Stunning Survivor: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

If this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air is all that the seller purports it to be, it is an amazing survivor. He has listed it on behalf of a friend and states that it is an original and unrestored survivor. It presents superbly, and when you examine the Chevy carefully, it would seem to need nothing. Barn Finder Larry D has a keen eye for a classic, so thank you so much for referring this one to us, Larry. Located in Foley, Minnesota, you will find the Bel Air listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has made its way to $16,600, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The Bel Air is finished in a two-tone combination of India Ivory and Shadow Gray. This was one of the incredible twenty-four combinations that Chevrolet offered in 1955. Interestingly, the company would reduce this total with each subsequent model year. The paint holds an impressive shine if the claim of originality is accurate. The seller indicates that there are now some thin spots, but these barely show in the supplied photos. The panels are laser straight, while the gaps are impressive for a car from this era. The news is just as good when we delve below the surface because apart from some spots of light surface corrosion in a couple of spots, the floors and frame appear to be in good order. When you add this all together, the Bel Air seems to be a 100% rust-free vehicle. The trim and chrome sparkle beautifully, and there are no chips or marks on the glass.

Lifting the hood of the Chevy reveals a 265ci V8 and a 2-speed Powerglide transmission. This mighty small-block should be pumping out 162hp, and while the journey down the ¼ mile took 18.6 seconds, that was nothing to be sneezed at from a 6-seat family sedan in 1955. Once again, there seems to be nothing but positive news with the Bel Air. The seller says that the 265 kicks into life easily and that it purrs like a kitten. He says that there is no smoke or odd noises, and while he doesn’t specify how well the vehicle runs or drives, the indications all appear to be positive. He does say that the Bel Air has a genuine 30,600 miles showing on its odometer. I would like to think that he holds evidence to verify this, but once again, he makes no mention of it. However, when you look at the car’s overall condition, it does seem to be plausible. I know that doesn’t represent the concrete proof, but it is worth considering.

When you open this Chevy’s doors, you are confronted by an interior trimmed in a combination of two-tone blue cloth and vinyl. Once again, the seller talks about its originality, and if this interior is unrestored, it does add to the evidence suggesting that the odometer reading might be accurate. The carpet shows more wear and scuffing than I might have expected, but this is one of the few faults worth noting. The upholstered surfaces and headliner look impressively clean, with no wear, tears, or stains. There is no visible wear on the wheel, and the dash looks as good as it would have the day the vehicle was delivered to its first owner. There is an aftermarket gauge mounted under the dash, but the rest of it is unmolested. The factory clock is preset, as is the pushbutton AM radio.

After many years of involvement in the classic car scene, I have learned to take a conservative attitude to some claims that owners make about their pride and joy. I am not suggesting for one moment that this 1955 Bel Air is anything but what the seller is indicating. I always reinforce my belief that no potential buyer should part with their hard-earned money before treating the object of their desire to an in-person inspection. That’s what I would suggest here because that will help to ease any qualms that might exist. If this classic does pass with flying colors, it could represent a rare opportunity to own an extraordinary American classic. I think that this one deserves a closer look.

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Comments

  1. Tracy

    Beautiful car too bad it’s a more door crew cab.

    Like 2
  2. Jay E. Member

    I love 4 doors, not everyone needs a hot rod. These are so practical to go out with friends, we never have any problem when we ask folks to join us, they all want to to relive their past.
    This is a beautiful car and if it is as good as it looks could sell for double where it is now. Too bad it isn’t a Hardtop Sport Sedan!
    Thanks to Barn Finds I get to get my Tri-five fix this morning

    Like 20
    • Elroy skarderud

      The sport sedan started in 1956.

  3. Skorzeny

    Doesn’t bother me AT ALL that this is a four door. I love the color combo. She is a nice unit!

    Like 15
  4. Bob C.

    I noticed it didn’t have the external oil filter canister on the manifold like most 55s do. Must have been later in the model year or a newer 265.

    Like 3
    • Chuck Dickinson

      Weren’t they still an option in 55?

  5. Larry D

    Yes, this is a stunning ’55. And in a rarely seen color combination. The gray and white exterior is unusual enough but to pair that with the blue interior is really rare. It really works for this car. But I was thinking how striking it would be if it had RED interior! Oh man.

    And even though I, too wish this one were a 2-door, they all can’t be so as long as there have to be some 4-doors, this makes a good example.

    One thing is for sure; ’55 Chevrolets will never die.

    Like 5
  6. Ken Carney

    Boy, do I like this car! I’d have my SIL
    drive it any chance we get. The 4-door
    thing is great for my family and the trunk’s big enough for Mom’s wheelchair
    too! Wouldn’t be a trailer queen at my
    house!

    Like 3
  7. MNGuy

    The oil filter was an option in ’55 so it could have been ordered without.

    Like 1
    • Bob C.

      Upon further reading, I discovered that some 1955 265s did without the oil filter, period. So, that could be the case here. I would definitely add one, if possible.

      Like 1
  8. Jay E. Member

    Its a funny thing about owning a stock 4 door Tri-five. At car shows no-one gives you a second look. But driving it in the real world, you get approached everywhere you stop. People relate to a 4 door like no other, it is what most of them owned or grew up with. I owned a hot rod tri-five and everyone liked it at shows, but rarely did I get asked about it at the gas station or market. Now, with my stock 57, when I come out there will be people waiting at the car to tell their stories. I can only imagine what a crowd this beauty must attract!

    Like 6
  9. Chuck

    Would love to own this as my grandfather had one just like it back in the day. Unfortunately, we he died, I was way still in elementary school and too young for my parents even considering to give it to me. He parked in the coal shed that was off the alley in back of his house and rarely drove it. It was in pristine condition when my parents sold it in the early 60’s.

    Unfortunately, I have no more room in my shop or on the drive.

    Like 1
  10. JoeBob

    This is a beautiful 55. If it’s original and came with the 265, how come it doesn’t have a “V” on the hood? It should have it on the trunk lid as well, but I didn’t see any photo looking at the back of the car.

    Like 1
    • Chuck Dickinson

      On a 55, the V8 insignias are below the taillights. Vs on the hood and trunk didn’t start until 56.

      Like 3
    • Danny

      JoeBob, you obviously know nothing about 55’s. No V on hood or boot until 56. If in doubt don’t give your thoughts.

      • losgatos_dale

        @Danny

        Hope you got some sleep last night, Mister Crabby Pants

        Like 3
      • JoeBob

        Danny, thanks! Perhaps I didn’t phrase it well, but I was asking a question and got an answer. I’d forgotten that the V’s were under the tail lights in 55. Chuck answered my question. My 74 year old memory has forgotten a few things.

        Like 5
  11. Regg

    The hard top sports sedans will rattle your brain.

    This is a proper four door with posts…

  12. losgatos_dale

    aution cancelled after bidding over 18k “error in listing”

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