1
    • Rich

      Jay, your taste in colors is the same as mine. My ’56 B.A. 2 dr. hdtp is two-tone Blue, however when I was searching for a car back when I bought it in 1973, I was searching for either turquoise/white Or Red/white combo, Couldn’t find a stock one so settled for the 2 blues! About 20 years ago, I bought an original ’56 4 dr. sedan, the same colors as this 210, & when I got home, the 1st thing my 20 year old daughter said was: Dad, Where did you get the PUKEY looking car? It looks like Baby’s You Know What, but not in those words!!!!! I agree, this one will probably bring about 30 G’s

      Like 1
  21. LarryS Member

    Cars in the ’50’s had such beautiful colors and color combinations. For a ’56 Chevy, Adobe Beige/Sierra Gold and Dune Beige/Matador Red look incredible. Anything with Twilight Turquoise or Nassau Blue are right near the top also. There are just so many great colors it’s really hard to choose!

    Like 1
  22. Rich

    My ’56 is Harbor Blue/Nassau Blue! WAS gonna change it, but was advised to keep it orig. Right after I bought it. Sure glad that I Did Now!!!! Anyone know When the bidding on this 210 is gonna close?

    Like 1
    • ken tilly UK Member

      2.20 a.m. Sunday.

  23. Rich

    Thanks Ken! Don’t think I’ll be UP to see it! But I’ll keep tabs ’til about 11 or so!d Oh, & I would Definitely DUMP the fender skirts!!!

  24. Rich

    Hey Gary D, I grew up in the 50’s in So. Calif. & they did the Same thing Down there!!!! It was just a Fad at that time to lower cars in the back & add skirts! Also a lot of guys added Stacks! In the Midwest & east coast they called them Laker pipes which ran just below the rocker panels to the front part of the rear wheel well !!!

  25. David Conwill

    This is begging to be an early- to mid-’60s style mild hot rod. Especially with those black tuck-and-roll seats.

    Since that’s a replacement engine, we can hop it up with no regrets–I’d advocate triple two-barrels or dual-quads (but use the small WCFB’s like a ’50s Corvette, not the enormous AFB’s used with modern SBC 2×4 intakes). It would be tempting to go to a four-speed and a Duntov solid-lifter cam, but it would be OK to keep the Powerglide and a milder cam grind too.

    Stash the fender skirts and the stock wheels in the garage attic and bolt on a set of chrome steel wheels in back, Radir five-spokes up front, and a slight rubber rake with big-and-little blackwall bias plies.

    One thing I wouldn’t change is the paint. I love Crocus Yellow and Laurel Green.

  26. Rich

    Boy David, you & I have Total Opposite tastes. I would restore that nice, Rare 210 Hdtp back to 100% original & Dump the skirts & add 2 1/2″ Wide White Wall tires! And Factory Power Steering & Factory Power Brakes! A 56 265 V8 with Power Pack & dual exhaust! :-)

  27. charlie Member

    I drove my ’56 off and on for 14 years, without any real effort, without power steering or brakes, and I am just an average guy. I admit, my mother did have to expend a lot of effort to park it, and ended up with a Corvair. I only experienced brake fade once, and power brakes would have done little to compensate, long downhill, full car, 6 people, luggage on top and in trunk, had I known how long the hill was, I would have downshifted the PowerGlide earlier, was about to pull on the parking brake, fortunately, I reached the bottom OK. Unlike my ’68 Chevelle with drum brakes which would fade every time if you were going over 60 before a stop. Discs were standard on the front after ’68 if I remember right. So if you are going to beef up the engine, beef up the brakes!

  28. PatrickM

    This car is not, as stated in the article a few times, a coupe. It is, in fact a hardtop. If it was a coupe, there would be a center post. But, since there is no center post, it has to be a hardtop. roll all the windows down and you hand passes through fro front to rear and back with no obstruction….Hardtop.

    • David Conwill

      The Chevrolet hardtops in this era were called Sport Coupe (two doors) and Sport Sedan (four). Blame GM marketing for appropriating the old term for the new body, I guess!

      Like 1
      • LarryS Member

        GM at that time was anything but consistent in their naming of body styles. Buick hardtops were called Riviera. I had a 2 door ’55 Buick Century with no B pillar that Buick named the Buick Century Riviera. Oldsmobile called theirs Holiday and I’m pretty sure Pontiac was the Catalina.

    • Rich

      You are partially correct Patrick, however, If it has a Center Post, it is Not a Coupe, it would be a SEDAN!!! There were 2 Dr. & 4 Dr. Sedans! Chevrolet Did call the 2 Dr. Hardtop a SPORT Coupe, but to me, they are still 2 Dr. Hardtops!!!!!

  29. Jay E.

    Sold for $21,601.00. Wow, either the Corona effect is worse than we thought or the color is just too off putting or it needed to be a Bel Air. Either way, this was a steal.

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