Collector Worthy Car: Chevrolet Bel Air

Chevrolet has over the years continually produced top performing and some of the most highly regarded vehicles distributed. We at Farm Boy Garage are HUGE Chevy fans and feel that most of their products are worth the money. When looking back on some of the historical muscle cars that have made an impact in the history of Chevy, we're always reminded of one of our favorites: The Chevrolet Bel Air! This week, we're sharing with you a bit of info on these beauties and giving them the recognition they deserve!

Generation I
The Bel Air model debuted under the Chevrolet brand name in 1950 and was the height of the Chevy lineup. For the following 2-1/2 decades, this car would charm drivers everywhere. The model first came in under the Deluxe Styleline Bel Air nomenclature. It was in 1953 that Chevrolet renamed the top of the line Styleline series to Bel Air. The body style was now distinguishable by a wide chrome strip of molding that ran from the rear fender bulge to the rear bumper and Bel Air scripts.

The interiors of the Bel Airs also became more luxurious when it earned its name in ’53. Bel Air interiors feature lots of chrome, top of the line steering wheel, full chrome horn ring, and the standardized carpeting and full wheel covers on the model. Engines throughout the first generation included a 3.5L I6 & 3.9L I6, backed by a 3-speed auto or manual.

Generation II
The second generation of the Bel Air marked a more powerful and stylish era for the car. GM gave the model a Ferrari-inspired grille, chrome headliner bands for hardtops, chrome fender spears, and stainless window openings -- in addition to some carry over characteristics from the original design. The Bel Air also got a V8 engine option for the first time. Engine options included: 3.5L I6, 3.9L I6, 4.3L V8, and 4.6L V8. GM also added an optional 2-speed powerglide transmission to the three speed manual or automatic selections. V8 models could also come with air conditioning for the first time in the second generation. It was available in three series models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range Two-Ten, and the One-Fifty.

The 1957 Bel Air remains to be one of the most popular models made, and really has become one of the most popular classics of all time. These models are highly sought after by classic car enthusiasts and collectors around the world.

Generation III
For 1958, Chevrolet models were redesigned longer, lower, and heavier than their 1957 predecessors, and the first ever production Chevrolet big block V8, the 348 cu in (5.7 L), was now an option. Chevrolet's design for this year complemented Chevrolet's front design with a broad grille and quad headlights that helped simulate a 'Baby Cadillac'; the tail received a fan-shaped alcove on both side panels, which housed dual tail lights.

Generation IV
From the front or rear the 1959 Chevrolets resembled nothing else on the road. From the headlights, placed as low as the law would permit, to the cat's-eye tail lights, the 1959 Chevrolet was a brand new car with all new sheet metal, a new frame, and even new series names. The most visual new change was the flat, wing shaped tailfins. This model was Chevrolet's longest car in its price-range.

Generation V
For 1961, Chevrolet again had a totally new body, not just new sheet metal. The Bel Air 2-door sedan used squared-off roof styling and large wrap-around rear window as opposed to the hardtop's swept-back design. The Bel Air 4-door Sport Hardtop still used a different roof line than did the 4-door sedan. For 1962, all sheet metal except the door panels was changed. Overall length was stretched slightly to 209.6 in. The 4-door Sport Hardtop was no longer offered in the Bel Air series. Very few changes came to this generation.

Generation VI
For 1965, the full size Chevrolet was totally restyled, and the cars were stretched to 213.3 in. The new stamped grille had a lower extension below the bumper which was slightly veed. Curved window glass and round taillights mounted high characterized the new styling. The interiors were also redesigned and a very attractive dash resulted. Very minor changes were made to the vehicle until 1969. For 1969, the big Chevrolet was totally redesigned, given a new length, new fender and body lines, and a new front and back end, but continued using the basic 1965 chassis, inner body structure and even the roof lines of pillared two- and four-door sedans.

Generation VII
With the discontinuation of the Bel Air two-door sedan after the 1969 model year, all U.S.-market Bel Airs sold between 1970 and 1975 were four-door sedans or station wagons—the latter carrying the Townsman nameplate from 1969 to 1972 and Bel Air from 1973 to 1975. However, a Bel Air hardtop coupe—based on the Impala Sport Coupe body—was sold in Canada from 1970 to 1975. This body even had a roof line similar to the original '66-67 Caprice coupe style for 1974–1975. Most other changes to the Bel Air during its final years were identical to the more expensive Caprice and Impala lines.

Let Farm Boy Garage Restore Your Bel Air!
If you've got a Bel Air that's been sitting in the garage collecting dust, it's time to break it out of storage and get it back out on the road! We can fully restore it to its original/super modified glory. We run a one-stop-shop here at Farm Boy Garage, and all restoration services are done on site, meaning your car doesn't leave our garage until it's completed to your satisfaction! So, what are you waiting for? Let's restore that beautiful Bel Air!

Are you ready to create the muscle car or classic truck of your dreams? Let us be your one-stop-shop! Visit our website to check out some of the recent projects we've completed and to learn about the vehicle restoration services we offer.

Muscle Car & Classic Truck Restoration

Farm Boy Garage
10660 E. County Line Rd.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320
Phone: 515-528-8904
Cell: 515-333-1238

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