Unfinished Business: 1955 Chevrolet 210 Wagon

The first of the now-famous Tri-Five Chevies was introduced in 1955. A huge selling point would be the company’s new “Turbo-Fire” V8 engine. A steady flow of customers no doubt passed through dealer showrooms as they built nearly 1.8 copies in the first year. That includes this ’55 station wagon that the seller says is a Bel Air, but I’m inclined to think it’s a 210 as the only 2-door Bel Air wagon built that year was the Nomad. This car belonged to the seller’s father who was rebuilding the engine at the time of his passing, so it will go to someone else to finish. Located in Fort Worth, Texas, this Chevy is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $12,555.

If this is a 210 Handyman wagon, it was in good company when new as Chevy built more than 29,000 copies. Finished in what appears to be India Ivory over Cashmere Blue, Since the car is captive to a garage, the views provided are limited but no real evidence of rust is present, just faded and worn paint. And a few trim pieces may be missing. If you could get the wagon going again, the interior is where you’d have to spend more time as the seats will need to be redone. And we’re not sure how crusty the floorboards may be.

The seller’s father bought this Chevy in 1968, so we must assume it was a runner at some point during his lengthy ownership. Whatever engine was under the hood is gone now along with the transmission. But there is a sharp-looking V8 on a stand that the dad was putting back together at the time of his death. The seller doesn’t know its displacement, but a 350 would be a good guess. Can any sharp-eyed readers shed any light on this? The transmission was a 3-speed manual whose whereabouts are not mentioned.

Finishing someone else’s projects are never easy because you don’t know exactly where they left off. And because the seller is a family member who was not involved in the car, information about it is limited. At 133,000 miles (likely turned over), this Tri-Five looks like a solid car that deserves to be put back on the road. Besides what’s presented in the photos, we’re told a new windshield in the box is coming as part of the transaction.

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    That looks like a solid 210 builder for sure and if it has remained in the previous owner’s area since new major rust should not be an issue. I think the bidding is reflecting that.

    Like 7
  2. flmikey

    I think it was originally a 6 banger…it doesn’t have the “V’s” below the taillights…looks very solid…very nice find!!!

    Like 9
    • vintagehotrods

      I think it’s a V-8 car, look at the engine bay photo and you’ll see the front motor mounts are in the rear most V-8 position. My ’56 is an original V-8 car and it doesn’t have those emblems either. I love these two door wagons and this one looks really solid. I like the looks of my ’56 Handyman two door wagon even better than the ’57 Nomad I had. They’re a great car.

      https://photos.app.goo.gl/q3RLAr5vm3zVBumU9

      • 57Chevy

        The ’56 V-8 did not have those small V’s under the taillights. That’s a ’55 Only V-8 emblem. Also, I believe the seller listed it as a Bel-Air because someone changed the speaker grill that has the Bel-Air emblem on it + added a clock. I don’t believe the 210’s had a clock. I know my ’56 210 I drove for 13 years did not have a clock!

        Like 2
      • Al

        it was a 6 only 55 put the small v below the tail light in 56 it was moved to the trunk and hood below the chevy sign if only sign on trunk and hood was a 6 if it had a v under sign was a 8 same with 1957 and 1958

  3. Jack M.

    From that picture of the engine on the stand, you would need eyes sharp enough to see the bore and stroke inside the engine to determine the displacement!

    Like 8
  4. ruxvette

    flmikey I believe you are correct. It also looks like the overdrive handle to the lower right of the steering column.
    A very nice project car just needing an engine/trans, a recovered front seat, and maybe some 5 spoke mags.

    Like 7
    • Jay

      I dunno, those wheels are pretty cool on it.

      Like 3
    • Tort Member

      SARCASM?? I see a emergency brake handle and a knob on the vent cable if you’re serious.

      Like 1
      • Ruxvette

        Ya, try the other right side of the steering column.

        Like 1
      • vintagehotrods

        On the ebay pics you can enlarge it and see it under the ignition switch.

  5. Jerry Vosika

    Engine is a 327 with high compression heads. Double humps on front of heads and a 3/4 in wide balancer.

    Like 10
  6. Evan

    “they built nearly 1.8 copies in the first year.”

    I’m assuming this is the one. Who bought the 0.8 of a car?

    Like 4
    • ruxvette

      My dad. Identical to that except no hood or fenders…😆

      Like 5
  7. jeff

    I have never owned but one Chevy and I still have it, an 81 Corvette w/4 speed and I love the car, bought used in 2010. However, I always thought the 55 Chevy (not 56 or 57) was a great looking car. This wagon would be a fun car to finish and drive. Hope it goes to a good home.

  8. gaspumpchas

    Give the mill on the stand a good looking over to make sure its ok. I’d put a set of original 327 steel valve covers on. 4 speed with the correct shifter for the bench seat Freshen up the gut and go, sure is a cool wagon. Good luck and happy motoring!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 1
  9. Dave Peterson

    The first Hydramatic put in a local car was one like this. 327 dual quads 4:11 with vise grips for a shifter. It would pull the front wheels 18 inches off the pavement with the cheaters installed. Francis Genesse you live on in my memory. A builder not afraid to mix and match while hoping for the best result.

  10. Lowell Peterson

    Jerry Vosika spotted the heads. The intake has a breather and filler that seem likely 327 too. Ol guys know how great 327’s were!

    Like 3

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