1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe
Chassis no. VC56K043443
265ci OHV 170hp V8
Three-speed manual transmission
Previously restored and well optioned
The apogee of American motoring in the '50s
"See the USA in your Chevrolet" went the old advertising jingle, and you could do lots worse than take in the great American countryside through the wraparound windshield of a two-tone Chevy Bel Air convertible. Easily one of the most recognizable 1950s American automobiles, the second-generation Bel Air received a mild facelift in 1956, a so-called "Speedline" restyling that featured distinctive two-tone bodyside treatments, and graceful wheel openings front and rear.
The 1956 Bel Air two-door hardtop remained one of the most popular body styles with 128,382 finding owners at a cost of $2,275. The new trim created a color spear, which carried forward to the headlight and matched the roof and trunk color, the grill was widened to include the sidelights and the taillights were enlarged, with the left one concealing the gas filler. Bel Air script was attached to the rear fenders.
Few steeds would have provided a better mount with which to storm the local soda shop than this Matador Red and Dune Beige Bel Air Coupe. Built in GM's Kansas City factory, power was delivered by way of a 265ci, dual-barrel carburetor OHV V8 rated at 170hp. Initially equipped with a two-speed Powerglide automatic, shortly after acquisition by the Oldenburg Family Collection the slushbox was expertly replaced with a three-on-the-tree manual transmission. Outside, optional details including rear wheel spats and chrome tips for the dual exhaust pipes squeeze another ounce of panache from a car already glistening with style and chrome. Inside, the color scheme continues with red vinyl interlocking with beige cloth. An AM radio provides the tunes (or talk, nowadays), a tissue box is ready for sneezes, and a traffic light viewer in front of the driver relieves the wheelman of the indignity of having to lean forward to know when the race to the next light commences.
Today, the Bel Air shows well having been previously restored. Prior to joining the Oldenburg Family Collection in early 2011, it spent the previous eight years in the prestigious collection of the late David Walters. Ready to stand in for your Sunday afternoon reenactment of American Graffiti this red-and-white barnstormer is rearing to go. Better yet, make it a two-fer and pick up its practical and identically colored Nomad brother as well that is coming up as the very next lot!
- Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.