Pair Of ’56s Chevy Bel Airs

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

Reader Gary H recently discovered a pair of Chevy Bel Airs and he knew he had to share them with us! It looks like he found himself two great projects. I will let him tell you more about his find! From Gary H – I just found and bought a pair of 1956 Chevy Bel Air 2 door hardtops. I heard about them and called the owner and bought them sight unseen.

1956 Chevy Bel Air

I have only picked up 1 of them so far. It is a V8 manual trans car. Complete but not currently running. Solid floors but has rust in the trunk. The other car is also a manual car, but has no motor or trans. Both cars were sold as a package 15 years ago when he bought them, and he sold them to me the same way. He bought them with the idea of restoring them, and just never got around to it!

'56 Chevrolet Bel Air

He drove 1 into the barn and pushed the other into a corner and they sat there until I bought them 15 years later. The pictures are of me loading up the trailer with one, and the other still in the corner. They must of had 2 inches of dust on them. Not sure what I got yet, but I will keep you guys informed and send you some more pictures. Just goes to show that BARN FINDS are still out there!!!

Picking Up 1956 Bel Air

I wish Gary the best with both of his Bel Airs and I hope he keeps his word! I would love to follow him as he gets these cars back on the road. So if these were your Bel Airs, what direction would you go with them? Would you just get them running and street worthy or would you fully restore them?



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  1. erikj

    nice pair, me I would get them both on the road. They look like old school hot rods. Start with the first one make it driveable.have fun and the other a matching straight axel gasser . That would be cool.

    Like 1
  2. Mark E

    As was mentioned earlier, there are so very VERY many tri-five cars that these are neither rare or significant. That said, the owner should feel completely free to take them any way he’d like to. Personally, if they have the original drivetrains, I’d be sorely tempted to restore but without a drivetrain and/or any signifigant body/parts missing and you’ve opened up the possibility of street rod or resto-mod.

    Just one request: PLEASE remove and sell those Camaro wheels? They cause 1980s flashbacks as they both attract and hurt my eyes. (And I don’t consider myself a wheel snob) Thank you… ^_^

  3. Vince Habel

    Great find. I don’t kbnow why the 56 is the step child of the tri5s. I like them better than the 55. I had owned a 57 Bel Air 2 door sedan.

    • Ed P

      ’56 is my favorite of the tri5s also.

      • Oldstuff 1941

        Funny you guys would say that,…most say the 57 is their fav…
        I’ve owned several Tri-5’s, of all the body styles, and the 56 – 210, 2dr Handyman Wagon always seemed to attract more people.. and was one of my favorites. Maybe it was the White over Larkspur Blue paint job, with matching interior, not really sure. But between the 55 and 56 cars, the 56 to me always seemed to be the finer appointed car, I mean… they shared basically the same dash, almost the same body lines, and close interiors,… but the 55 just seemed plainer to me,… more utilitarian, even in the Top Bel Air trim. The 56 had a more refined look to me, the grill and parking lights just seemed to fit it. The sweeping downward side chrome just seemed to have a more ‘refined’ sort of expensive look than the straight arrow 55 side trim. One of my favorite things was the Hide away gas filler behind the taillight…when i first saw one working at our gas station as a kid,… I was laughed at by the owner who finally showed me where to look… I thought that was the ‘Koolest’ thing… anyway, just some of my ‘Ol’ Muscle Shoals, Alabama Gearhead thoughts.

  4. Richard S

    My first car when I got my license was a 1956 Bel Air 4 door post and I hated and loved it. I hated it being a 6 cyl with a power glide transmission. So young and stupid. Had it for three years till a drunk driver totaled it. But age and a bit of common sense I would love to have it now. Good luck with your new toys!!

    • Lion

      Ah, Richard, that brings back memories. When I got married in 1967 my broke older brother gave me his ’56 4door 6 standard as a wedding present. It had a bashed in left rear but the light still dropped to fill the tank. My wife drove our 60 Buick HT to work and I drove the Chev. In 1968 when we split up (never mind!) I gave her the Chevy. Bad mistake. It out lasted that lemon of a Buick for many years. I missed that car more than I missed her.

  5. Thom Brandon

    I would get them on the road (brakes, fluids, tires, etc) and roll around in them the way they are –can you say period pieces

  6. DT

    Make one nice stock ,then make whatever you want out of the second one.

  7. Mike d

    of the tri 5s I too like the 56 best , the possibilities are endless.. I could go on and on, but in the end, it would sound like everyone else, except, maybe the color.. I would stick with the crate 350.. update the underside . would stick with a single color, no chrome, except the bumpers and grille .. and we’re good to go

  8. J.W.

    Great find, love the 56’s over the 55 & 57’s. We had one when I was a kid and wish Dad had kept it.

  9. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy is your friend, a 55 Chevy is my fav, go figure. There’s a couple people who make frames for Tri Fives that use C4 Vette front and rear suspension, one is a flat metal frame kit the you weld yourself, that’s the way to go.

  10. geomechs geomechs Member

    Like Vince, Ed and Mike, the ’56 is my favorite of the Tri-Fives. Some people think I’m nuts to think that way and they’re probably right. I wish Gary lots of luck with his project(s) and hope to see photos of his progress.

    Back in the 60s I saw a beach movie where Buster Keaton drove a pristine ’56 convertible over the cliff and crashed it on the beach. Somebody thought it was supposed to be funny but I was sick when I saw it then and still have nightmares remembering that crushed front end and buckled up body today, 50 years later.

  11. Karl Morgan

    You have a pair of awesome time capsules worth restoring or turning into street rods at your choice. I personally have been looking for the same 56′ deal…..just always one phone call or email too late.
    If you find you don’t have the energy to complete the white engineless 56’….email me…will pay you a fair price.

  12. Woodie Man

    I had a ’56 four door hardtop, canary yellow in 1972. V8 slushbox with a tuck and roll interior in black vinyl. I lived in the mountains of Colorado and one night while we were going to see Papa John Creach and Hot Tuna, some boneheaded woman who couldnt drive in the snow (go figure)slid into me in a snowstorm in town. Pushed me into the yard of a dentists office. Turned out the dentist was shall we say romantically involved with the woman driving and lied through his teeth even though HE WAS MY DENTIST!

    Once I replaced the front fender I sold the car for 250 bucks and some …….. other consideration to a friend. Last I heard the car was in Gunnison, Colorado. Yeah I know it was forty plus years ago….still………………

  13. Tom

    Best Tri-5 car to date – Art Morrison 1955

    But, the 56 has a better front fascia in my opinion.

  14. RickyM

    Great find – look forward to seeing update in due course.

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