Original Condition Find: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

A not so common sight, this original condition Chevrolet Bel Air is only on its second owner. Having spent that last 41 years parked, this Chevy has been recently revived into a driver once again. Although this two-door is not in perfect shape, there is still a lot to work with here. With 4 days remaining, bidding has reached $15,100. Check it out here on eBay out of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania.

Claimed to be completely original down to the 265 V8, this Bel Air was converted into a ready to drive machine with the revamping of the fuel system. A new gas tank, sender, lines, and pump were installed to get the engine running again. Also, new tires have been installed as well. I would also guess that the brake system received some attention as well.

Unlike many classic cars, the interior of this Chevy has aged very well over time. The interior is not mint, but it is very close to. The carpet is a little faded and worn, but the dash, steering wheel, and door panels look excellent.

Even the upholstery has held on well with only minor wear. I am curious, as I wonder how well this interior would clean up with gentle cleaning.

Quite sharp from the 20-foot mark, the exterior of this Bel Air while original and fairly straight holds some concerns. There is some minor rust to be found, as well as some rot. Duct tape has been put on the car near each rocker, and above the headlights on the fenders. This duct tape has then been spray painted to disguise the rot, and the tape itself. Granted, this isn’t a terrible machine, but rust is rust, and it needs to be addressed some way. A small part of me feels that this could be a fair-weather driver. Another part of me feels that this would make for a miraculous restoration. With all of the trim, glass, and bodywork straight and fair, this could be the Bel Air project of your dreams. What direction would you take this Bel Air?

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    I agree a good car to keep for weekend fun. I would remove the mud and tape from the section in front of rear wheel and fix that section and leave the faded green patina paint. I myself wonder with no rust on rear sections if it’s not both rust and dents poorly fixed but either way a easy fix .

    I like that the engine staid original.

    I had a 55 no post in HS with a 327 340 hp Vette engine tied to a four speed which ran quarter miles well against others on Friday nights. Those were the fun days meeting after dates where many gathered and raced on quiet long country roads past midnight 😎

    I hope whoever buys it enjoys it the way it is other than needed repairs.

    Like 9
  2. Coventrycat

    Yes, it has new tires apparently- they didn’t bother to take the sticker off the right rear. How long would that have taken?

    Like 2
    • evilface

      It’s bad luck to peel new tire stickers off. They must be run off…..

      Like 12
  3. rpol35

    So rare to find one of these in non-cobbled, original condition.

    Like 7
  4. Will Fox

    Considering how many `55s have already been altered, restored, tubbed, pro-street, etc. by now, it’s almost odd to see a Bel Air THIS original!! I bet I could clean that vinyl & cloth to stand out. To me however, is the temptation to give it a factory two-tone; say, the rear half in the lighter pastel green that went with this color. That, and a set of period-correct whitewalls. This is a nice find!

    Like 10
  5. Jay E.

    It interesting when one is presented in one color and faded, just how pedestrian these cars were in actual life. This is how I recall they looked in my youth. The shiny, two tone hotrod was the exception in the 70’s. How times have changed.

    Like 9
  6. Ken Carney

    I agree with you Will. After the rust is
    repaired, and the dents are removed,
    then I’d cover the bottom half of the car in
    Seafoam Green with a dark Green for the
    roof and rear quarters. One thing bothers
    me though. The side trim looks to be from a 210 rather than a Bel Air. If my
    memory is correct, the rear quarter trim on a Bel Air extends further back down the quarter panel and is capped off by
    a ribbed piece of trim on the bottom of
    the rear spear. The V-8 emblems under
    the tail lights are where they should be,
    only these were anodized gold pieces along with the Bel Air script on the rear quarters. Sorry folks, I think this one
    is a 210 disguised as a Bel Air. I wouldn’t
    turn it down that’s for sure! I’d drive it til
    the tires fell off and then put on a new
    set of wide whites and call it done.

    Like 4
    • MorganW Morgan Winter Member

      Good eye, Ken, but I don’t think those rear side trim pieces were on every ’55 Bel Air… https://55classicchevy.com/1955-chevrolet-bel-air-series

    • Tort Member

      Looks like a BelAir to me. Very rare to to see a BelAir that is not two tone and painted a color common on 150’s. Being one color there was no need to have the paint divider trim on the rear of the BelAir quarter panel trim. The interior was different on BelAir sedans than the 2 door hardtops.

      Like 1
    • Howard Collins

      The gold was a option too. I had a “fancy” 57 with the factory gold emblems

      • JOHN Member

        To my knowledge, the gold trim was only available from the factory with the optional 283 engine in the Bel Air models. It is possible, of course, that a dealer could have installed the gold grille, the V’s, the three trim parts on the front fender and the emblem in the aluminum side trim. Over the years, the gold parts found their way into many cars…

  7. Nomader 55

    Ken, I think you’re confusing this 55 with a 57 which wore gold vee’s and Bel Air script on Bel Airs. Also had gold grille and front fender louvres. 55’s all used chrome items as far my 65 years of dealing with tri five Chevy’s recalls. Two tone 55’s used a ribbed chrome paint divider on the rear quarter. This car really appears to be an honest Bel Aid. Thanks, Dave.

    Like 6
    • Nomader55

      57 Bel airs came with the gold trim, not 55’s. Only gold on a 55 was the crest.

      Like 1
      • Bryan Morten

        nomader55..Dont forget about the 5,000 or so 55 bel airs that were the golden anniversary cars.Paint code 068 I believe. The 50 millionth one being adorned with 24 carat gold parts.

  8. Mark

    What a gem. Fix the rust, match the new paint to the current shade, fix the mechanicals and once road worthy just drive it and enjoy it. Time is passing and cars like this, especially tri-five Chevy’s in original condition to me are more appealing than a fully restored model.

    Like 3
  9. Frank

    I had a 55 in 1967. My first car, bought for $50. 3 of the tree and a straight six under the hood! This color green and the light green that went with the 2 tone combo. Had it 3 weeks, and smashed into a dead 51 Chevy sitting dead in the middle of the road one morning as the sun was coming up!

    Like 1
  10. bobhess bobhess Member

    Ken… Saw a ’55 hardtop with the dark green on the entire bottom and the sea foam on the top. I’m not a green fan but that made a great looking car.

  11. Andrew Franks

    Wonderful car to restore and drive.

    Like 1
  12. JOHN Member

    We had a neighbor growing up that had a 55 2 door in this color, but a 6 with a 3 speed manual. We would get rides to school when the weather was bad, the kids mom could never make a smooth start.They traded that on a brand new 61 Impala convert, blue, blue interior and white top, beautiful car, another 6 cylinder 3speed. She still could not make a smooth start in that one either! I would be happy to have either one today. And Tort is correct, it was 1957 when Chevy used the gold anodizing on various parts.

    Like 1
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Hey John, as a kid, the guy across the street had a car like this too. He was retired and never drove it. We knew he had an old car but weren’t sure what it was. When he passed away, the widow sold the house and a car hauler came and got the car. We were shocked, it looked exactly like this.

  13. moosie moosie

    Nice ’55 worth the price of admission provided no one gets into a bidding war over it. Just a minor point but is this car really green because it looks blue to me, especially the interior, BTW what is the color on the drivers side pillar post, looks grey ro me ? Otherwise I may be color blind.

  14. Gaspumpchas

    Sure is a sweetie, someone will get a neat cruiser here! So refreshing to see one unmolested. Leave it and drive it!! good luck to the new owner!
    Cheers
    GPC

  15. Robert White

    Build a Two Lane Blacktop replica with a 454 & rock crusher Munci four speed, plus a 12 bolt posi. You will need a scatter shield too or you can take a risk with your foot & ankle.

    Bob

    • bone

      NO NO NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Ted

    “Everything works as it should….” Curber.

    I’ll bet my retirement funds that the floorboards on this car wouldn’t support tissue paper, seeing those inner quarters separating from the wheel tubs is a ghastly sight so this is a real buyer beware Chevy. And I ask aloud again why anyone would attempt to sell a car without closeups of rust and/or damage.

    Yes it’s tres cool to see a 55 in this shape, but clean the thing and present it properly so viewers don’t have to get a magnifying glass out to peer at rust and prangs.

    Like 1
  17. Gaspumpchas

    Amen, Ted- Close inspection a must on any purchase. The fact that they tried to duct tape and paint over the rust holes speaks volumes. Looks great in the pics.
    She’s a cutie on the outside, caveat emptor. Good luck to the new owner!
    Cheers
    GPC

  18. grease

    It looks like an intact all original ’55 Belair, 265, 2 Dr with a decent interior that’s totally amazing – rust on the rocker panels and over the headlights, a serious and capable buyer wouldn’t bat an eye at that. The duct tape was a really bad mistake.

  19. TimM

    Great car!! Price isn’t really crazy yet!! I don’t think I would be able to control myself if I were to get it!! I think I would have to stick a big block and a 4 speed in there!!!

    Like 1
  20. TimM

    They are hard to find all original though!!!

    Like 2
    • dale schwartzkopf

      totally agree with you TimM

  21. dale schwartzkopf

    keep it original

    Like 1
  22. Lynelle Nowlin

    God bless the owner.Nice to see one that is in real original condition without all of the over zealous restorations going on out there.I nearly salivate whenever I see one especially in this condition.Mine was that classic White over Blue color scheme with the three on the column.I wish to God I had the money to buy this car.I am 71 now but not a month goes by that I’m not mentioning to someone about the sadness I feel about loosing that car.My dad purchased it for me as my first car from one of my uncles in 1963.I lived in St.Louis,Missouri where you could not park your car on either side of the street on even and odd days of the week.In 1964 my family was having some real financial problems and although I don’t remember why my dad was not in the home for awhile.The clutch went out and as a high school student who had no personal income I couldn’t afford to have it fixed.(thinking about it,might have been less than $50.00 in those days).On a Thursday night I was suppose to have moved the car to the opposite side of the street for the Friday morning sweeping.My poor mom had already helped me push the car from one side of the street to the other four or five times before that fateful night but I just didn’t have the heart to ask her again and at the time she had been ill.Came home from school on that Friday afternoon and discovered that the City had towed it away.I was depressed about it then and I suppose I will be depressed when “HE” finally takes me away.I wish whomever buys this car takes care of it,doesn’t do any crazy additions to it,has lots of fun with the the car and above all to not allow it to be towed away by the City.

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