1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible  Chassis no. C538088834

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Lot 636• W
1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
Chassis no. C538088834

Sold for US$ 57,500 inc. premium
1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
Chassis no. C538088834
Chevrolet had an all new look and model line for 1949 and that was good news, despite an all new model from arch-rival Ford. Styling of the new Chevrolet was conservative and not nearly as modern-looking as the new products for Dearborn, yet the fenders were much better integrated into the main body shell than on the company’s prior models.

What the new ‘49s gave up in styling, they certainly regained when it came to durability and usefulness supplied by sound and good build quality. There was nothing sporty about the new Chevy’s but the handling was safe and predictable thanks to GM’s “knee-action” independent front suspension and solid rear axle located by longitudinal leaf springs. Braking was by way of 11-inch hydraulic drum brakes at all four wheels. Under the sculpted hood sat a straight six with overhead valves. Displacing 216.5 cid, power output was 90 horsepower at 3,300 rpm breathing through a single-barrel Carter carburetor. Power reached the rear axle by way of a three-speed manual transmission with a column shift.

Four years on, the ‘53s were still very much like the models introduced back in 1949. The sub-models and body styles were reorganized and carried their own designations. Base Chevrolets were called the 150 Series, and then came the 210 Series, followed by the Series 2400C Bel Air models. All manual transmission models used a 235.5 cid L-head inline six rated at 108 horsepower by way of a 7.1:1 compression ratio and a single-throat Carter or Rochester carburetor. That base solid-lifter engine came with the column-shifted three-speed manual transmission, while a buyer of a 210 or Bel Air could opt for the two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. For the $178 transmission option, the driver also benefited from a more powerful 115 horsepower engine thanks to a 7.5:1 compression ratio and hydraulic lifters.

For 1953, Bel Air came in a choice of four-door sedan, two-door sedan, two-door sport coupe and two-door convertible coupe. The heaviest and most expensive car in the Bel Air line up was the convertible. Pricing started at $2,175, but in the case of this Powerglide car, would have cost no less than $2,353 before adding features like radio or whitewall tires.

This fantastic red Bel Air convertible was the personal car of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, restorer Jack Robinson. It came out of the original owner’s chicken coupe, where it had been stored out of the weather for many years. In the early 1990s, Robinson undertook a complete and comprehensive restoration of his ’53 convertible. When completed in its original red finish with red and white vinyl interior, Robinson started showing the gleaming red Chevy, achieving AACA Senior status on a car that is both mechanically perfect and wonderful to view.

This spiffy red convertible has been used little since restoration and stands ready for further showing or road use.
1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible  Chassis no. C538088834
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