Classic cars are all about passion. Some of the nicest classics we feature are those built by folks who invest a large amount of time and money into a project they simply love. And much to the surprise of casual onlookers, most gearheads’ dream builds don’t always involve Ridler finalists or a prestigious pile of name brand parts that serves as garage floor décor. Instead they’re filled with impressive, well-done cruisers which wrap modern power, everyday livability and top-notch road manners in about five times the curb appeal of the local showroom special. This stunning Chevy was painstakingly crafted into a first class piece of automotive art during a multi-year, high dollar restoration. And thanks to a modern small block and virtually indestructible transmission, it also sports a fully-sorted drivetrain that creates the perfect platform for cross-country road trips. Looking for a hot tri-five that’s every bit as cool and twice as classy as a ground-up street rod? Take a long look at this killer Bel Air!
Infusing classic Chevrolet lines with striking PPG two-stage, this fantastic hardtop is the recent beneficiary of a high quality, frame-off restoration. That clean and glossy skin is stretched over a roster of fresh sheetmetal. After that metal was welded and sealed, the car made its permanent residence in 100% climate controlled storage. And today, it’s the kind of awesome custom that we all stare at, many of us fondly remember, and few of us have the opportunity to actually own!
The ‘55 model is certainly the cleanest of the tri-five Chevys, with its minimal trim and crisp, retro styling devoid of the massive chrome and exaggerated proportions that typically characterize ‘50s-era steel. At the front of this hardtop, a custom, 1-piece bumper rides below a pristine stainless grille, clear parking lamps and modern tri-bar headlights. At the top of that grille, a fresh Chevrolet crest is centered beneath a classic ‘jetbird’ hood ornament. At the back of that hood, a filled cowl leads the eye to smoked glass, polished frames and bright stainless wipers. At the base of that glass, mirror-less doors and razor-straight fenders are accented by blue-detailed trim, monochromatic Danchuk emblems and Advanced-plated handles. And at the back of those fenders, traditional tail lights illuminate a second Chevrolet crest above a second smoothie bumper and classy stainless exhaust tips.
Motivation comes courtesy of a 6.0 liter LS2 V8 that pushes roughly 507 horsepower to the car’s meaty rear wheels. Built to tear up the street and wow show goers alike, that fully-sorted small block employs a custom cam, 40lb. injectors, a polished Magnuson supercharger and a custom intercooler to create sharp throttle response and virtually instantaneous torque. GM’s familiar fuel rail covers detail deep blue paint with highly polished inserts. The engine’s bland serpentine system has been exchanged for a stack of polished accessories, which includes both a chrome alternator and chrome AC compressor. A modern throttle body breathes through a polished tube and conical air cleaner. There’s a custom, coated aluminum radiator that, thanks to a polished support, rides between computer-controlled fans, a polished overflow tank and a cool, bowtie-branded cap. And modern power steering combines with ceramic coated headers, a Wilwood brake booster and high quality AC Delco plug wires to detail an otherwise purpose-built performer. Aesthetically, the smooth, body-matched engine compartment frames the LS2’s super clean casting in a technical appearance that oozes performance appeal. Niceties such as a polished breather, custom hood hinges and an assortment of braided, bent and corrugated fluid lines add just the right amount of flash. And the net result is a buttery, muscle-bound V8 that, through its distinctive rumble, foretells this Chevy’s true hot rod nature.
Like its clean engine bay and classy exterior panels, the bottom of this road ready Bel Air continues the theme of pairing proven hardware with enhanced technology. That smooth small block utilizes a modern hydraulic clutch to twist a proven Tremec T56 6-speed, which is hooked to a narrowed, C4-sourced Dana 44. Turns come courtesy of a rebuilt C4 suspension, which utilizes the aforementioned power steering and Air Ride Technologies shocks to mix quick reflexes with excellent road manners. Stops are provided by blue, 4-piston calipers, which clamp 12-inch, slotted rotors at all four corners. A polished, true-dual exhaust system swirls spent gases through polished Magnaflow mufflers. A coated Progressive Automotive frame perfectly complements solid, silver floors to ensure the car’s flipside matches its topside. All that reliable hardware rides on a sweet set of Boze Speedsters, which spin 245/45ZR17 Nitto NT555 Extreme ZRs in front of 255/45ZR18 Nitto NT555 Extreme ZRs. And fully sorted details like stainless fluid lines, braided air hoses and a polished stainless fuel tank ensure years of carefree cruising.
Inside this sedan, traditional 50s style is augmented with first class leather and supple suede. The car’s power front and fixed rear buckets are all-day comfortable, featuring tight hides that display no significant wrinkles. In front of those seats, a deep blue dash hangs a 1-piece Pete’s Fabrication insert behind Classic Instruments gauges, a modern Pioneer CD player and hardware for a Vintage Air Gen IV climate system. Overhead, a clean suede headliner rides between correctly polished bows and LizardSkin ceramic insulation. On the floors, fresh California Carpet rides between color-keyed floor mats, modern GTO foot pedals and more LizardSkin ceramic insulation. In the middle of that carpet, a custom, full-length console centers six power window switches and a small air ride control panel behind a modern GTO shifter. In front of the driver, a polished Billet Specialties steering wheel spins a half-wrapped rim around a polished, tilting column. At the sides of the passengers, custom door panels hang sculpted armrests and stylish mesh inserts below body-matched frames and bowtie-branded lock knobs. And behind the cockpit, a custom trunk displays a classic “Chevrolet” script amid suede and leather upholstery.
Cars like this awesome Bel Air are very special, and they represent incredible value to buyers. With a high quality restoration that’s beyond reproach, and a custom color combination that creates a riot at shows, THIS is the kind of build you simply can’t touch for our asking price. Just imagine heading out in this old school classic on a warm summer evening; the burble of the small block as your chorus, the smooth, open road as your canvas, and nothing between your mind and miles of happiness!