How To Slap Down A Chevrolet Bel Air
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By 1953, Chevrolet had redesigned its lineup totally, and simplified its sedans to three models: a base-level 150; mid-trim 210; and the high-grade 240 Bel Air. The Bel Air was a four-model line and was hugely effective considering that it cost only a bit more than the base and mid-level trims.
From 1950 through 1954, all Chevrolets, including the Bel Air, boasted a straight 6 under the hood. But it was the intro of the famed small-block V-8 together with the classically styled 1955 Chevys that made the next 3 years classics. Offered as 2- and four-door sedans, coupe and convertible, wagon and even a two-door wagon called the Nomad, these "shoebox Chevys" were extremely effective.
That '57 Chevy boasted larger and uniquely styled tailfins, an unique grille, and a readily available fuel-injected V-8 engine. The lightweight and fairly compact size of the mid-50s Chevys made them favorites among enthusiasts, and are among the most sought-after models by collectors. The 1958 model year boasted huge changes for the Chevy lineup, literally, as the cars and trucks acquired size and weight.
Chevy also dropped the mathematical designations, with the Del Ray at the bottom, Biscayne in the middle and Bel Air slotted right below the Impala. A comprehensive restyle in 1959 cast the Bel Air a little more down as the Impala got in stature and body designs. This was the pattern for the next numerous years, with the only standout Bel Air the 1962 Sport Coupe, which featured a 409 cu.-in.
By the third generation introduced in 1966, the Biscayne was at the bottom and the Bel Air in the middle, and in 1969 it ended up being sedan and wagon just when the two-door was dropped. When Chevy revamped its big sedans in 1971 the Bel Air was at the bottom called, and the name was dropped completely when Chevy decided to call all of its huge sedans Impala in 1976.
Metal Glass (Product) Chromium Vinyl Cloth Rubber (Product) Salmon (Color) Gray (Color) Black (Color) 3 in (Stroke) 3.75 in (Bore) 60.5 in 74 in 115 in 195.6 in 3165 pounds Rear side panels: Bel Air On front dash, passenger side: Bel Air Make & Design: 1955 Chevrolet hardtop Maker: General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Michigan Engine: V-8, overhead valves, 265 cubic inches Transmission: 3-speed manual Height: 60.5 inches Wheelbase: 115 inches Width: 74 inches General length: 195.5 inches Weight: 3165 pounds Horse power: 162 at 4400 transformations per minute Pounds per horse power: 19.5 Cost: $2,166 Average 1955 wage: $4,128 annually Time you 'd work to purchase this vehicle: about 6 months.
I have a feeling that this will be among the more questionable Meh Automobile Mondays I have actually done, however I believe it's one that needs to occur. Unusually for Meh Automobile Monday, I'm going to be focusing on a vehicle with not just a significant following, but one that is probably a real automotive icon.
It's the 1955-1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. Everyone, everybody, settle down! I can hear you. You're mad. You're particular that all of those posters with Bel Airs in front of 1950s restaurants simply can't be lying to uswe have laws to avoid that sort of thing, don't we?Is it even legal to make t-shirts covered in meh automobiles? It can't be best? All those old automobile collectors can't be incorrect? Can they?Of course they can.
It's bad. It's simply sort of ... there. And I maintain, in the context of mid-to-late 1950s American cars and trucks, the Chevrolet Bel Air was really just a meh automobile. Sure, the Bel Air managed to do something unprecedented in mehcardom, and that's to in some way defy its fundamental mehness to end up being something more.
All of its main design traits were things other automobiles had also, and were middle-of-the-road examples of them. It had a huge, eggcrate grille (full width by 1956), huge chrome bumpers, two-tone paint, modest tailfins, and all the heavy chrome precious jewelry of the period. There's absolutely nothing really striking or standout about its design, and as such it's frequently near the unclear picture of what people picture when they hear "1950s cars and truck," normally in turquoise-and-white.
Sure, a small number got engines with an early fuel-injection system, and the power numbers on some of the V8 alternatives were reputable, whatever was played extremely, really safe and no engineering threats or developments were taken. It was, really, simply fine. Commercials of the era were hyperbolic as all '50s ads were, like this one where a male's ghost is shouted at about the "sassy" performance and the "classic charm" of the '57 Chevy, along with the promise of "real chrome:" These Chevys from the age were definitely on par with the lower-end offerings from the other huge American carmakers, Ford or Chrysler or Nash or any of them, but it's puzzling regarding why and how these Chevys in some way got their renowned status and not, state, a 1955-1957 Ford or Nash.
The availability and ubiquity of Bel Airs made them simple to bring back and keep going, and communities of owners grew, and on and on, which just produced a self-sustaining feedback loop. These Bel Airs were decent, if normally plain American vehicles of the 1950s, but they were an excellent worth and did their task well.
Bel Airs at a cars and truck program today have become clichs; can anybody remember the last time they were in fact delighted to see a restored Bel Air? Sure, the two-door wagons are awesome, and any unspoiled automobile from that long earlier has some interest, but it states a lot when a timeless vehicle elicits a yawn.
Perhaps this actually isn't the cars and truck's fault itself, it's since of a certain laziness of human nature. Something works, it's unchallenging however appealing, so, what's the harm in doing it once again? And once again, and again, and again. There's other renowned cars with substantial followings that reveal up over and over once again, obviously, like Mustangs or Corvettes, or air-cooled Volkswagens, but I think those vehicles, and even other cars and trucks with significant followings, all have a little more going on with them to justify their getting away the meh trap due to large direct exposure that the Bel Air simply never ever had, ever.
But the Bel Air has somehow handled to go even beyond something that's just a great starter timeless and has fallen off into a void of full of self-important tradition, obviousness, those, and, let's face it, dullness. The Bel Air was good car, standard and possibly fairly uncreative, however driven down the dull meh blandway to the parking area of Meh's Restaurant, looking like a sparkling chrome suppository drizzled with neon, by the knowledgeable however incurious hands of numerous Bel Air-smitten people, each doing the exact same thing to the very same vehicles, and showing them in the same method, frequently at the very same time, in the very same place.