Potentially Easy Project: 1955 Chevrolet Del Ray

Located in Mesa, Arizona and for sale here on Craigslist is this 1955 Chev Del Ray. Sporting a clean title, this potential project car can be yours for $5,000 OBO. Our eagle-eyed Barn Finds reader Michael spotted this one and referred it to us.

The seller describes this wonderful old car as a true survivor. Looking at the overall condition I really believe that the description is apt. He states that it is really solid with only 2 small areas of rust. One of these is on the top of the front fender on the driver’s side just above the headlight, which is fairly common. The other area is the one you see here which is on the filler panel near the rear bumper. There may also be a spot or two appearing on the left hand fender (once again above the headlight) but it looks fairly minor. The owner also claims that the paint is original. If it is then it is a testament to Chev paint quality of the era.

The interior is a real mixed bag on this one. Both the dash and the door cards look really good and would easily pass muster to be used as they are. The seats are pretty heavily trashed. The upholstery is really at the stage where I doubt that throwing a blanket over them would suffice. I think that it would be money well spent to invest in new covers.

Under the hood lurks the original engine. The seller states that it starts right up, the car runs and it stops. Those are all really positive signs. If the drive-train and brakes are good, then it is entirely possible that this old girl might hit the roads again with a good dose of cosmetic TLC. If everything is fine mechanically I’d probably just be inclined to give the engine bay a good hit with a cleaner and perform a full service.

It seems that every car that we feature on Barn Finds will throw us an unexpected curve-ball, and this is no exception. When I went researching market pricing for this particular car I found one in identical condition for sale. How identical? It was the same car for sale on consignment here. The kicker is that the seller is asking $5,000 OBO, but the consignment seller has it advertised at $7,495! I think I know where I’d be shopping.

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  1. Mark

    Why not ask a teenager about your phone and keep the profanity off this site.

  2. Nsuracer

    Not a DelRay. Del Rays were 2 door only and had carpet and vinyl seats. I know this from personal experience.

    • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

      My first car, ’55 DelRay, baby blue and white, blue and beige vinyl interior. ’65 283 replaced worn out 265, 3 spd overdrive with 4.11 rear ( factory with overdrive). Was stolen in ’79, got it back but it had been rolled. Put everything, power train, springs, steering column, etc into a ’55 Nomad. Still have the Nomad-actually still have the DelRay shell too.

  3. Camaro Joe

    Don’t ever think you’re going to put new seat covers on it and have them match within 20 color shades of the used door panels. I made that mistake with a 57 Bel Air that sat in the LA sun for 21 years before I got it from my cousin. I ordered seat covers thinking the door panels were in good shape. The new seat covers were so far off the door panels it wasn’t funny. Oh crap,
    just throw money at it and make it right. They still look good today and that was 1979. I put blankets on the seats, but four generations of Old English Sheepdogs rode a lot of miles on them.

    Once you start with new interior stuff with something that old you’re going to have to do everything unless you’re committed to saving everything you can,
    but that’s custom stuff and really expensive.

    I had to give up on the seats of a 75,000 original mile 62 Impala that I got in 1972 at 32,000 miles a few years ago because the thread started to rot. Now the headliner is looking bad and the sun visors are having thread problems. Keep them as original as you can, as long as you can, but sooner or later you have to just make them right.

  4. Don Diego

    Agreed, you have no clue.

  5. Beatnik Bedouin

    Looks like a nice car, but then I did own a one family owned ’55 210 more-door (361 Jimmy/3-on-the-tree/Heavy-Duty everything) back in 1972.

    Obviously, the consignment person is looking to make a profit, but since the owner’s offering the same machine, I’d do what Adam suggests and go direct.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Oops! That should have been a 261 GMC… Damned typos! LOL

  6. JACKinNWPA Jack in NW PA Member

    I like it a lot, A top restoration would cost more than it would ever be worth but I wouldn’t care. it’s great to see cars as most families drove back then. P.S. Adam the left fender is the drivers side.

  7. Kenneth Carney

    Sure, I’ve used “hell” and “damn” while
    commenting here but F-bombs have no
    place here. That’s why I stop by here
    several times a day to see what you
    have and comment on what I see. You
    folks have a great website and I enjoy
    it very much. As for this car, I seem
    to recall one of my uncles owning a
    ’55 like this one. His was bottle green
    and the only options it had was a radio
    and a heater. It also had the dog dish
    hubcaps too. Just after he bought it,
    he took the car to Clay Dooley Tire to
    have some whitewall tires installed to
    spice things up a bit. If I only had the
    cash, it would be coming back to Florida
    with me. And oh yeah, the ’59 T-Bird
    you posted here yesterday is located
    about 30 minutes from here. Seen it
    here in Winter Haven at several local
    car shows and yes, it looks just as
    hideous in person. I like this car much
    better. Great job! Keep ’em coming.
    Just got off work and it’s time for bed.

  8. Bruce Fischer

    1 st thing when looking for at an old car is the interior and brake pedal. That tells me a lot. I am impressed by the door panels on this 55.I hope it goes to a good home. Bruce.

  9. Ken Member

    Seeing so many ’55 and ’57 Chevys on this site only reaffirms my belief that the best-looking Tri-Five is the ’56.

  10. diehardchevy

    My problem with the car is the 2 extra doors! I grew up in the 50’s-60’s and you couldn’t give the 4dr sedans away, heck you just didn’t want to drive one! That is until 1956/57 when GM introduced the 4dr hardtops. Had 2 guys in my little town that 1 of each…..the 56 had a straight axle, original 2tone green and street driven. The 57 belonged to my neighbor, 301/tripower,4sp.

  11. Pete

    It needs, two fenders, a rear panel behind the bumper, and the seats recovered to make it solid. If you could get it for 4K then it would be worth doing all that and enjoy it. So what that it is a 4 door. It’ll still get you from A to B and you will look cool doing it.


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