One Family Since ’56! 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

As family heirlooms go, a Tri-Five Chevy ranks pretty highly, especially among car enthusiasts. Beneath a tarp and behind a bush somewhere near Jenkintown, Pennsylvania hides a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air two-door hardtop that spent its entire life with one family, and now seeks a new home and a new family. The listing here on eBay describes a red and white coupe that served as duty as family car, drag-racer, and undoubtedly enjoyed a ton of cruising as well. The lack of current pictures and a well-meaning but somewhat confusing description may have contributed to the Bel Air attracting a single $25,000 bid that’s fallen short of the seller’s Reserve and further short of the $32,500 Buy It Now price.

None of the pictures are date-coded or attributed to a particular era. Let’s assume from the general quality and artifacts in the pictures that only the first one is current, and this one was taken some time ago. Moving, on, though… that’s one sweet Chevy, and it could certainly be considered an “artist’s rendering” or suggestion of what it might look like after some work. Some pictures likely date from a frame-off partial restoration and paint job in 1990.

Better-than-new upholstery rocks the red and white color scheme as well. Updated seat belts give a nod to the family’s modern desire not to send its members through the windshield and onto the hood. If you’re into originality, the car comes with many original parts and even a (but apparently not the original) 1956 Chevy 283 cid V8 and PowerGlide two-speed automatic.

Now we’re getting somewhere! Though not a current picture, this is apparently the current engine setup, a 1970 four-bolt main 400 small-block with Paxton Supercharger. Before the blower, the setup ran 12.65 at 108 MPH. Assuming the car weighs about the original 3177 lbs that equates to about 312 wheel HP. If the blower is set around half an atmosphere you might see 450 HP today, purely based on mathematics. In one part of the listing we learn that the car last ran in 2015, and you can hear it run in this 2011 YouTube video. At one time a ’55-’57 Chevy topped many young enthusiasts’ Top Ten Lists. Those days have long gone away, but let’s hope this one-family Chevy goes to a new home where it is driven and cherished for another 50+ years. What was your family’s coolest car back in the day?


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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Oh my gosh, I just cannot understand some of these EBAY sellers?? Cut down the dang tree, clear the brush, take off the tarp, and pull the car out into the daylight, and THEN take some decent pictures so the potential buyer can see what they are spending their $32.5K on! It looks like a very interesting and sweet 56, but we don’t know because there aren’t any current pictures.

    Like 27
    • Mike

      The seller says that he raced it in 1970, so I’m thinking he’s well into his 70’s right now which might explain the no effort (well, he did at least open the garage door) to pull it out for pics. He could have pulled the cover off for some pics of the condition of the paint and a few awkward angle interior shots, but why do that when he can just pull out the photo album. He’s definitely leaving money on the table here.

      Like 2
      • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

        Then they should have hired somebody to do it. They are asking a lot of money for a car that has been sitting since at least 2015, in what appears to be, a dirt floor garage. If the moisture and rodents have gotten to this car, there may not be much left to bring to the table.

        Like 7
  2. Rbig18

    Not sure what the 283 comment is about. A 56 could only have a 265 v8. 283 was introduced for 1957.

    Like 8
    • Derek

      If it’s been racing, then what’s under the bonnet may well not be year-specific…

      Like 3
      • Al

        Wood this meen the knumbers dont match?

        Thnx spullchucker.

      • Vince H

        Ad says it is a 400 small block.

      • Bob C.

        The 400 small block wasn’t meant to be a performance engine, just a workhorse. The 402 which is virtually a 396 is a different story.

  3. Chas H

    None of the photos are current. The linked video is from 10 years ago and the bush growing in front of the car is almost that old. The drag racing photos are ancient.

    Like 4
  4. Steveo

    Gee…a chance to buy a pig in a poke.

    Like 11
  5. Stanley

    That is quite the gamble. Leaves in the garage bush outside. May be all rusted up underneath again from moisture. The interior pics look current with the green tarp pictured over the windows and no signs of mold we will hold out hope. Speaking of the interior i hope the new owner loses the generic seatbelts foe some some nice period correct ones or do as my dad did on our new 67 impala and stuff them under the seat the day he bought it new. Of course mom wanted them out a few days later to show her girlfriend our car had them new fangled safety belts cause it was soooo fast. Good thing too as Mom got a tree with it when it was 3 weeks old and amazingly she had her seat belt fastened.

    Like 5
  6. glen kay

    we could be buying a pile of wood under the tarp what is for sale

    Like 1
  7. Nate

    The interior photos look like they might be more recent, you can see the cover on the car outside of the windows. And there would have been no reason to take those photos (under the cover) unless you were planning to sell.

    But, for the love of everything holy, please somebody get that car out of that garage before it falls down on top of the car!!

  8. John C.

    Isn’t this what they use to call buying a cat in a bag?

  9. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Did anyone read the ad ? Oh well it’s goooooone !

    Like 1
  10. JB

    And that ONE BID for $25,000 is a SHILL BID kids!! Look at the bidders ZERO FEEDBACK! Some of these ebay turds are just so DISHONEST its disgusting!

    Like 5

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