1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
a prefect # Matching with all the paper work
I appreciate anyone viewing the photos & write-up of this ’55 BelAir. In return, I’m sure any true car buff, especially a true collector, will appreciate this car and the story behind it. My name is Bill. I am the owner. I purchased this car from a woman named Madeline. More about her follows. In short, she ordered it in early summer ’55. She was 30 years old, and just turned 88 this past April. Madeline drove it approximately 4,000 miles per year, until 1965 when she parked it in a building on her family’s property with 43,000 original miles, where it stayed put until 2008. Can’t say it was a barn find, because I knew it was there all along. I was born in ’55 and have always admired the tri-fives. I grew up less than half a mile from Madeline, and was 10 when she parked it. I would have loved to own it when I was 16, but I had to wait almost 40 more years, and bought it when in my mid-fifties; ironically when I was 55. My father actually worked at the dealership when the car was delivered. I’ve been heavily in the car hobby for 45 years; since I was 13. I did my first restoration with the help of my dad when I was 17. Over the years I’ve restored, fixed, and owned too many cars to count: tri-fives, resto-mods, corvettes, classics, pro-streets, and many street rods. I caught the original matching numbers bug being involved in the corvettes. That’s when I really started to appreciate and learn the difference between matching numbers and original numbers.
I knew this BelAir had the original engine, but not until I actually owned it and had my hands on it did I realize every part on the car was put there by GM in 1955, and that’s the way I needed to restore it: to exact original. Period. Right down to the shock absorbers, generator, starter, voltage regulator, one-year only headlights, you name it. There’s a complete parts and numbers list following. But it goes much further. Parts without numbers, such as brass and aluminum tie-wraps, the stone filter in the original fuel bowl, the steel-jacketed speedometer cable, the antenna, jack, grooved brake drums with anti-vibration springs, all the stainless down both sides, all four hub caps, etc. are not reproductions, but all are the same as what came with the car in 1955. Any parts replaced, such as battery, hoses, wires were replaced with exact reproductions. Even the spark plugs are original NOS AC plugs, with the green bumble bee stripes. The dash is original, including all gauges, clock, radio, steering wheel, horn ring, even the original beautiful lacquer paint is still on the dash and window garnishes. The car is still wearing a beautiful Rowley Chevrolet license plate frame. Not many of those around, since Rowley was bought out Dec 28, 1960.
This build was done following GM’s assembly manual and following all 1,000 point judging guidelines. The painted floor boards were also done to the original build. Few ‘55’s had painted floors, and the judging manual reflects that fact. I have close to as many hours in research and communication with many people, including national judges, as I do with the hands-on work. I need to thank Danny Howell and Gene Showers for their expert knowledge and advice. Danny’s interest was sparked throughout this project with some of my questions, and he mentioned several times that he’d love to see it after completion. He did. He actually took the time to come to our home and inspect the final outcome. He estimated it should score the highest award – platinum. He picked out a couple minor things that I could change, which I have done. As Danny stated and I learned, its most difficult to score at the highest level when restoring to original.
Today, resto-mods have become very popular with all makes and models, not just tri-fives. Resto-mods are great when done correctly. I’ve owned several myself. But over just a few years, they become dated as new ideas and products hit the market. This car is also dated. 1955 then, now, and tomorrow.
I’ve hired B&C Auto Restoration as broker. They are responsible for the fit and finish, and much other work. I chose B&C not for price or time of completion, but for the simple fact I wanted the best. I could not be more pleased with the finished project. B&C knows the car as well as I do. We worked very well together and were always on the same page. Their craftsmanship and care were no different than my own, and I’ve enjoyed their friendship since. B&C can answer all questions. I’m also available if you’d like to speak with me. I can also put you in touch with national judge Danny Howell.
Like I stated before, this BelAir will be attractive to many car buffs, but particularly to the true collector who genuinely appreciates originality to its finest – right down to the impeccable original bill of sale, first-issued registration, and even the original owner’s manual in its original envelope still in the glove box.
One of my favorite compliments is, as one gentlemen in his late 70’s who looked it over for quite some time said, “…this car belongs in a museum, right between baseball photos and an apple pie, with an American flag waving above.”
This item is USED
Trades NOT ACCEPTED
Instructions for buyer: You will not find a better piece around for more info look on ebay To view your live eBay auction go to: http://nationalvehicle.com/ebayredir.php?l=115735
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Member Since: 2003-03-17
Phone Number: 585-259-1676
Number of Honor Payments: 3
Average Accepted Sale Price: $3,000.00
Average Honor Payment: $80.00
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