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Two-Tone Barn Find: 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

The Bel Air was part of Chevy’s lineup for more than 25 years, spending time at both ends of the trim spectrum (both as a top-of-the-line model to an entry-level offering). During the “Tri-Five” years of 1955 to 1957, the Bel Air led the way in style and amenities (the Impala would take that away starting in 1958/1959). This ’56 edition of the Bel Air as a Sport Coupe is said to be a barn find, but no barn is anywhere in sight. But it hasn’t run in 20 years, so the automobile will need some coaxing to fire up. Located near Somerset, Massachusetts, this well-preserved project is available here on craigslist for $12,000. Our thanks to “jonny” for the tip on this nice Chevy!

Of the nearly five million Chevrolets sold during the 1955-57 period, 2.2 million of them carried Bel Air badging. Besides the convertible and Nomad sport wagon, the Bel Air Sport Coupe is probably the one most in demand today. In 1956, more than 130,000 left the assembly line, providing a large population to spawn survivors after more than 65 years. Changes were not many for ’56 although it’s easy to differentiate a ’56 from a ’55 and neither had the tailfins the cars would gain in 1957.

Limited information is provided on this history of what may be a nearly rust-free Bel Air. It was in storage for 20 years and has not been run for two decades. The desirable 265 cubic inch V8 lies under the hood, paired with a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. No mention is made regarding what it may take to get this machine going again. Despite its nice appearance, the odometer has turned over at least once, so it was a well-used automobile during its day.

While the paint may be coaxed back to a shine with some rubbing compound and wax, the chrome may need more work. It could be pitted in a few places, so if show quality were your desire, the Chevy would need a restoration. And that would be a shame. Why not clean it up, get it running right, and show it on the weekends as time permits? One oddity is that the upholstery on the front seat does not match what’s on the back. There is no title involved with the sale, but instead a transferable registration and bill of sale. Do you see this Tri-Five in your future?


  1. To Good To Be True Cali Craig list for Massachusetts Car

    This looks like a fraud post.
    Its in Los Angelos CA craigs list with Massachusetts mapping on location and stated in advertisement.

    The price and condition is too good to be true.

    Be careful and if one lives in Massachusetts then see it in person if it exists.

    Sweet car .. but careful please.

    Like 15
    • Pat corbett

      I’m in mass and hopefully will see this in next day or two

      Like 4
      • ACZ

        Seems awfully cheap.

        Like 4
    • Jack Quantrill

      I think these were the best of the tri-fives. I even had a ‘57 Nomad. These ‘56’s look better.

      Like 4
    • Mike Manship

      Scam for sure. I was scammed out of deposit on a car shown on this site that was on C/L in Ca. It was a “too good to be true” car. Lesson learned about Craigslist.

      Like 1
  2. Rick R

    I can sit here and pick this car apart from the sagging bumpers to the poorly done interior but those things are minor in a restoration. I would recommend this car be inspected in person and dont forget your refrigerator magnet, I see some things that dont look quite right around the body.

    Like 4
  3. TheOldRanger

    Years ago, I owned one that was the same color, and I really enjoyed driving that car. It was about 18 years old when I got and I had two young daughters who absolutely loved the back seat… so much room for them. We moved to another state for a career move, and I couldn’t take it with me (it did need some work) and a high school kid with a single mom needed a car and I sold it to him for the same price I paid for it, but I had added several new things to make it acceptable to the state of Texas (new tires, new belts, et al). I still wish I had that one back.

    Like 3
  4. Rick R

    I HAD A NICE 56 2DR HT BEL AIR in high school in 66 I paid $150.00 for it. The car was dang close to perfect condition in and out. Some owner before me had the interior rolled and diamond tucked in white naugahyde (beautiful) It had a 283, 3 on the tree with overdrive. I know $150.00 don’t sound like a lot of money today but it took this poor high school kid almost the whole 3 month summer vacation to earn it.

    Like 9
    • David Fleming

      I graduated in 68, and the house next to my good friend sat a 56 2 door black and white. I knocked on the door and inquired about the car the lady said it belonged to her husband who passed away. She told me it hadn’t run in a while so we talked things over and said it’s yours for $75.00. Best car deal I ever had. The exhaust leaked and I wrapped a Hawaiian Punch can around it and 2 muffler clamps. Wish I still had it

      Like 3
  5. Puppet Pudendum

    Looks like a rapefarm

    Like 2
  6. Kenn

    Maybe it’s priced the way it is ’cause the seller wants to give someone a car at a fair price. Gasp. what’s the world coming to.

    Like 3

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